© Photo | ebm-papst

At the hub of devel­op­ment

One fan for two different appli­ca­tions: For an Australian customer colleagues on the spot had to coor­di­nate oper­a­tions on two conti­nents


The great new era of commu­ni­ca­tion has long since entered the indus­trial world. Glob­ally-linked project teams have taken the place of garage inven­tors. Chan­nels of commu­ni­ca­tion are becoming ever more sophis­ti­cated – but the chal­lenges remain the same: Infor­ma­tion has to flow smoothly even over distances of 15,000 kilo­me­tres and with an eight-hour time differ­ence. An example of how well this can work is shown by CSR Edmonds in Australia and ebm-papst in Germany. And the most impor­tant aspect is to have a capable repre­sen­ta­tive on the spot – which explains why ebm-papst has a network of branches in more than 50 coun­tries, including Australia.

Edmonds ecoFan

The ecoFan

The first chal­lenge awaited right at the start of the project, as Martina Heine, head of the tech­nical depart­ment at ebm-papst New Zealand and Australia, recalls: “In the inter­ests of cost effi­ciency, the customer was looking to install one of our axial fans in two different new prod­ucts.” One of these was the Airo­Matic roof venti­la­tion system designed for air condi­tioning in houses. For this appli­ca­tion CSR Edmonds wanted the main compo­nent, i.e. the fan to be as quiet-running and energy-saving as possible. The same criteria applied to the ecoFAN. This venti­la­tion unit prevents mould devel­oping in cellars by regu­lating the humidity of the air. Following detailed discus­sions with the CSR Edmonds devel­op­ment team, Heine and her Sales colleague Garth Hurtz were of the opinion that from a tech­nical point of view there was no reason why the same fan could not be employed for both appli­ca­tions: “Eval­u­a­tion of the tech­nical docu­men­ta­tion and simu­la­tion revealed that the perfor­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics of the two prod­ucts were suffi­ciently similar.”
Edmonds ecoFan

The Airo­Matic

Even so there were a few tough nuts for their colleagues in Mulfingen to crack. For instance, CSR Edmonds insisted on incor­po­rating a drive motor with the lowest possible voltage rating so that the end users would be able to simply plug in the prod­ucts at domestic sockets. But there was good news from Mulfingen: An appro­priate motor was already being planned for market launch during the project period. However, deciding on the compo­nents was far from being the end of the matter. Certain other modi­fi­ca­tions were required to be able to inte­grate the fan into the appli­ca­tions concerned. In this phase Martina Heine’s main task in Australia was to make sure that the engi­neers in Mulfingen were precisely informed about what the customer wanted. Based on these spec­i­fi­ca­tions the deci­sion was taken to adapt the wall ring holes to the situ­a­tion in Australia. Thanks to perfect coor­di­na­tion between both parties she managed to improve the aero­dy­namic char­ac­ter­is­tics of the wall ring still further. That even came as a surprise to the CSR Edmonds devel­op­ment team, who were used to having to call in external experts for such “fine tuning”.

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