High level of investment as the basis 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 78 million (previous year CHF 78 million) – or 2.5% of 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 46 patents – which is well above the long-term average. This is mainly attributable to the development of Geberit ONE – a pioneering complete solution for the bathroom. In the last five years, Geberit has applied for a total of 154 patents.
(in CHF million)
|In % of sales||2.7||2.4||2.6||2.7||2.5|
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 highly productive, state-of-the-art 3D printers for making prototypes. In addition, a CT scanner installed during the reporting year allows them to measure all workpieces in a non-destructive, extremely precise manner, and to check these workpieces for any material defects. Compared to conventional measuring techniques, this saves a lot of time.
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.
New products for sophisticated markets
The following key products were newly launched on the market in 2018:
- The compact shower toilet Geberit AquaClean Tuma Classic complements the shower toilet range as a perfect entry-level model. This basic model offers the basic functions of a shower toilet, including WhirlSpray shower technology and a fully automatic descaling programme. It is offered as a complete solution with a rimless WC ceramic appliance or as a WC enhancement solution.
- The energy retaining valve is mounted on ventilation pipes which protrude from the roofs of many buildings and ensures pressure compensation in the discharge pipes. It opens only when pressure compensation is required. The rest of the time, it keeps the heat within the building and thereby saves a significant amount of energy.
- The manually adjustable sanitary flush unit Rapid flushes unused water pipes automatically and regularly. This prevents water from stagnating in a pipe over a longer period, which can lead to health risks.
- The VariForm washbasin range adds a more systematic approach and diversity to the range for public and private washbasin areas. The washbasins stand out due to their generous basin depth and high-quality ceramics. They are available in the four basic shapes round, oval, elliptic and rectangular, with a lay-on, countertop and under-countertop model available for each shape.
For more details on new products in 2018, see the magazine Facts & Figures 2018.
Several new product launches are planned for 2019. These will include the following:
- The shower, washbasin area and toilet – the main areas in the bathroom – have a new common denominator: Geberit ONE. Geberit ONE combines Geberit’s know-how in sanitary technology and design expertise, and offers pioneering, fully integrated solutions for the entire bathroom. For end users, this results in more space and flexibility as well as less cleaning work. Geberit ONE also offers plumbers numerous benefits.
- With the launch of SuperTube technology, Geberit is offering a sophisticated alternative to the conventional discharge stack layout in high-rise buildings. Newly developed fittings prevent discharge pipes from filling up completely and generating unwanted suction effects as a result, even when subject to heavy use. This helps to save space as special ventilation pipes are then no longer required.
- A completely new AquaClean Sela shower toilet is to be brought to market six years after its original launch, offering features such as WhirlSpray shower technology, a discreet orientation light, and a newly developed continuous flow heater with an automatic descaling function. Thanks to rimless TurboFlush technology, the flushing of the ceramic appliance is not just very quiet, but also extremely thorough.
- The Smyle bathroom series, situated in the middle price segment, has been redesigned and now has an even more filigree and modern look. The design of the washbasins and furniture is coordinated in such a way that individual combinations are possible. Thanks to its square design language, the new wall-hung WC combines perfectly with the washbasins. It is very easy to clean on account of its rimless inner geometry and fully shrouded outer shape.
For more details on new products in 2019, see the magazine Facts & Figures 2019.