And the path to world-leading expertise is paved with innovation. Through innovative solutions, Waagner-Biro is able to transform the visions of planners, contract awarders and architects into reality. The company thus relies on consistent research and development activity with twin objectives: firstly the enhancement of general technological competence, and secondly project-based innovation. Since no two challenges are the same, there is a constant need for the latter kind of innovation, i.e. tailor-made solutions developed as needs dictate. Innovation is, however, invariably rooted in the broad technological expertise that Waagner-Biro is constantly striving to develop. A foundation of know-how refined over decades combined with ad hoc innovation comprises the cornerstone of Waagner-Biro’s superior expertise.
With a view to expanding the company’s technological expertise continually, Waagner-Biro collaborates with such leading educational and research bodies as the Fraunhofer Institute, ARC Seibersdorf Research, the University of Leoben and Vienna University of Technology.
Research and development has a bearing on the entire portfolio.
In the Steel and Glass Engineering division, for example, new developments tend to be driven by the ambitious ideas of clients and architects. These ideas have led to the deployment of glass needles as supporting members (a world first), the use of borosilicate glass in fire protection portals up to 3.4 metres in height and the development of a complex steel node. Current research activity is focused on the optimisation of free-formed surfaces. The company’s developments in this area have subsequently been applied to multi-award-winning projects.
In the bridge construction area, meanwhile, engineers are increasingly involved in developing bridge systems designed to support fast and uncomplicated infrastructure expansion. Waagner-Biro panel bridges, for example, promise rapid construction, short training times and straightforward installation.
The focus of long-term research activity in the Stage Systems area is the development of computer control systems for stage equipment as well as existing products such as gearless winches and components for telescopic stands. A ‘virtual theatre’ has also been developed: this three-dimensional, photorealistic stage equipment simulation and visualisation system will in future make it possible for all machinery and lighting processes to be realistically simulated via an actual control console.
Service and maintenance
The know-how of Waagner-Biro does not end with the handover of a project; it carries on into the service and maintenance subsequently provided. The company offers lifetime service on all of its constructions and installations; whether delivering ongoing maintenance or operational management, ad hoc support, upgrades, building alterations or extensions, Waagner-Biro specialists look after ‘their’ projects throughout the lifecycle (and even round the clock in emergencies).
Waagner-Biro’s expertise is embodied in its employees; with their commitment and know-how, the company’s staff are constantly imparting technical, methodological and linguistic knowledge. Continual education and training for staff is a top priority for Waagner-Biro as it seeks to uphold and enhance its innovative flair.