Innovation as the foundation for future growth
Geberit’s culture of innovation, 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 75 million (previous year CHF 77 million) – or 2.5% of net sales – was invested in the development and improvement of products, processes 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, 37 patents were applied for, which is above the long-term average. In the last five years, Geberit has applied for a total of 176 patents.
(in CHF million)
|In % of net sales||2.6||2.7||2.5||2.5||2.5|
Number of new patents
The scientists and engineers at Geberit have the very latest technologies and laboratory infrastructures at their disposal for their development projects. In the reporting year, various test equipment was modernised and expanded, in the latter case primarily for the quality and materials tests carried out on bathroom furniture. Furthermore, additional capacities were created for the development and programming of electronic controls and the establishment of a mechatronics laboratory. As a result, Geberit is well equipped to deal with future requirements in terms of bringing together sanitary technology and building service management systems.
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 as well as the consistent strengthening of the brand identity are of central importance here.
New products for sophisticated markets
Among others, the following products were newly launched on the market in 2020:
- The particularly high-quality CleanLine 80 model was 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, even in the case of large ceramic or natural stone.
- The Geberit Pluvia roof drainage system is designed for use on large and extremely large flat and special roofs. The system is used all over the world – including in monsoon regions. 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 directly 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 middle and lower 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 publication Facts & Figures 2020.
Several new product launches are planned for 2021. The most important products are as follows:
- With FlowFit, Geberit is introducing a new piping system for drinking water and heating applications. FlowFit consists of two components – newly developed connection technology and proven, lightweight pipes made of plastic and aluminium (or all-plastic pipes for heating applications). The pressfittings in the connection technology not only set new standards in terms of easy and reliable installation, but also in terms of their flow characteristics. With over 400 different fittings in eight different pipe dimensions, the supply system is suitable for all installation tasks inside buildings. The development of FlowFit all the way through to series production is one of the biggest development projects in the history of Geberit.
- The integrated bathroom series Geberit ONE launched in 2019 will be expanded with numerous components and configuration options. At the washbasin area, additional washbasin models in various widths and depths will be on offer, together with matching cabinets, trap types and taps. Furthermore, an intuitively controlled lighting concept was developed for mirror cabinets.
- In order to prevent drinking water from stagnating in pipes, leading to the rapid multiplication of germs and bacteria, the Geberit portfolio has included sanitary flush units for many years. These electronically controlled devices ensure that drinking water installations are regularly flushed. Sanitary flush units that are directly integrated in the concealed cistern are now also available. This means an additional drainage connection is no longer required during installation.
- Developed for markets in Asia and Africa, the robust, easy-to-install Alpha concealed cistern 12 cm offers high levels of operational reliability at a low price. Depending on the installation situation, the actuator plate for flush actuation can be mounted on the top or front of the cistern on this model.
- The end user app for Geberit AquaClean shower toilets has been enhanced with the addition of a remote maintenance option. In the event of a malfunction, customers can then call up a rapid diagnosis – and even request a rectification of the malfunction – via remote maintenance.
For more details on new products in 2021, see the publication www.geberit.com/products/new-products/.