Belimo AG – a company portrait
Belimo AG from Switzerland looks back on more than 40 years of successful company history. It was created 1975 by 6 experienced technical and high-level personnel from the industries climatic and control engineering. The 6 founders agreed to follow the lessons of the bottleneck concentrated strategy (abbreviated EKS) when setting up their company. A core sentence of this strategy is to concentrate on an urgent problem of its target group and to create a better solution than all competitors. One such problem was identified as the drives for ventilation flaps that were common at the time. These actuators had to be mounted on a console next to each damper. The connection to the flap was made via a linkage that had to be individually adapted to each flap. This made the assembly of the actuators very time-consuming and expensive. As a solution to this dilemma, the company founders developed the plug-in actuator, whose outgoing shaft was hollow and was simply pushed over the flap axis and fixed with a clamp. In this way, the time required to mount a damper actuator was reduced by around two thirds.
Implementation on the market
This solution was recognised and appreciated by experts. Nevertheless, many industry representatives smiled at the Belimo plan to establish a company on the market with just one single product. But just 10 years later, more than a million drives had been delivered and Belimo was about to conquer the world. Today, Belimo is the undisputed world market leader for actuators for ventilation flaps and valves. The plug actuator solution developed at that time has long been the standard and every manufacturer of valve actuators uses this principle.
Pioneering role and innovation
Over the years, the damper actuator has undergone continuous development and the product range has been expanded. The first actuator with a torque of 15 Nm was supplemented by further series with larger and smaller torques to meet customer requirements. Further major development steps were the introduction of spring return actuators for safety dampers and volume flow controllers. While the latter represented a major advance in comfort air conditioning through the possibility of demand-dependent ventilation, the former made a major contribution to improving fire and smoke protection in buildings.
New technical possibilities also flowed into the products in the following years. With the use of the brushless DC motor in 1992, the reliability and longevity of the drives was increased and at the same time a microprocessor was introduced into such drives for the first time. This joy of innovation, coupled with a constant focus on the needs and wishes of customers and on competitive prices, continues to this day. At the same time, we always pay attention to high quality. It is not for nothing that Swiss Quality is in demand all over the world and Belimo is one of the leaders here. This is also reflected in the unusually long guarantee period of 5 years for all the company’s products.
Development of new product ranges
At the end of the nineties of the last century, Belimo had achieved such a dominant position on the world market for damper actuators that further growth was hardly possible. At the same time, it seemed sensible to use the immense experience in the development and production of damper actuators in related industries as well. The company management therefore decided to enter the market for water applications. But this time, too, a further version of an already established product was not simply launched onto the market. Belimo remained true to itself and invented the control ball valve and actuator. Ball valves were previously only used as shut-off or changeover valves. With the control ball valve, it was possible to control the water with similar precision as with a valve, but at much lower cost. Since then, the product range for water applications has also been continuously further developed and expanded. Next steps were, for example, the introduction of globe valves with actuators, the pressure-independent control ball valve, the 6-way valve for heating and cooling with only one fitting and the Energy Valve with integrated sensors and intelligence.
The last major expansion of the product range to date took place in 2017 with the step into sensor technology. Belimo offers a wide range of sensors for temperature, pressure, humidity, air quality and flow rate for both air and water applications.
World market leader Belimo
The new product ranges are also recognised on the market and are frequently used. Belimo stands for innovation, quality, reliability, fair prices and customer orientation. In addition, customers can now buy many of the products required in the field from Belimo. This means that they only have one contact for a large number of products and need fear no compatibility problems. This provides security for customers and at the same time strengthens the company’s position. This gives Belimo the opportunity to continue to bring innovative products onto the market that are geared to the wishes of its customers and technical progress.
Image rights: From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, Author: Millions13