Research and development

Total spending on research and development came to €67.5 million in the first half of 2016 (H1 2015: €64.1 million), which equates to 2.6 per cent of revenue. The number of full-time jobs in R&D stood at 1,036 as at 30 June 2016 (31 December 2015: 1,056).

To support the Strategy 2020, the new CTO organisation was successfully put in place in the first half of 2016. It covers product strategy, research and development, innovation, procurement, quality assurance and production systems. The key R&D projects relating to the reduction of emissions and fuel consumption, the modular and platform strategy, drive technology, automation and connectivity, and workplace safety and ergonomics continued. Numerous new developments were unveiled at trade fairs and customer events during the first half of the year. A particular focus was on automation solutions, which should be available for core product series in the medium term and, in combination with digital fleet management, will play a crucial role in increasing efficiency. The portfolio consists of picking solutions such as the iGo neo CX 20 robotics system from STILL as well as driverless, robot-controlled industrial trucks that Linde Material Handling is developing for its Linde-MATIC model series. In addition, STILL presented the LiftRunner tugger train system, an automated forklift-free solution for transporting materials within internal operations.

To expand the functionality of the ‘connect:’ fleet management solution and broaden its scope of application, LMH has developed a new localisation technology that pinpoints the location of trucks and transport containers to within centimetres in real time. Another new feature is the pre-op check app for ‘connect:’, which can be used to check all of a truck’s key parameters at the start of a shift. The truck cannot be activated until the driver has used the app to conduct this check. The ‘connect: desk’ software consolidates this information with other data and evaluates it. In the service business, Linde Material Handling is testing a mobile service manager app that sends requests, together with the truck’s QR code and a photo of the defective function, directly to the LMH service organisation. STILL has developed neXXt fleet, a new platform for intelligent and efficient fleet management that makes logistics processes simpler, faster, more cost-effective and transparent.

The KION Group continued to forge ahead with the development of lithium-ion drive systems in the reporting period. LMH showcased its first counterbalance trucks with lithium-ion batteries, which had previously only been fitted in pallet trucks, order pickers and tow tractors. Linde also presented warehouse trucks and counterbalance trucks fitted with hydrogen fuel cells. Alongside its existing fuel-cell-powered trucks, STILL also presented new lithium-ion trucks, including order pickers, tow tractors, low-lift and double-stacker pallet trucks and counterbalance trucks. STILL also converted a customer’s entire fleet to lithium-ion technology. LMH and STILL both further expanded their customer-specific products for optimising fleet deployment as a way of supporting logistics processes even more efficiently. The focus of development work at Baoli was the upgrading of its diesel engines to meet the new China 3 emissions standard. Baoli is also working on new electric counterbalance trucks. At Voltas, a total of six product series are currently being updated or are due for launch in 2016. > TABLE 17

Research and development (R&D)


in € million

Q2 2016

Q2 2015


Q1 – Q2 2016

Q1 – Q2 2015


Research and development costs (P&L)







Amortisation expense (R&D)







Capitalised development costs







Total R&D spending







R&D spending as percentage of revenue