Innovation as an important foundation for brand value
Innovation is a key factor in Geberit’s success as market leader. Substantial resources were once again invested in the development and the improvement of products and technologies in 2014. In addition to features such as top-class quality, durability and ease of installation, the new products are characterized by high resource efficiency and technical finesse.
The innovative power, which is above average in a sector comparison, is essential to the Group's success. It is based on its own successful and wide-ranging research and development (R&D) activities. In the reporting year, the Group invested CHF 55.8 million (previous year CHF 50.9 million) or 2.3% of sales in upcoming products. Expenditures increased by 9.6% year-on-year. Additionally, as part of the investments in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets, considerable sums were invested in tools and equipment for the production of newly developed products. The company applied for 20 patents in 2014, bringing the total for the last five years to 103.
All new product developments go through a structured innovation and development process, which ensures that the Group’s creative potential is used to the optimum extent and that the development activities focus on the needs of the market. Customer benefits and a system approach are of central importance here.
Broad know-how in technology and innovation
Design, comfort, drinking water hygiene, fire protection, sound insulation, hydraulics and sustainability – Geberit has in-depth expertise in all these areas. Innovations are developed within the team and are often tested in different markets. To support its internationalization efforts, the Group maintains development competence centers of its own in China and the USA.
The new shower toilet Geberit AquaClean Mera, which will be available from September 2015, is a good example of how networked expertise can trigger a leap in innovation in several respects. Despite possessing many new comfort functions, it was possible to significantly reduce energy and water consumption compared to its similarly positioned predecessor – the AquaClean 8000plus.
New products for technicians and designers
The following products were newly launched on the market in 2014:
- The flushing system Omega features extra-small actuator plates and a cistern that offers the greatest possible flexibility in any room layout thanks to its three installation heights. Depending on the room layout, the high-quality actuator plates can be mounted on the cistern either from the front or the top.
- The thin actuator plate Sigma70 floats a few millimeters in front of the wall and impresses with its refined elegance. Thanks to patented servo technology, a gentle press suffices to trigger the dual flush.
- The Monolith Plus sanitary module sets new standards in both comfort and style. It features extras such as an integrated odor extraction unit and a discreet, indirect LED light for orientation at night.
- A further development of a product already successfully introduced on the market is the attractive wall drain for showers. This elegant solution can be installed virtually anywhere thanks to its extra-flat trap and is also ideally suited for renovations.
- The flow-optimized Sovent fittings facilitate an optimal layout of waste water discharge stacks in high-rises. The fitting ensures pressure compensation and increases the discharge rate by 40%, and also permits the use of relatively small-sized discharge stacks even in very tall buildings.
- Drainage pipes made of polyethylene can be connected to one another in a permanent and impermeable manner. This can be achieved using an electrofusion sleeve coupling or an electrofusion coupling with integrated thermal fuse, among others. New tools such as the electrofusion machine ESG3 and the pipe scraper greatly facilitate this work on the building site or in the workshop.
For more details on new products in 2014, see the Product Magazine 2014.
Several new product launches are planned for 2015:
- The new shower toilet Geberit AquaClean Mera is a premium-class complete solution featuring the highest levels of comfort. Designed by Christoph Behling and developed by Geberit, the new shower toilet blends harmoniously into any bathroom environment. The patented WhirlSpray shower technology ensures thorough, gentle cleaning while using less energy and water. A hybrid hot water system featuring a combination of continuous flow heater and boiler ensures an immediate and constant supply of warm water. A further innovation is the TurboFlush flush technology, which ensures an efficient and quiet flush using 4.5 liters of water thanks to the specially developed, rimless inner geometry of the WC ceramic appliance. Additional comfort functions include WC-seat heating, odor extraction and an orientation light. All functions can be programmed according to personal preferences using an elegant remote control.
- The launch of the shower channels CleanLine will see the introduction of a new generation of drains and shower channels for floor-even showers. These products impress thanks to their attractive design and high practical suitability, the latter of which is evident both during installation and in everyday use. Every detail, from the hydraulic design of the flat trap unit and the installation and sealing technique right through to the design of the shower channel and comb insert, is in line with pioneering standards in sanitary technology. The CleanLine shower channels can also be cleaned both quickly and thoroughly, which represents a major plus for the end user.
- The compact Geberit sanitary flush unit with new control and sensor technology helps to prevent microbial contamination of water pipes by automatically flushing them when required, thus ensuring that stagnating drinking water is regularly replaced in buildings such as hotels, schools and sports stadiums. With a flexible flush performance of 4, 10 and 15 liters per minute, the sanitary flush unit can be connected to up to two water pipes. It is equipped with an integrated backpressure sensor and can be connected to temperature and volumetric flow rate sensors. The unit is operated and programmed via smartphone.
For more details on new products in 2015, see the Product Magazine 2015.