The Viessmann Group entered its one hundredth anniversary year at the ISH Energy trade fair (Frankfurt, March 14th-18th) with the launch of a new motto: “Into a new century.”
The leading international manufacturer of heating, industrial and refrigeration systems illustrated its path towards a new digital and carbon-neutral century
and demonstrated how it will support its partners and customers to align their companies with the requirements of the future. The Viessmann Group experienced positive sales growth in a declining market in 2016; 2017 will see examples of recent investments come to fruition. Speaking in Frankfurt, the president of the company’s executive board, Professor Martin Viessmann, emphasised: “In this, our anniversary year, the task before us once again is to see the major challenges that face us as opportunities. We see the energy transition on one hand and digitalisation on the other.”
Digitalisation: extensive support for professional contractors
“Digitalisation is the single greatest structural change our industry has been faced with. It offers our market partners completely new possibilities to create an even better customer experience, while gaining them time, reducing complexity and increasing their business success, for example through predictive maintenance and the control of heating systems using mobile devices,” said Maximilian Viessmann, the fourth generation to be responsible for the company
and the Group’s Chief Digital Officer.
Viessmann’s main focus will be on digital services, which are key to the future of professional contracting – from quick, online tender preparation to support during the installation phase through to ongoing operations and, finally, modernisation. The company is pushing forward its comprehensive digital transformation on three levels:
Creating a forward-looking and entrepreneurial culture and digitalising all key internal processes.
Developing digital products and business models that are close to the core business. An example of this is “Digital Energy Solution,” a joint venture with BMW that offers digital solutions for increasingly flexible energy markets.
Diversification by investing in new business segments, particularly in the area known as Deep Tech – including the venture capital fund Vito Ventures (vito.vc) and the company Builder WATTx (wattx.io).
Solutions for the “energy transition”
As part of a transition to using energy from carbon-neutral, sustainably-generated electricity as a key fuel source, Viessmann presented a new energy management system (EMS) at ISH. The EMS optimises the generation and consumption of electrical energy in a building and controls current-based components for sector coupling such as photovoltaic systems, heat pumps and battery storage systems.
The most innovative form of combined heat and power generation is fuel cell heating. Viessmann successfully introduced the device to the market as a world first, and is already working on the next generation of this pioneering technology. In addition, Viessmann demonstrated innovative technologies with a
high degree of energy efficiency for all fuel sources and areas of application. These included highly efficient condensing boilers in combination with solar heat, biomass heating systems, heat pumps, also as hybrid systems.
Growth in sales and turnover
In 2016, Viessmann performed well in a difficult market environment by growing sales by 2.8 percent in a heating sector that saw a 3 percent worldwide decline. Turnover was up 1.4 percent at € 2.25 billion. International sales accounted for 54 percent of that total. The number of employees rose by around 3 percent to 12,000.
“The market numbers have shown once again: modernisation of the heating market has failed to get going to the extent which is necessary to achieve the climate protection targets”, said Viessmann Group CEO Joachim Janssen. “Against this backdrop, we are satisfied with how our company has performed last year.”
Investments at record high
Viessmann significantly increased its investment in the future of the company to € 130 million, which is 6 percent of the annual turnover. Key elements include:
● the Viessmann Innovation Center at the company’s headquarters in Allendorf, which are due to be officially opened on April 12, 2017 in the presence of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel;
● the new plant in Lipetsk (Russia), scheduled to be inaugurated in June 2017;
● new digital products, business models and diversification.