GEA Farm Technologies

Entering the Next Level of Value Generation: Creating cyber-physical customer relations at ifm electronic

  • Case study on Master level
  • Ref. No. ECASA_2021_2 EN


Ifm electronic is a mid-sized wold market leader in sensor electronics for industry and automotive applications. The hidden champion shows an impressive growth trajectory in the last 20 years from around 200 mio. € to 1 bn. € in 2019. The company started as a sensor manufacturer in 1969, became an automation specialist for industry 4.0, and develops towards a full digital solutions company. In this case study, the ambitious leadership team starts to discuss options for organizing the transformation of the company for the age of smart services. Thus, students will discuss the implications of strategic decisions for servitization in industry 4.0 on customer relations from different perspectives.


  1. Prof. Dr. Jan-Philipp Büchler (FH Dortmund)
  2. Robert Ciszweski, M.A. (ifm electronic GmbH)


Growth strategy, industry 4.0, cyber physical systems, hidden champion, business model, value proposition, smart services, servitization, digitization

Case Partners

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