Becoming a World Market Leader with Sensor Technology

Interview with Bernd Kagerer, President Business Unit Entrance Automation of CEDES AG

Bernd Kagerer, President Business Unit Entrance Automation CEDES AG
Bernd Kagerer, President Business Unit Entrance Automation CEDES AG

The company started with elevator sensors. Over time, the expertise from the elevator sector was transferred to more and more other sectors, from escalators to pedestrian doors and industrial gates. Today, the Swiss company CEDES AG is among the world market leaders for innovative sensor technology for a wide range of applications. The industrial gate sector, in particular, is currently experiencing strong growth.

CEDES is among the world's leading providers of intelligent and secure sensor solutions for elevators, escalators, and doors. Since 1986, the Swiss sensor pioneers have been developing and producing optical sensors with infrared technology and image processing and today employ more than 350 staff members at their headquarters in the Science Park in Landquart in the canton of Grisons, as well as in branches in Romania, China, Japan, Singapore, and the USA. In addition, the company has sales partners all over the world.

"We are completely internationally oriented, but our values are deeply rooted in Switzerland; our management team consists of many nationalities," explains Bernd Kagerer, President Business Unit Entrance Automation. At the same time, however, they are also a medium-sized business, which is important for customers. "They must be able to rely on us." In particular, in the area of elevator sensors, CEDES is considered a global market leader.

CEDES Light Curtain GridScan/Smart Traffic
The IoT-enabled light curtain GridScan/Smart Traffic was awarded the R+T Innovation Prize 2024 in Silver
CEDES Light Curtain GridScan/Smart Traffic Analysis
The GridScan/Smart Traffic light curtain can identify objects as well as recognize the direction and speed of movement

"Our experiences and technologies from the elevator sector we transform into the industrial door sector and other sectors," says Bernd Kagerer, since 2021 at CEDES, when the sensor specialist for doors, VITECTOR, was acquired by CEDES. "Through the acquisition, we were able to double the industrial door sector at CEDES. Sensor technology is becoming increasingly important in this area." They also have many technologies and are very innovative in other sectors, such as person doors and warehouse management.

Awarded with Innovation Prize

CEDES has two major business units: Elevator & Escalator and Entrance Automation. Elevator & Escalator, meaning elevators and escalators, are responsible for about two-thirds of the sales, but the importance of Entrance Automation is increasing. This was shown most recently at the R+T in Stuttgart, the leading world trade fair for the industrial door sector, in February.

"Our message there was that now, after the acquisition of VITECTOR, we are a comprehensive provider of sensors for industrial doors," says Bernd Kagerer. At the fair, the IoT-capable light curtain GridScan/Smart Traffic by VITECTOR by CEDES was awarded the R+T Innovation Prize 2024 in silver in the category for drives and controls. "The IoT-capable light curtain can detect and evaluate goods flows, using AI or self-learning algorithms," explains Bernd Kagerer.

We see ourselves as an IoT enabler and want to enable our customers to integrate IoT solutions into their companies." Currently, they are mainly investing in the area of data evaluation. "We want all our sensors to be capable of generating data that can be evaluated accordingly."

The realignment is also reflected in the claim changed at the end of 2023: from ‘The Sensor Pioneers‘ to ‘Predict. Protect. Perform.‘ "This shows our goal to not only produce hardware but to use the data we generate to develop additional business models," explains Bernd Kagerer. This direction is also the focus of the new IoT partnership with the German company Marantec, which specializes in high-quality drive and control technology.

Knowing what the customers need

The strengths of CEDES lie in the decades of experience in the field of safety sensors and the focus on the OEM sector. "We know exactly what our customers need in the door sector and are leading in the latest technologies," says Bernd Kagerer. Moreover, they are very well connected throughout the entire business sector and are involved in the development of new industry standards at the association level. CEDES operates globally and wants to expand its presence in the growth markets of Asia and South America in the future.