Innovation as the foundation for future growth
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 77 million (previous year CHF 78 million) – or 2.5% 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. In the reporting year, 29 patents were applied for. Aside from 2018, this is in line with the long-term average. In the last five years, Geberit has applied for a total of 163 patents.
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Number of new patents
The scientists and engineers at Geberit have the very latest equipment at their disposal for their development projects. For example, they use several state-of-the-art 3D printers for making prototypes. In the reporting year, a scanning electron microscope for material analysis was added to the infrastructure for materials technology, whilst an additional test facility for standard-compliant sound measurements was set up at the Building Technology and Acoustics Laboratory.
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, quality and a system approach are of central importance here.
New products for sophisticated markets
Among others, the following products were newly launched on the market in 2019:
- The bathroom series Geberit ONE combines Geberit’s know-how in sanitary technology and ceramics expertise. The system solution offers an appreciably better quality of life. In concrete terms, this means greater cleanliness, more space and greater flexibility. Sanitary professionals benefit from increased planning reliability and more efficient workflows.
- The SuperTube technology is a space-saving alternative to the conventional discharge stack layout in high-rise buildings. SuperTube ensures a continuous column of air throughout the discharge stack and enables horizontal pipes of up to six metres in length without a slope. This renders the installation of a separate ventilation pipe in the discharge stack unnecessary.
- The new DuoFresh odour extraction unit removes unpleasant odours directly from the WC ceramic appliance. It can be installed in all cisterns from the Sigma range, including as a retrofitted solution. In addition to the air filter, the module has an orientation light and an insert for in-cistern blocks.
- The successful Geberit AquaClean Sela shower toilet underwent a technical redevelopment. It now offers even more comfort – for example in the form of WhirlSpray shower technology – and also impresses thanks to a more economical use of water and electricity. Thanks to its redesign, it is now among the most elegant shower toilets on the market.
For more details on new products in 2019, see the magazine Facts & Figures 2019.
Several new product launches are planned for 2020. These will include the following:
- The particularly high-quality CleanLine 80 model will be added to the successful shower channel portfolio. It is available in various metal colours and comes with a collector profile with integrated slope, which further simplifies installation by the tiler.
- The Geberit Pluvia roof drainage system is designed for use on large and extremely large roofs. The system is used all over the world – including in monsoon regions. Geberit Pluvia works according to the principle of negative pressure, meaning water is suctioned off the roof. Newly developed fastening elements ensure maximum stability for pipes installed underneath the roof, which are subjected to heavy loads.
- The trend towards individualisation also brings with it increasing demands from end users. With this in mind, the high-quality actuator plates Sigma50 and Sigma21 are available in a wide range of different materials and models that can be combined with each other in a variety of ways.
- The Selnova and Renova bathroom series in the lower and middle price segment have been expanded with the addition of various ceramic sanitary appliances with optimised designs. Thanks to the depth of the product range, both series are used regularly in project business and in bathroom renovations.
For more details on new products in 2020, see the magazine Facts & Figures 2020.