Shaping the future

24 January 2024

German-Swiss multinational equipment manufacturer Liebherr might be approaching 80-years-old but it’s at the cutting edge of the digital era and actively shaping the future. Christian Shelton reports.

Deep in southern Germany, not far from where, in 1949, Hans Liebherr founded the Liebherr Group, you’ll find a new, cuttingedge technology centre: the Liebherr Development Centre (LDC). It’s here the company is forging its future.

The LDC is at the heart of a bustling, expanding science park, near Ulm, filled with other tech leaders. The LDC was finished in just 2019 yet, in this fast-moving modern world, it is already integral to the company’s future.

Staffed by a diverse, switchedon group of professionals – recruited from universities, tech firms, and other leading multinationals – it is clear the staff here are passionate about what they are doing. Crucially they all aspire to compete at a high level in the field of digitalisation.

The facility, and the expertise within it, was showcased to the world’s construction press at Liebherr’s recent International Construction Trade Press Information Tour.

“As you'll see here at Liebherr today,” said Heinz Klemm, Head of global eDevelopment, at Liebherr, “digitalisation is not just a buzzword; it's a transformative force that is reshaping industries, enhancing efficiencies, and driving forward innovation.”

Digitalisation was one of two key themes Liebherr presented at the press tour; the other being decarbonisation. And, according to Stephen Albrecht, MD of Liebherr International, the two issues go hand-in-hand.

“Digitalisation impacts nearly all areas of our lives and it is having a significant impact on our business,” he said. “Digitalisation is driving increased efficiencies in existing processes within our organisation and consequently contributing to the conservation of valuable resources.

“Additionally, digitalisation is opening up new ways of approaching business and processes. New information technologies and digital networking are creating expanded business potential and added value for Liebherr's customers.”

Understanding its customers’ needs is key to Liebherr. It’s a point we’ll come back to but, suffice to say, it underpins the company’s success. So, in such a rapidly evolving technological world Liebherr needs to stay one step ahead. This is where the LDC plays its crucial role.

The centre develops digital solutions across all 13 Liebherr product segments. “We do this by bringing in knowledge in our areas of the internet of things, cloud solutions, data sites, as well as mobile applications,” explains Klemm. “We cover the complete digital chain here. This is a place where digital solutions for the future are created.”


One of the LDC’s key areas of focus, and one many Liebherr equipment users will already be familiar with, is the MyLiebherr service which provides an entry point into Liebherr’s digital world.

It’s a portal through which, once registered, users can access apps and digital services, file and manage machines, order matching spare parts, and even purchase licences. “MyLiebherr currently has over 124,000 active users and 58,000 registered companies,” says Marcel Flir, Head of Business and Strategy at Liebherr International.

This number is growing and Liebherr is further developing and refining the service.

Some of the latest developments to MyLiebherr focus on the user experience, particularly with regard to the apps. The app area of the portal has been redesigned, with a new look and better, faster performance, and optimised to be mobile-friendly. Users can now flag frequentlyused apps as favourites and filter them by product area or category.

Another tweak, as seen on the latest version of the tower crane portal for example, is a redesign of all databases containing the crane details, sales and product information. Users can also now conduct a quick global search across document types.7

With so much information available the filters and search functions, in particular, are useful. “To help find the appropriate information in terms of application, machine type etc. there are intelligent filters integrated into MyLiebherr that find the right digital solution,” explains Flir. “This really helps with our users’ daily work to figure out exactly the right application or the right document they want to access – especially if they have a large, mixed fleet.”

Other new features include fleet management capabilities where authorised users can receive real-time information such as the location and status of machines.

News is also now directly available in the portal providing notifications about registered machines and order information.


The power of the portal should not be underestimated; according to Flir there are over 700,000,000 configurations available when using it. Impressive as these data, connectivity, and functionality aspects of the system are, however, it’s the wider concept that is truly mind-blowing.

What Liebherr has created is a digital matrix that not only meets highly specific requirements, for small and large companies alike, but one that also underpins all aspects of the construction site – from planning to training, operations to maintenance, and from safety to equipment performance.

“So what’s next?” asks Flir. “Well, what’s really on our agenda is to further develop ourselves as a solutions provider.”

To do this effectively Liebherr’s newest division relies on one of the company’s oldest skills: listening to its customers and understanding their requirements. “We see our value in understanding our customers’ processes and providing digital solutions and services that help make their life easier and more transparent,” says Flir.

“From the beginning we talk to our customers to figure out what is going on in the market. And as soon as we have a prototype, we have instant contact with our customers to discover if we have addressed the problem and found a solution.”

This approach, that’s embedded in the mindset of those at the LDC, has further benefits, too. “The digital solutions we are working on provide transformational benefits on three different levels,” outlines Albrecht. “Namely for our internal organisation, our relationship with our customers, and for our products – both digital and physical.

“At an organisational level our own internal business and production processes are improved and made more efficient.

"On a relationship level digital solutions provide key benefits for our customers in the form of shorter response times and high quality cost-effective solutions.

"And, at a product level, our focus is on providing digital solutions that can be optimally integrated into our customer's ecosystems and into our partner's business processes.”

In this way Liebherr’s approach can be seen to be effectively opening up new ways of business and processes, with new information technologies and digital networking creating expanded business potential and added value for both Liebherr and its customers. It really is a win/win.

Stephen Albrecht, MD of Liebherr International (left), and Heinz Klemm, Head of global eDevelopment
The LDC develops digital solutions for all 13 Liebherr product segments
Marcel Flir, Head of Business and Strategy at Liebherr International
Liebherr's approach underpins all aspects of the construction site
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