Innovation, Research & Development
PALFINGER has always been considered a technology leader and a driver of innovation. The company underscores this claim with in-house research and development facilities, its corporate incubator PALFINGER 21st, and a research and development ratio of 3.1 percent.
Research & Development (R&D)
The PALFINGER brand stands for innovative, reliable, and efficient lifting solutions, the advantages of which create monetary value added for customers throughout the products’ lifecycles. The brand promise is therefore: LIFETIME EXCELLENCE. In order to maintain and expand its leadership in technology and service, PALFINGER is boosting research and development (R&D) relating to products, systems, and processes. R&D activities are long term and performed in a targeted manner. Core R&D competencies have been bundled in centers of excellence (CoEs) in the new GPO. This is intended to promote synergies in product development across regions.
With the introduction of the GPO, three CoEs were established within the Product Line Management & Engineering Organization (PLM & E Organization) global function. The aims of the CoEs are to provide uniform skills and competencies across all product lines, to introduce uniform and standardized processes, methods and tools, and to establish and maintain a standard modular construction kit for parts and components.
PALFINGER had a total of 73 active domestic and international patents in 2019. A large number of patents are in preparation and in the application process to protect additional novel and innovative solutions as well as critical intellectual property.
Innovations in 2019:
- PALFINGER Lubricants: significantly extend the replacement cycle for hydraulic oil
- Fleet and Operator Monitor: a direct view of the data from the PALFINGER systems
- Best Invest: a calculation of a product’s lifecycle costs
- PL Crane: Smart Boom Control - the innovative crane tip control
- PL Tail-lift product line: four-cylinder MBB PTC 750 S, reduced product’s weight by 13 percent, thus contributing to lower vehicle fuel consumption
- PL Hooklift: a new hydraulic fast unloading system, a new hydraulic supply system for telescopes, and a new container handling system
- PL Davits: development of a uniform modular construction kit
- PL Railway: Crawler crane replaces helicopter operations
- PL Platforms: P250AJTK offers working heights of 15 m to 25 m, can alternatively be driven by an electric motor
The PALFINGER 21st strategic pillar has been organizationally defined as a separate corporate function that openly and flexibly promotes digital ideas and — disruptive — innovations. This ensures that new things can emerge in addition to PALFINGER’s successful business.
PALFINGER 21st is based on the readiness to try out ideas quickly and to learn from mistakes. In addition to collaborations with different partners, digital innovation and maximum creativity are key factors for success in this area.
PALFINGER 21st thus follows the open innovation approach. It is being implemented through collaboration with international technology companies, through cooperation with the Viennese start-up center weXelerate, and by conducting hackathons. This gives PALFINGER 21st access to external expertise. Within PALFINGER, ideas are collected in think tanks and innovation competitions.
PALFINGER AG founded PALFINGER Structural Inspection GmbH (STRUCINSPECT), in Vienna, together with VCE Vienna Consulting Engineers ZT GmbH and the ANGST GROUP in fiscal year 2019. STRUCINSPECT revolutionizes the inspection of railway and road bridges in particular. The combined use of drones, multispectral sensor technology, artificial intelligence, and three-dimensional data processing allows structures to be inspected in less time and in greater detail than before.
Developments in digitalization
- Telematics system with an integrated cloud connection enables networked work and bi-directional communication
- PL Hooklift: TOUCH HMI including a cabin-side joystick - improves the human-machine interface
- PL Timber & Recycling: a new arm system for the Next Epsolution series with integrated sensor technology
- PL Crane: telematics modules as standard in all SH and TEC cranes
- PALFINGER Smart Eye: data glasses support service technicians in error analysis and repair of PALFINGER products
- PALFINGER Connected: higher efficiency for fleets, trucks, and cranes