Cluster Management Excellence


Questions about the history and work of the Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid

How is the Kunststoff-Institut financed?

The Kunststoff-Institut is not a public institution nor is it financed by public funds, but it trades as a private limited liability company financed exclusively via service contracts. Where possible, industrial projects are subsidised by EU, Federal government or state government funds; such funds are either directly included in the project price calculation or passed on directly to the participating companies.

Who is behind the Kunststoff-Institut?

The Kunststoff-Institut has two shareholders. The majority shareholder (76%) is a supporting association, and the other shareholder (24%) is the Municipality of Lüdenscheid. Currently (as of March 2021), arround 400 German, European and overseas companies are members of the supporting association.

What is the meaning of “an institute associated with the university of applied sciences Fachhochschule Südwestfalen”?

The Kunststoff-Institut was founded in 1988 as the first institute associated with a university of applied sciences. A cooperation agreement was concluded with the University of Applied Sciences Fachhochschule Südwestfalen (based in Iserlohn) for the purpose of close cooperation between teaching and science on the one hand, and joint industrial research on the other hand. In addition to joint use of university facilities, the cooperation takes the form of joint events, projects funded by third parties, study and graduation theses.

Can I, as a plastics processor, lodge an application for project funding with you?

In principle, the Kunststoff-Institut is not in a position to grant funding. However, due to its numerous projects on EU, Federal and State levels, the Institute has contacts with all funding authorities and can advise you in lodging applications and/or propose suitable contacts.

How quickly can you respond to acute problems in production?

The majority of the Kunststoff-Institut’s staff are trained to handle tooling and process technology issues. Consequently, we try to provide on-site support especially for acute production problems within one day in Germany, and within 1.5 days in Europe.

Can we advertise job offers on your homepage?

Of course, job advertisements can be placed on our homepage. For member companies, this is free of charge.

What is the normal procedure for placing an order with you?

There are several different ways to place orders so that they can be processed fast and as simply as possible. The “normal” procedure is a written or oral enquiry from a customer. In response, a binding quotation is prepared and sent to the customer by email or fax, according to preference. Order confirmations can also be sent out by fax or email. For customers making sporadic or highly complex enquiries, working hour pools are provided to enable order processing across the Institute’s entire service portfolio without having to issue additional order confirmations.

How long has the Kunststoff-Institut been in existence?

In 1988, a survey initiated by SIHK (the South Westphalian Chamber of Industry and Commerce) revealed that numerous companies wished for an institute to provide counselling. The Institute was then established very quickly and started to operate at the beginning of 1989.

Who founded the Kunststoff-Institut?

A group of initially 30 companies from the region around Lüdenscheid founded the Institute in 1988. The former Fachhochschule Iserlohn (University of Applied Sciences), the Municipality of Lüdenscheid and the SIHK (South Westphalian Chamber of Industry and Commerce) should be named as initiators.

Supporting association

Questions concerning the supporting association and the membership

Must I be a member of the supporting association to be able to place orders?

No. The service portfolio of the Kunststoff-Institut is basically available to everyone, however various financial benefits and some additional services are reserved for members.

What is the nature of the supporting association?

The supporting association is a registered association and the majority shareholder of the Kunststoff-Institut. The membership of the supporting association includes companies of various sizes from all plastics-related industries.

Can I get a discount on the Institute’s services if I become a member of the supporting association?

Through their membership in the supporting association, companies have numerous exclusive services at their disposal. Furthermore, member companies are granted a 10% discount on training programmes, seminars and joint projects. Discounts cannot be granted on standard services.

How can I become a member of the supporting association?

The fax form for the declaration of membership in the supporting association in pdf format can be found on our website under “Downloads”.
After you have filled in your contact data, your membership will be concluded for 1 calendar year. You will receive a confirmation in the form of a cooperation agreement.

Who are the members of the supporting association?

The membership of the supporting association includes companies of various sizes from all plastics-related industries. Here you will find an overview.

How many members does the supporting association have?

The number of member companies always fluctuates slightly during the year, currently there are arround 400 companies.

How can I benefit from membership?

The numerous advantages of membership are listed here.

Can I also become a member if I am not a plastics processor?

Yes, you can. Any company directly or indirectly interested in the plastics industry can become a member.

How much are the membership contributions in the supporting association, and how is the amount of contribution calculated?

You will find an overview here. The amount of contribution depends on the number of your company’s employees directly involved in the area of plastics technology.

Joint projects

Questions about joint projects

If I am unable to attend a given project meeting, how can I obtain the relevant information?

All project information is saved in the protected online area restricted to the project participants. If you wish, you can also receive project news by email.

Does K.I.M.W. lodge applications for patents or utility models in joint projects? And what are the regulations for use?

The procedure with patents varies from one project to the next. It is agreed upon with the participants at the beginning of every project. On principle, the project participants invariably receive preferential treatment.

Are the results of joint projects published?

Project results are published only in part and/or made generally known after a pre-defined time lag. Here also, the project participants invariably receive preferential treatment.

My competitors are already taking part in a joint project. Can I or should I take part in that project nevertheless?

The experience from our joint projects has shown that in numerous projects competitors have actually worked together on a certain problem, and company-specific problems have been solved as well. Here we safeguard the confidentiality of results belonging to individual participants. Results of individual investigations are only discussed and publicised within the project group after they have been released by the owner company.

How can I benefit from active participation in a joint project?

The greatest advantage of joint projects is that the time-consuming and costly basic research can be shared between several companies and consequently the cost to be borne by every individual company can be kept low. Moreover, new business ideas or even new business segments may emerge from within the group.

Will there be any risk that corporate know-how from my company will be tapped and transferred to the group?

No. Any dissemination of internal corporate know-how or company-specific results will be discussed with you prior to publication. However, a certain amount of “give and take” in this matter within the project group is expected of all participants.

How much manpower must I invest to participate in a corporate joint project?

You can determine yourself how much you wish to invest in each project. Your minimum expense should be regular attendance of the quarterly or half-yearly project meetings. For your maximum expense, the sky is the limit. However, the more you invest, the better will be your chance of maximum success in utilising the results.

Other topics

General questions

In which languages is your “Guide to Surface Defects on Thermoplastic Injection-Moulded Parts” available?

From our Sales Department, you can order the “Guide to Defects” in German or English. Translations into the following other languages are available from our distribution partners: Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Russian, French, Danish and Chinese.

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