Sintex – Magnetic System


Sintex A/S is a Danish company based in Hobro and specialized in powder metallurgy. Sintex A/S works essentially business to business and produces different metal components, which can be used in various industries, such as automotive, energy, electronics, motors, pumps, medico and food industry. Started in 1997 as a spin-off from Grundfos A/S with 6 employees, 160 persons work at Sintex A/S today. The whole production is made in Denmark and the components are sold worldwide. The company works as a competence center, meaning they want to participate in the design process of the products (co-development).


Case Description

The company wants its customers to know about their different product areas. There are 10 of them, which are divided into 4 groups: Sintered Parts, Permanent Magnets, Magnetic Systems and Wear Resistant Coatings. Until now, the company used to print 10 separate sheets with exhaustive details on the products. These sheets were then given to the potential customers, mainly during fairs. The company would like to change this way of doing.

Group Members

Ida Bollerup Holm – Experience Design AAU
Maria Brændstrup Kristensen – Industrial Design AAU
David Qvist – Industrial Design AAU
Sigitas Šlakaitis – Natural & Cultural Heritage Management UCN
Yann Corminboeuf – Natural & Cultural Heritage Management UCN

Final Concept

1st week - Analysis

We were divided into groups of students from several fields and were given the case on the first day. We were given a marketing orientated case by Sintex A/S where we had to find an innovative alternative to the 10 separate sheets (one per product) that Sintex used to give to their customers. The aim was also to let the customer know not only the data of the products (s)he is interested in, but all the different product areas from the company.

On Tuesday we had a fieldwork, which meant all the 4 groups went to Hobro, where Sintex A/S has its factory and its production line. We met our contact, Annette Nørskov Schultz, who gave a short presentation of the company and the products. We also received more details about the assignment.

During the rest of this week, we tried to figure out which methods we could use to solve their marketing issue. For using these methods, we needed some data, which we obtained after an interview with an employee of Micro Matic, one of Sintex’ clients, as well as an interview with the Design & Innovation manager Peter Kjeldsteen from Sintex.

This work allowed us to get some data, which we could report eventually on a chart. In this way, we could define which were the weaknesses and the strengths of the 10 sheets, as well as the expectations of the customers.

Design Theatre - Sandbox

We were introduced to the Design Theatre method during the first week by Anete Strand, who is a specialist in material storytelling and interpersonal communication. The aim of this method is to use objects and space in order to represent our case, issue(s), stakeholders, etc. The first step consisted in grabbing some artefacts, which we were interested in and display them in the sandbox. It was not recommended to speak during this step of the process. Once the artefacts were displayed in the sandbox, everybody was able to move them, according to their feelings.

Here is how our sandbox looked like in the very beginning. We could find a meaning for most of the objects. The octopus, for instance, was like the company, kind of stuck in the middle of all the available products fields. The global impression was however that there was a mess in our sandbox.

Our sandbox looked this way in the end of the workshop. After having discussed it for almost 2 hours, we realized that everything had found its place in our sandbox: the elephant managed to climb the earth, the octopus/company could rule the product areas, and the vehicles could head onto the same direction. The initial mess disappeared and we were able to find some kind of harmony.

The Service Ouroboros

The goal to use this method was to find main points during different meetings/contacts between the company and its clients. We chose three possible types of contacts. Each circle represent each type of meeting. The circle, which is closer to centre represent first contact, the furthermost circle represents the third contact.

The first contact between representatives of the company and its clients can be in a business fair, a phone call, etc. The second contact could be a salesperson from Sintex visiting a potential client or a client’s visit to Sintex’s office/factory. The third meeting could be a meeting of both companies technicians/specialists where all detailed information about Sintex’s products can be discussed.

Using this method we identified which kind of information should be provided to the client during contact of different types. During the first contact the client should be provided with general information about the company. During the second contact the information about the 10 product areas should be given to client. In the third contact the client should get all the details about all products that (s)he is interested in.

2nd week - Synthesis

On Monday of the second week, we presented our 2 charts to Annette and shared our result of the interviews with her.

Concept scenario

To move on with the project we used the model concept scenario though by specialist in digital design and digital media Peter Vistisen. We had to consider both past and future, as well as fact and fiction. We divided the data we collected during the interviews as well as our ideas/impressions into 4 different categories:

• History (lessons) In this category are some examples and general facts about the case we had and the company. E.g. “the sheets have too much details”

• Signals (necessities) Here are the constraints. E.g. “resources for marketing are limited”

• Myths (dragons) In this category we can find some misconceptions about the product or the process as well as their consequences. E.g. “marketing material is not read by the client”

• Scenarios (possibilities) In the very last category, we can find several “what if?” questions. These questions were supposed to help us find some ideas concerning our case. E.g. “what if information was presented as a game?”

This method was really helpful for our group and allowed us to have a bigger overview of our case.

For the rest of the second week we were working on 5 different ideas and chose 3 of them to make a video sketch.

3rd week - Realization

On Monday of the third week we presented Annette with our three concepts, where we decided on how to continue with merging the best from each idea and present a concept that makes Sintex able to grab the clients attention and give him/her the information in an interesting way.

Concept 1

Concept 1 focuses on the first contact with the client, where the main task is to grab the attention of the client and make Sintex stand out from their competitors. It also tackles the problem that the client gets a lot of text, which (s)he does not read.

Concept 2

Concept 2 shows a different way of delivering the information about Sintex, instead of just the sheets. The information about a product group is delivered on a product sample with a QR code, which, when scanned, will contain information about this specific product group.

Concept 3

Concept 3 focuses on how the information about Sintex is presented to the client. Instead of just text it gives the client the opportunity to go into different layers of information about Sintex, based on how technical (s)he wants the information.
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