Blending exceptional quality with incredible innovation, Swiss-made products have established an outstanding reputation in a very diverse range of fields

Although it teems with well-trained human resources, Switzerland’s lack of natural resources and high costs structure mean it will never be a mass production hub like China or Mexico. Instead, Swiss firms have chosen to concentrate on niche goods and on perfecting the technological know-how acquired over many decades to produce exclusive, innovative and quality-focused products in a broad range of traditional and modern industries. The ‘Made in Switzerland’ brand, which applies when at least 60% of the production costs of a product are realised locally, is undoubtedly one of the most respected in the world and implies impeccable quality and innovation. Ranging from gems, metal and minerals to electrical components, pharmaceuticals and medical products, fine confectionary and luxury watches, the country has carved itself an unrivalled reputation. Swiss exports totalled almost $300 billion in 2017. Flagship Swiss chocolatiers include household names such as Lindt, Cailler (part of industry titan Nestlé) but also numerous exquisite connoisseur brands like Villars, whose exceptional milk chocolates are rapidly conquering American palates; fine-biscuit-maker Kambly; and dairy-giant Emmi Group whose products have found their way onto many foreign supermarket shelves. Precision timepieces, one of the country’s other emblems, are exported for a value of $20 billion yearly. Some well-known creators include Swatch, Rolex, Breitling, Richard Mille and Tag Heuer. Healthcare is another noticeable field where Swiss enterprises perform very well, driven by multinational pharmaceutical names like Novartis and Hoffmann-La Roche, which invest billions in R&D each year to pioneer new medicines. Last but not least, Switzerland’s high-tech industrial giants like ABB, Stadler Rail, Garaventa, Bühler Group and Oerlikon make a huge global contribution with their state-of-the-art machinery, systems and industrial technologies.

Michael Süss, Chairman, Oerlikon

Swiss rail firms on right track

Traveling across Switzerland, one can’t help but wonder at the country’s stupendous, efficient and reliable railway and train systems. Much of them are the work of Stadler Rail, an experienced train manufacturer that is a pioneer of new technologies and tailors its rolling stock to its customers’ individual needs. If 98% of all lines in Switzerland are electrified, in the US and many parts of the world, non-electrified lines dominate. As governments place more emphasis on green technologies and climate change prevention, the focus is gradually switching from diesel-powered engines to more energy-efficient technologies. With that in mind, the firm launched a new zero-emission train, FLIRT Akku in late 2018. The cutting-edge, prototype version of its FLIRT family of electric multiple-units is equipped with a battery for use on non-electrified or partly-electrified routes. Capitalizing on its revolutionary transport technology know-how and expertise, Stadler recently opened a state-of-the-art plant in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2016, the firm won a near $500-million contract from California’s Caltrain for 16 double-deck trains. “We certainly see great potential in the US market, which is why we established a plant in Utah,” says Stadler CEO Thomas Ahlburg. The senior executive is certainly very upbeat about his company’s prospects in the lucrative US market, as he explains: “The majority of trains in the US are rather old fashioned, so the introduction of our new double-deck trains will be a real game changer. This is because they are geared toward the specific market needs in the Silicon Valley area.
“With our quality products, we can contribute to a real quality of life and we want to expand our operations in the US.”

Innovative Swiss firms are vital for driving global development

A global leader in manufacturing, Switzerland is bringing the latest technologies to life in a diverse range of sectors

Medical compression garments contribute to health and well-being, and boost vitality. Traditionally used by hospital patients as well as those with venous disorders, the use of compression garments is now more widely spread among the population. For example, non-patients such as frequent travellers worried about deep vein thrombosis, pregnant women and professional sportsmen are wearing the high-tech socks, stockings and upper-limb apparel. At home, work or while playing sports, the latest compression garments enable people to enjoy more comfortable lives. This is due to breakthroughs in the technology, design and aesthetic appeal of compression products. For a long time, people worried about their personal appearance while wearing compression garments. Today, a wide range of fashionable products are available, which means that compression garments are used far more widely than in previous decades.

With roots stretching back to 1864, the Swiss family-owned SIGVARIS GROUP is a highly experienced medtech company that specializes in the manufacture of medical compression solutions like stockings and socks. The production of functional textiles is one of the most demanding technical processes in the textile industry. For medical compression stockings, the demands are even higher. Therefore, the famous Swiss standards of quality are integral to all processes and a highly qualified staff is committed to manufacturing products of the top quality.

SIGVARIS GROUP employs over 1,600 people and operates five production plants, including facilities in St. Gallen, Switzerland and Peachtree in the US. The group also has active subsidiaries in Germany, Austria, England, Italy, Canada, China, Australia, Mexico and a branch in the United Arab Emirates, as well as distributors in more than 70 countries on all continents. SIGVARIS GROUP, noted for its use of double-covered yarn, produces a combined nine million pairs of stockings a year. Customers include pharmacies, and durable medical equipment, orthopaedic and medical specialist stores as well as doctors and hospitals. SIGVARIS GROUP designs and manufactures award-winning compression garments. With a focus on three main areas — medical, sports and well-being — the firm’s product portfolio caters for people of all ages and conditions. The medical compression therapy solutions respond to the different needs of people with venous disorders. Sports products improve athlete performance and recovery time, while well-being stockings have a preventive function and relieve early symptoms of leg conditions.

“All of our products have a proven medical effect and are based on state-of-the-art knowledge in medical science, material science and manufacturing technologies,” says SIGVARIS GROUP CEO, Andreas Schönenberger; “We invest a lot of research in the yarns and their properties for patients and consumers. This means all our products are developed in close collaboration with leading medical experts in the area of phlebology and lymphology. “Our range of garments is stylish, elegant, and they come in numerous colors, patterns and sizes in various compression classes, but they are always comfortable and help people feel their best, every day.”

San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower is fitted with Schindler’s digitized elevators

Shaping urbanization and mobility for tomorrow

Groundbreaking Swiss engineering keeps people in the world’s cities moving safely, efficiently and reliably

The world’s cities are growing rapidly. Today, about 4.2 billion people live in our urban centers and the UN says that could rise to 6.7 billion by 2050. As cities become more populated, the main way to increase living space is to build upward. “Today, the key obstacle to this is the ability to transport people in a safe and reliable way. That is where the Schindler Group comes in,” says Silvio Napoli, chairman of the leading provider of escalators, elevators and moving walkways that equip all types of buildings around the world. Established over 145 years ago in Switzerland, Schindler has a long-standing presence in more than 100 countries and 1,000 offices worldwide. “We move over one billion people every day, which is remarkable when compared to the 200,000 passengers the world’s busiest airport, Altanta, transports each day,” notes Napoli.

Silvio Napoli, Chairman, Schindler Group

Pioneering technologies

With revenues rising by almost 7% in 2018, the company’s differential is as a technology pioneer, he says: “For Schindler, innovation is not an option but our raison d’être. Our research and development centers are in the countries where we operate, so we can design and produce for the local market.” So successful is this approach that in the US, for example, where it has two factories, many people believe Schindler is actually an American company. “We constantly bring groundbreaking innovation in software, hardware and user experience to the market,” says Napoli. “Last year, for instance, we launched our Robotic Installation System for Elevators that couples artificial intelligence with elevator technology to make work more safe, efficient and accurate. It is being deployed around the world, is shortlisted for the Council of Tall Building and Urban Habitat’s innovation award and is revolutionary,” he adds. Another recent innovation to make city living easier is Schindler Ahead. This intelligent Internet-of-Things system gathers data from elevator and escalator units that the company can use to enhance customer experience, improve reliability and safety, and further optimize its product portfolio. As Napoli says, “Schindler is a proud enabler of urbanization and will continue to play a vital role in shaping that trend.”

Medical compression garments improve health and well-being

At home, work or during sports, the latest compression garments enable people to enjoy more comfortable lives

Medical compression garments contribute to health and well-being, and boost vitality. Traditionally used by hospital patients as well as those with venous disorders, the use of compression garments is now more widely spread among the population. For example, non-patients such as frequent travellers worried about deep vein thrombosis, pregnant women and professional sportsmen are wearing the high-tech socks, stockings and upper-limb apparel. At home, work or while playing sports, the latest compression garments enable people to enjoy more comfortable lives. This is due to breakthroughs in the technology, design and aesthetic appeal of compression products. For a long time, people worried about their personal appearance while wearing compression garments. Today, a wide range of fashionable products are available, which means that compression garments are used far more widely than in previous decades.

With roots stretching back to 1864, the Swiss family-owned SIGVARIS GROUP is a highly experienced medtech company that specializes in the manufacture of medical compression solutions like stockings and socks. The production of functional textiles is one of the most demanding technical processes in the textile industry. For medical compression stockings, the demands are even higher. Therefore, the famous Swiss standards of quality are integral to all processes and a highly qualified staff is committed to manufacturing products of the top quality.

Andreas Schönenberger, CEO, SIGVARIS GROUP

SIGVARIS GROUP employs over 1,600 people and operates five production plants, including facilities in St. Gallen, Switzerland and Peachtree in the US. The group also has active subsidiaries in Germany, Austria, England, Italy, Canada, China, Australia, Mexico and a branch in the United Arab Emirates, as well as distributors in more than 70 countries on all continents. SIGVARIS GROUP, noted for its use of double-covered yarn, produces a combined nine million pairs of stockings a year. Customers include pharmacies, and durable medical equipment, orthopaedic and medical specialist stores as well as doctors and hospitals. SIGVARIS GROUP designs and manufactures award-winning compression garments. With a focus on three main areas — medical, sports and well-being — the firm’s product portfolio caters for people of all ages and conditions. The medical compression therapy solutions respond to the different needs of people with venous disorders. Sports products improve athlete performance and recovery time, while well-being stockings have a preventive function and relieve early symptoms of leg conditions.

“All of our products have a proven medical effect and are based on state-of-the-art knowledge in medical science, material science and manufacturing technologies,” says SIGVARIS GROUP CEO, Andreas Schönenberger; “We invest a lot of research in the yarns and their properties for patients and consumers. This means all our products are developed in close collaboration with leading medical experts in the area of phlebology and lymphology. “Our range of garments is stylish, elegant, and they come in numerous colors, patterns and sizes in various compression classes, but they are always comfortable and help people feel their best, every day.”