Last year Endress+Hauser filed more patents than ever before, demonstrating the family-owned business’ commitment to success through product innovation. The automation and measurement instrumentation specialist employs over 700 people in research and development to enable customers worldwide to make their processes safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly.
The patent department at the Endress+Hauser Group cannot complain about a lack of work: the organisations developers have never filed as many inventions as they did last year. In 2014, a total of 337 submissions came from teams from different sites and locations, with 259 of these scrutinised and eventually filed as patents. The number of active industrial property rights has now topped 6000 – yet another indication of the innovation of this globally competitive group of companies.
It was in flow, level and analysis measurement technology that the company filed most new technical applications. “Innovative products which give our customers added value are our biggest strength, especially in these times of economic uncertainty,” says Michael Ziesemer, deputy CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group. “An invention is usually not worth much before it has proved its success in the market. Only about 30% of all patents reach a level of economic relevance – often after many years. But they are crucially important for the growth of our group of companies. Protecting achievements at the earliest possible point in time is our life assurance.”
One in 16 people working for the Endress+Hauser Group is in one way or the other employed in research and development and works every day to find solutions for problems – new and old – in measurement and automation engineering. An important role in Endress+Hauser’s innovation process is played by what is known as the customer parliaments, where experts meet customers from the various industrial sectors to find out more about their needs and requirements. “Learning from the customer has always been a principle held in high regard by Endress+Hauser,” says Ziesemer. “Our corporate culture which cultivates and promotes a spirit of research also involves honouring our inventors and innovators during the annual Innovators’ Meeting, held this year in Switzerland. All 344 people who were involved in patent applications in 2014 were invited and rewarded.”
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