© 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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