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LEAD Innovation Blog

Read our latest articles on innovation management and innovation in a wide range of industries.

Date: 12-Oct-2018
Posted by: Daniel ZAPFL
Category: LEAD User Method

LEAD User innovations to be proud of


How quickly LEAD users find solutions for tricky product innovation tasks surprises not only our customers, but also ourselves time and again. We would like to tell our success stories to the world - but we can't. Of course, keeping the results secret is part of a LEAD user conference. Only sometimes there are small exceptions - then we can tell about our inventions...


Invention of circuit breakers against the electricity bill

Our customer is a leading electronics company from southern Germany. Our task was to develop a new type of circuit breaker. After only two days we found the 10 right LEAD users. Eureka! We have found them - several innovative concepts for a circuit breaker that will save energy in a simple way. And thus protects against too high electricity bills - but even at the same time remains quite cool. How, that's a secret for now...

Handbook LEAD User Method  

Looking at nature's toes

Anyone who has ever been on holiday in Asia knows the gecko, that strange lizard that can walk up walls vertically. How does she do that, you wonder. As a product developer you also ask: What can be learned from the toes of these animals? The term "bionic" is made up of "bio" and "technic" and means the principle of simply looking at new techniques from nature.


Gecko. Photo: Richard Ling, GNU License, source: Wikipedia, excerpt

Our customer manufactures machines for large-area floor cleaning. The textile wiping surfaces must be changed in quick succession. How quickly and easily this can be done makes a significant difference to the staff. Up to now, it had to bend down to replace wet and dirty wiper modules near the floor. No honey licking, and therefore an impetus for innovation.

LEAD users are not only the avant-garde among customers, they are also developers and experts from comparable industries. We identified the production of ski bindings as such an analogous area. Skiers know how annoying it is to clean the binding from wet snow with cold fingers bent down to be able to reattach the shoe. A good bond is also characterized by the fact that it allows easy and problem-free fixing and release without the one function being restricted by its opposite function. So we came to the company Atomic and went there on LEAD user search.

Touren Ski Bindung von Atomic

Atomic touring ski binding. That's where the expertise comes from. Source: Atomic Website

The solution to the problem was inspired by a technology that attaches touring skins to the skis without using adhesives as before. The principle is similar to Velcro - but only the principle. How can a field full of hooks claw onto the smooth running surface of a ski? On the other hand, don't geckos run up smooth walls? This problem can be overcome by reducing the size: In the micrometer range, surfaces that appear to be completely smooth to human perception are also comparatively rough...

Fortunately for us, this technique is so complex that we can talk about its basic idea here. That's why today, for once, we are also telling a success story.

LEAD User Method

Read here about the LEAD User Method

Daniel ZAPFL

Born in Graz, Austria. After positions as project manager & head of innovation of the project management at LEAD Innovation, Daniel Zapfl has been responsible for the success of the innovation projects of our innovation partners since January 2018.

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