The Schaeffler Group is now ranked in the top 10 most innovative companies in Germany, according to the latest patent registration figures released by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office.
Schaeffler KG, which includes the INA Group, FAG Group and LuK Group, now stands in eighth place in the rankings, with a total of 605 patents granted in 2008, with LuK ranked 21st with 221 patents. This means that together, INA, FAG and LuK is currently the fifth most innovative company submitting patent applications in Germany. Together with its other group companies, including IDAM (INA Drives & Mechatronics), AFT, The Barden Corporation, FAG Industrial Services, etc), the Schaeffler Group applied for more than 1250 new patents in 2008, which represents an average of more than five patents per working day.
Dr Peter Gutzmer, a member of the Schaeffler Group's Executive Management Board responsible for Technical Product Development and in charge of the Group's worldwide R&D activities, considers this strength in innovation to be one of the company's mainstays. He points out: "The Schaeffler Group's firmly entrenched roots in over 60 different industrial sectors give us the opportunity that hardly any other company has, to transfer our expertise and to introduce this into new solutions. Our customers in the automotive industry benefit from this and so do our customers in other industrial sectors."
Development efforts at Schaeffler focus on new developments aimed at more efficient use of resources. One example is the company's fully variable MultiAir valve train. Developed by the Schaeffler Group in collaboration with Fiat Powertrain, it was recently presented to the general public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. Compared with conventional engines, the result is up to 25 per cent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as enhanced driving dynamics.
With more than 1250 patent applications annually and some 14,700 patents in force, the Schaeffler Group has always been a pioneer of industrial innovation. Some 5200 employees in 30 development centres worldwide are working on new power transmission products for machines and vehicles. In the automotive field, the product range comprises components and systems for engines, transmissions and chassis applications, and the application spectrum in the industrial sector spans from wind turbines and production machinery through to medical equipment.
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office disclosed the number of patent applications for 2008 on 16 March 2009.