The goals of our research and development activities focus on making fluid transport more efficient, more reliable and more cost-effective. Across the globe, our development specialists work in international teams often supported by renowned universities and institutes. Our expenses in this area totalled € 58 million for the year under review (previous year: € 49 million). This equates to an unchanged 2 % of our sales revenue. At 600 (previous year: 588), the number of staff working in research and development has remained almost constant.
One focus of our work was on exploring the potential that a future-oriented field such as Industry 4.0 offers for our business. The development of our KSB Sonolyzer app represents the first step towards utilising the possibilities of cyber-physical systems for industrial centrifugal pumps. The application is suitable for smartphones or tablets and helps operators boost the productivity of their systems. The app enables a user to determine the efficiency of a fixed-speed pump in just 20 seconds. This product won KSB the Process Innovation Award in the Pumps and Compressors category at Achema 2015.
Aiming to position ourselves as a full-range supplier for circulators, we expanded our Calio series in 2015. This involved developing additional hydraulic sizes, designing a twin pump variant and extending the performance range by means of a new motor concept. We also integrated the technology acquired via our subsidiary Smedegaard into KSB’s existing platforms. Calio’s success in 2015 suggests that this work will pay off in the short and medium term.