© ebm-papst

“We have more local exper­tise”

In May 2018, ebm-papst Australia and New Zealand (A&NZ) opened its Centre of Excel­lence in Melbourne. Design Manager Alexandra Gray tells us how that bene­fits customers.

What was the idea behind the new Centre of Excel­lence?

Market research shows that our customers choose to work with ebm-papst because they value our tech­nical exper­tise, our customer service and the reli­a­bility of our prod­ucts. With the new Centre of Excel­lence, we wanted to concen­trate these capa­bil­i­ties in one place and expand and improve our local service for our customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Alexandra Gray is Design Manager at ebm-papst A&NZ. She has been with the company for seven years and has worked in internal service, quality assur­ance and test stand manage­ment – always hand in hand with the research and devel­op­ment depart­ment. She played a crucial role in estab­lishing the Centre of Excel­lence.

What is in the Centre of Excel­lence?

The Centre of Excel­lence consists of a research and devel­op­ment facility, a fan test stand certi­fied according to the ISO 5801 stan­dard, a product analysis depart­ment, and a devel­op­ment depart­ment that includes control solu­tions. The research and devel­op­ment facility gives our engi­neers plenty of room to work on their ideas. They can focus completely on a project there, develop models and repeat­edly test all sorts of different fan control scenarios.

And how do customers benefit from that?

The research and devel­op­ment facility enables us to perform compre­hen­sive tests and product analyses for our customers from Australia and New Zealand, and to develop prod­ucts that are perfectly tailored to their mechan­ical and soft­ware require­ments. We have various equip­ment to help us do that: a test stand that we use to deter­mine fan perfor­mance and power curves, test cages in various sizes for safe product testing, and an elec­tronics station that enables us to vary the input power. And then there are instru­ments for measuring air flow and noise and for testing elec­trical systems. In the last few months, we’ve been able to use this equip­ment for local devel­op­ment and produc­tion of a number of fans for the agri­cul­tural market.

Thanks to the Centre of Excel­lence ebm-papst Australia and New Zealand has been able to develop and produce fans locally. (Photo: ebm-papst)

What bene­fits does that provide for customer service?

Just recently a customer sent us a fan that had failed. We exam­ined it, but couldn’t find the defect. In the past, we would have sent the fan to Germany for analysis, but that’s 14,500 kilo­me­ters away – very expen­sive and time-consuming. Since we have more local exper­tise now, we were able to test the fan right here in Melbourne. After analyzing it, we took it apart and inspected and photographed the circuit board. Then we sent the photos to the quality assur­ance depart­ment in Mulfingen. The people there helped us find and fix the fault. We’re still learning now, but over time we’ll be able to solve such prob­lems on our own here more and more often.

The Centre of Excel­lence has been around for a few months now. How has the customer response been so far?

Very posi­tive. But not only customers gave us grat­i­fying feed­back. After its opening, people from govern­ment, suppliers, and our industry expressed their approval about how well we work together and how inno­v­a­tive they find the new Centre of Excel­lence.

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