Research and development R&D ensures growth in core markets

Oerlikon’s business success builds on a solid foundation: with extensive and coordinated efforts in research and development (R&D), the Segments ensure that they can also meet the changing challenges of the markets and the extremely high demands of customers both today and in the future.

A key strength of the Group rests on developing leading-edge technology to maintain its competitive advantage and leadership position. Today, Oerlikon has value-enhancing proprietary tech­nologies for surface solutions and advanced materials, the man­ufacturing of manmade fibers and polycondensation systems, and drives and shifting solutions for vehicles and machinery.

Many of the key megatrend challenges can be solved through engineering innovations. Increasing the efficiency of mobility, im­proving the performance and functionality of goods and systems, efficient use of energy, and contributing to environmental sus-tainability will continue to feature in the innovative technologies of Oerlikon. Oerlikon also seeks to enhance its processes and

services through innovation to create further value for customers. The imperative for continuous improvement drives the creation of new innovative products, such as the Surface Solution Segment’s metal powders and coatings, which satisfy the grow­ing demand for lighter materials, longer product lifespans, strengthened surface properties, increased performance and multi-functionalities.

R&D expenditures remain at a constantly high level

In 2015, Oerlikon continued to invest around 4 % of Group sales in R&D, corresponding to CHF 103 million. More than 1 350 en­gineers and scientists work for the Group worldwide. In 2015, Oerlikon filed 86 patents for new inventions to protect its intel­lectual property.

Tapping into new markets and applications

Just as important is the adaptation of products and solutions to new target markets and applications, such as

  • the development of production solutions for technical textiles for the construction industry
  • the design of a power train specifically optimized for hybrid vehicles
  • the coating of airplane engine and landing gear components