© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

Customized Success

If they go by the book, neither ebm-papst nor Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motor­sport will achieve their goals. Both compa­nies must contin­u­ously react to indi­vidual circum­stances – the Formula OneTM team to different race­tracks and the fan manu­fac­turer to different customer require­ments.


On one weekend, Lewis Hamilton and Valt­teri Bottas steered their racing cars through the narrow alley­ways of Monaco, and two weeks later the Formula OneTM drivers were barreling down the high-speed track in Montreal, Canada. No wonder that the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motor­sport team has to completely re-tune its cars for every race. Andrew Shovlin, Track­side Engi­neering Director at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motor­sport explained: „There are almost never two races where the car doesn’t have some update for either perfor­mance or a reli­a­bility modi­fi­ca­tion. The main changes on the perfor­mance side are aero­dy­namic.”

And at ebm-papst, we don’t go by the book when offering customer solu­tions either. Instead, they are adjusted to the customer’s require­ments and some parts may even require custom devel­op­ment. “Some customers require indi­vidual aero­dy­namic compo­nents or cable lengths, and others have special require­ments for controls and data eval­u­a­tion. And there are still other customers who want oper­ating reli­a­bility up to very high or down to very low temper­a­tures,” said David Kehler, Director Market Segment Indus­trial Venti­la­tion Tech­nology at ebm-papst.

Know-how is what counts

At ebm-papst, the focus is on personal customer consul­ta­tion. “Our world­wide colleagues have a compre­hen­sive under­standing of how our customers’ appli­ca­tions func­tion,” added Kehler. “That is why close coop­er­a­tion is the basis for finding the ideal solu­tion for each customer. In addi­tion to the right product, we can often offer customers early infor­ma­tion on how to effi­ciently struc­ture the overall device.”

Along­side human know-how, ebm-papst relies on the FanScout soft­ware it devel­oped to aid in the selec­tion of the right fan. The selec­tion soft­ware is based on exten­sive datasets compiled by ebm-papst itself. Using them as a basis makes it easier for customers to find the ideal fan – a user friendly, data-driven approach.

The FanScout soft­ware makes it easier for customers to find the ideal fan.

Data-driven deci­sions

Data are also extremely impor­tant for the Formula OneTM team. They help the racing cars adapt to different race­tracks and drive constant further devel­op­ment. As Andrew Shovlin reported: „The car is devel­oped in simu­la­tion, be it computer models like the driver simu­lator or CFD analysis to under­stand aero dynamic devel­op­ment direc­tion. Making sure that those simu­la­tions corre­late to reality is there­fore a vital part of making the correct devel­op­ment deci­sions.” The process is also so deci­sive because Formula OneTM teams only have a limited number of test days on which they can collect data about the cars’ behavior on the race­track.

Faster to the ideal solu­tion

For ebm-papst customers as well, time is often a deci­sive factor. To be in a posi­tion to offer customized solu­tions, the company has devel­oped various modular systems. One example is the modular system for drives with diam­e­ters of 42 mm (ECI-42). It contains motors, drives, elec­tronics, brakes and sensors. They can be quickly config­ured to meet specific customer require­ments and shipped. The short delivery time is impor­tant for the devel­opers who work for ebm-papst’s customers: They want to quickly have a product so they can continue their work. It increases the like­li­hood that ulti­mately, customers will use ebm-papst prod­ucts.

“Adap­ta­tion and prod­ucts devel­oped to meet customer-specific require­ments are one of the keys to our success.”

David Kehler, Director Market Segment Indus­trial Venti­la­tion Tech­nology at ebm-papst

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motor­sport would not win any races with a poorly adapted racing car: the perfect balance between high speed and down­force for each indi­vidual race­track is too impor­tant. And with stan­dard prod­ucts alone, ebm-papst would not be able to satisfy diverse customer require­ments. As David Kehler said in summary: “There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Our customers and their prod­ucts are simply too diverse. That is why adap­ta­tion and prod­ucts devel­oped to meet customer-specific require­ments are one of the keys to our success.”

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