Innovative products and solutions
The permanent further development and improvement of existing products as well as the design of new, innovative products and solutions make a significant contribution to the long-term security and further expansion of Arbonia's market position. With the development of energy-efficient products and a consistent focus on green technologies and solutions, Arbonia creates further innovation impulses. Arbonia's innovations allow it to respond to the increasing requirements of customers, residents, and legislators. At the same time, the higher energy efficiency of these innovations helps to reduce energy consumption and thus achieve savings for customers as well.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Division
Energy efficiency thanks to new products
The HVAC Division strives to continuously add environmentally friendly and energy-saving products and solutions to its existing portfolio. This is of great interest to the division because traditional heat transfer media as well as modern indoor climate solutions benefit from the European subsidy programmes due to their contribution to reducing the CO2 emission of buildings and are therefore in great demand for new construction as well as for renovation. A current example for a corresponding product innovation is the newly developed storage system for electricity generated from solar energy. This product will be launched on the market in mid 2022 (see "Sustainable business development and market orientation", p. 82).
Another example for the innovative capability of the division is the electrostatic filter system "Crystall", which impresses with a 75% lower current consumption compared to conventional systems and has been in strong demand especially during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to its ability to purify air in indoor spaces.
At the HVAC Division, the development of a new heat pump generation and their own energy store proceeded as planned. Thanks to the technology used, the new energy store is considerably more ecological than conventional stores. Because the topic of sustainability is central in the area of indoor climate, this has top priority at the division and drives the company today and in the future – in the improvement of existing products and in the development of new ones as well as in further process optimisation.
The HVAC Division secures additional innovation impulses through participation in specialist trade fairs, studying specialist literature, cooperation in industry associations and standardisation committees, as well as consistent further training of employees. New developments are secured by applying for intellectual property rights if possible. The continuous and controlled product optimisation is ensured with regular reports to management as well as with a complete deadline and cost monitoring, among other things.
Action instead of reaction
The HVAC Division strives to consistently develop environmentally friendly and resource-saving products and solutions that are compatible with the economic balance of the company in the future as well. The stated goal is to identify changed market requirements – for example, due to new regulations and laws – early on and to offer new solutions proactively. A good example of this is found in the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) area at Sabiana: Because the regulations concerning air quality are changing and increasingly oriented to energy efficiency at the same time, the use of brushless DC motors (ECM) is progressively becoming standard. The revenue generated with such components has increased from 10 to 18% in the past five years and should grow to up to 20% of the total revenue of Sabiana by 2023.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many customer visits were cancelled again in this reporting year as well. Digital means of communication were all the more important – from webinars on various topics to the individualised homepages of the individual brands to product configurators based on augmented reality. The expanded use of these channels as well as the commitment to ensuring an optimum customer experience led to increased efforts in the area of digital security at the same time (see "Cybersecurity", p. 75).
Key figures of innovative products and solutions: HVAC Division
1 New products are defined as products introduced during the last three years.
Complete offer delights customers
The innovative products and solutions of the Doors Division are of critical importance to the struggle for new market shares. At the forefront is the production of wood and glass doors according to individual customer wishes as well as the development and manufacture of technical doors and fire protection doors as part of a joint project within the entire Wood Solutions Business Unit. The production is supplemented by various service solutions. For example, intensive support of customers during the construction phase is just as natural as maintaining the value of the manufactured products – for example, by providing specific cleaning agents and maintenance instructions.
An efficient use of resources allows lean production at the division, which also successfully cushions the increased cost pressure. The development of high-quality products with minimal material usage will remain one of the great challenges for the coming years as well. This is based on an in-depth market observation: With regular customer surveys, the division guarantees that the wishes and demands of the customers are considered and reflected in the innovation process. In product development, the division not only concentrates on technical progress but also on an innovative design that is equally convincing to users and fitters. Knowledge sharing between the companies and the division as well as contact with research centres is also an important tool, although the continuing COVID-19 pandemic sometimes makes this communication difficult.
With customer-oriented new developments, a consistent optimisation of portfolio and production as well as with a further strengthening of customer relations through the continuous expansion of the service offer, the division aims to strengthen its leading position in Switzerland, Germany, and in other markets. Concrete steps for this are the further expansion of digitisation and the reduction of packaging material – as well as the development of new production lines. A good example from the Wood Solutions Business Unit is the new functional doors that have been designed by the division's development team on the basis of extensive tests and certification steps. The introduction of products with different edge designs in respect to decor and material as well as the implementation of a new soft-forming technology with radius R4, a smaller and more modern radius for wooden doors from Invado, which offers customers products with enhanced aesthetics, is also innovative and in line with the current market trends. The new plant technology used for this purpose also offers additional advantages: It works more energy-efficiently, allows the production of special sizes in smaller quantities, and requires less material due to a new procedure.
Success monitoring for new developments is ensured with a systematic project management and regular reporting to management. Through their active participation in bodies and committees, the companies of both business units make an important contribution to developing future standards and regulations. In addition, this makes it possible to identify trends early on, in order to adapt the strategic orientation.
The success of the companies in the Doors Division was not only confirmed by numerous positive responses from customers in the reporting year, but also repeatedly documented by independent bodies. The Wood Solutions Business Unit with Prüm and Garant received the "Woody Award 2021" (awarded by the German Timber Trade Association) as an innovation prize for the point of experience and online configurator "DieTÜR". The Glass Solutions Business Unit with Kermi also won first place in the product group "Shower enclosures" in the biannual survey of the German trade journal "markt intern" for the ninth time in a row. The "White Line" of the company received three awards in 2021: the"German Design Award", the "IF Design Award", and the "Iconic Award". "Kermi EXTRA" was also named "Universal Design Winner Expert 2021".
Key figures of innovative products and solutions: Doors Division
1 New products are defined as products introduced during the last three years..