Research & development

As the global leader in braking system technologies for rail and commercial vehicles, Knorr-Bremse develops innovative products characterized by safety, quality, reliability and high customer benefits. It is our mission to keep developing sustainable mobility concepts for rail and road, and to achieve this we continuously expand our R&D activities in close collaboration with our customers.


The Group has 2,696 employees who work on new products, technologies and processes. In 2013, Knorr-Bremse invested EUR 253 million in R&D.


The innovative power of the Group is also reflected in its extensive patent portfolio, which includes 6,151 commercial property rights worldwide, of which 1,479 are in Germany alone. In 2012, 176 new inventions were registered throughout the world.


Sustainable product design – Ecodesign Project

For Knorr-Bremse, environmental compatibility and resource efficiency play an important role in the development of innovative technologies. The Ecodesign Project was started in the Rail Vehicle Systems division in order to further our commitment to product sustainability. This project involves analyzing the environmental impact of selected products across their entire life cycle and further optimizing their environmental compatibility. To achieve this, we have identified for each of our product groups criteria such as energy requirements during manufacturing and operation, use of critical materials, weight and disposal. With the help of an analysis of value creation chains, we can gain valuable insights into the use of materials and resources as well as into environmental compatibility during use. For example we have examined to what extent the use of lighter materials can minimize a vehicle’s total energy consumption.


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