Project Description

ROUTIS: Round-trip Innovation for System Services


Many new services are still found to fail during or soon after their market launch. New processes and procedures are absolutely necessary in order to be able to introduce services quickly and successfully in the market.

This is particularly true for system services which are increasingly gaining in economic importance but the complexity of which involves a high innovation and market risk. System service providers offer complex service activities which they have to render as an integrated complete service in full or in part from one source. They are responsible for machines, systems, buildings and/or  complete processes of their customers and concatenate the individual services and service components of internal and external suppliers and/or partners to form a consistent and optimized value creation chain.

Only an insufficient set of instruments has been available so far to potential system service providers to enable them to demonstrate and test such new services. Even the existing test labs such as the ServLab operated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO are not in a position to test system services in advance with a view to their suitability and performance capacity.

Objectives and approach

One objective is to develop two- and three-dimensional visualization and simulation aids for the field of system services that can support the design of complex services consistently in all phases and make it possible to involve customers, partners, employees and experts into the development process at an early stage. Customized solutions that are tailored to the customers and their individual requirements could reduce delays occurring in the launching phase to a minimum. Extensive tests and simulations performed in the run-up phase can contribute to recognizing planning errors at an early stage and preventing economic disadvantages and a potential loss of confidence among the customers.

The ROUTIS project intends to utilize the »roundtrip engineering« method – which has already been applied successfully in the production industry – and further develop it for the domain of services. Technical-experimental processes will be developed, put to the test in cooperation with enterprises offering relevant system services and consolidated at an inter-company level.

Innovations and perspectives

The holistic view of production and service systems offers the opportunity of tapping new potentials for innovation and quality to a significant extent. New business models open up for use by enterprises from various sectors of the economy. Particularly small and medium-scale enterprises will be able to benefit from the great opportunity to develop and market their system services in a faster and more focused way.

Project time

01.10.2012 – 30.09.2015