Ongoing high investment in the future
Geberit’s innovative strength, which is above average for the sector, is founded on its own, wide-ranging research and development (R&D) activities. In the reporting year, a total of CHF 72.3 million (previous year CHF 63.4 million) or 2.6% of net sales was invested in the development and improvement of processes, products and technologies. 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. Over the last financial year, Geberit applied for 32 patents, bringing the total for the last five years to 118.
(in CHF million)
|In % of net sales||2.6||2.5||2.7||2.4||2.6|
All product developments go through an established innovation and development process, which ensures that the Group’s creative potential and know-how are used to the optimum extent and that development activities focus on the needs of the market. Customer benefits and a system approach are of central importance here. Since the beginning of 2016, the development projects of the acquired Sanitary Ceramics business area have also been following this process.
Holistic solutions thanks to wide-ranging expertise
Geberit leads the sector when it comes to technologies such as virtual engineering, hydraulics, materials technology, sound insulation, statics, fire protection, hygiene, electronics, surface technology and process engineering. Thanks to the bundling of expertise under one roof, the company can develop sophisticated solutions in-house.
An example of this holistic approach is the Geberit tap system, which will be launched in the market in 2017. Electronic washbasin taps will be installed in the sanitary facilities of public or semi-public buildings such as airports, sport stadiums, schools and catering establishments. They enable a hygienic hand washing. These taps usually also save a lot of water. In high-traffic locations, however, they have to be quite robust to withstand rough treatment. Most electronic taps are standard washbasin-mounted taps. Wall-mounted taps are quite rare, even though they are much more practical. They leave the entire washbasin area free, which makes cleaning easier and the washing of hands a better ergonomic exercise. To date, however, there has been no way to safely and reliably install such systems. Geberit’s new tap system enables a new way of thinking: electronic tap systems can be flawlessly installed in the wall from the outset and are slim, shapely yet still very robust. With the exception of the infrared sensor, the electronics, mixer, valves and power supply are stored in a separate function box. This box is built into the prewall under the washbasin, which makes it easily accessible and also puts it outside of the wet zone. This opens up entirely new design opportunities. The tap system, which is also available in a washbasin-mounted version, not only offers an attractive price-performance ratio but also promises to be very economical; there are three available power supply options: connection to the mains supply, battery operation or a self-sustaining power supply by means of a generator unit driven by the pressure of the tap water.
New products for sophisticated markets
The following products were newly launched on the market in 2016:
- Geberit Silent-Pro, the highly sound-insulating building drainage plug-in system represents the state of the art, with a proven high degree of sound insulation, versatile fire protection solutions, simple installation, first-class materials and unrivalled quality. The sound insulation is largely achieved by a low-resonance product material and a consistent decoupling from the building structure.
- Whether urinal systems are needed for a stadium or for a modern hotel – with the new Geberit urinal system, such infrastructures can be tailored optimally to the customer’s needs. There is a choice between conventional water flush, individually programmed water flush or operation entirely without water. Rimless ceramic appliances and unobstructed access to all connections simplify cleaning and reduce maintenance costs.
- The ceramic appliances in the Glow bathroom range are characterised by their harmonious forms. The bath range, which is marketed under the IDO and Porsgrund brands in Northern Europe, comprises washbasins, WCs and bidets as well as bathroom furniture.
For more details on new products in 2016, see the magazine Facts & Figures 2016.
Several new product launches are planned for 2017. Among them will be:
- Geberit’s latest shower toilet Geberit AquaClean Tuma, which stands out with a sophisticated product concept and simple yet elegant design. It is offered as a complete solution including a rimless WC ceramic appliance. Alternatively, it is also available as a WC enhancement solution that can be combined with the previously installed ceramic appliances.
- The shower surface Geberit Setaplano is made from high-quality solid material. It feels warm, is non-slip and easy to clean. To simplify the work at the building site and ensure reliable sealing, as many components as possible are pre-mounted at the plant. New, ultra-flat traps were developed for the shower surface.
- The new modular Geberit tap system represents clever installation technology, different energy concepts and elegant wall-mounted or washbasin-mounted taps. The taps can be mounted quickly and flawlessly. Mixer, valves, electronics and power supply are stored in a function box, which is mounted under the washbasin where it is protected from moisture.
- The competitively priced new Geberit Volex supply system consists of multilayer pipes and brass press fittings. It is suitable for drinking water as well as heating installations. The range comprises all standard pipe diameters and fittings.
For more details on new products in 2017, see the magazine Facts & Figures 2017.