ebm-papst Fans, Blowers and Technology

First impressions - A recent visit to ebm-papst in Germany

Posted on Thu, May 23, 2013
David Hillburn, Business Development Manager - Heating
by David Hillburn, Business Development Manager - Heating

Recently I joined ebm-papst as a Business Development Manager to support the North American heating market. My previous experience includes design of combustion systems for industrial furnaces and kilns; so when I joined the company I had a good foundation in the application of various combustion systems and components but not in the manufacturing of these components. In March I toured two of our German manufacturing facilities in Landshut and Mulfingen in order to gain a more intimate knowledge of our products and how they are manufactured. Besides a new found love for pretzels, wheat beer, and white sausage, courtesy of the Hofbrauhaus, here are some lasting impressions of the facilities and trip.

Landshut and Mulfingen, Germany

Landshut, Germany and Mulfingen, Germany

Landshut and Mulfingen an overview
Landshut, situated approximately 45 miles northeast of Munich on the Isar River, produces the majority of our gas blower products. This includes the RG, NRG, G1G and G3G series blowers along with the recently acquired GB055 and GB057 gas valve lines. Mulfingen, our world headquarters and largest facility, produces the large G3G250-MW premix gas blower, M3G series motors and electronics along with a plethora of other products including our axial fan line and centrifugal blower/impeller products.

A large vertically integrated company
My previous employers were small companies, so I now find myself giving presentations that show stats such as 10,564 employees worldwide at 18 production sites and 58 sales offices. While touring the factories it felt like I met all 10,564 of these employees and they were working busily in various functions. Be it die-casting motor brackets, winding motor bobbins, stamping motor stators, checking printed circuit boards or assembling complete blowers. The factories were are state of the art manufacturing facilities, very vertically integrated and very automated. I saw these automation capabilities firsthand with the NRG118 assembly line in Landshut which produces an impressive number of gas blowers daily.

Reinvestment and R&D
Another key to success is our reinvestment into our facilities. On the A tour of our Landshut factory I viewed an impressive collection of climate chambers, halt testing machines and a new gas laboratory. At our facilities in Mulfingen I saw one of the largest combination air flow and sound chambers I’ve ever seen (big enough to park a truck in). I also toured rooms with racks and racks of fans running life cycle tests. So when we talk about quality and reliability it’s clear that is derived from continuous testing and commitment to reinvesting.

A company is only as good as its people
While the settings may be different, Landshut a small European city with a slightly metropolitan feel and Mulfingen a quaint rural village, the corporate mentality and image bridged the gap. At both facilities the people I met were not only knowledgeable and polite but happy to talk and discuss what they were doing within the organization. When asked to explain a process or a facet of design, they not only took the time to explain it but would walk me through the process, show me every piece that went into it and then bring me to a board similar to the one below so I could study the part or assembly further.

Gas Valve Components

GB055 E01 Gas Valve Components

This level of cooperation and professionalism was displayed by all employees I talked to and it helped to make a business trip abroad a very productive and memorable experience. I look forward to future factory visits and traveling with my German colleagues to our heating customers in North America.

Tags: heating, ebm-papst, engineering, gas valves, Germany, gas blowers

DV6300 from ebm-papst is 2013 Product of the Year

Posted on Fri, Mar 29, 2013

The fifteenth "Product of the Year" was presented on March 14, 2013, and ebm-papst achieved first place with the high-performance DV6300 diagonal compact fan.

L950 DV6300 resized 600Readers of Elektronik and elektroniknet.de chose the DV6300 as the 2013 Product of the Year in the category "Electrical Engineering" from among 111 nominated products. The award recognises the most innovative and ground-breaking products in the industry. Peter Metzger, Manager of Business Development and Marketing for ebm-papst St. Georgen GmbH & Co. KG, accepted the distinction at the awards ceremony in Munich: "We are gratified to receive this recognition from the readers of Elektronik. The DV6300 demonstrates how we are setting new standards in state-of-the-art development and production methods."

The winning product from ebm-papst has an electronically controlled S-Force motor with additional options such as temperature regulation, active motor cooling and filter monitoring with signal output for filter change. The diagonal compact fan is ideal for applications with strict requirements regarding air performance with high backpressure, limited installation space and a low operating noise level.


Tags: Fan Technology, Fans, DV6300, high-performance fans, S-Force, ebm-papst, Germany

Alternative energy? Germany’s All Over It

Posted on Thu, Oct 04, 2012

Lessons in sun, wind and collaboration power

By Todd Cardillo, Market Manager, Alternative Energy

Did you know that in 40 minutes the sun spills enough energy on the earth’s surface to provide our entire planet with energy for one year? Or that it would take 250 million barrels of oil (10 billion gallons) to generate as much electricity as U.S. wind turbines will generate this year?

Mulfingen 2007 06 17 resized 600Why are we not utilizing our natural resources more effectively? What I saw during a recent trip to ebm-papst’s global headquarters in Mulfingen, Germany offers a vision for what the United States could achieve.

Face time with my German colleagues gave me new information on world market trends in air movement, as well as insight on new projects. I also completed the company’s 17th annual marathon and finished in 1 hour 57 minutes and 12 seconds - my personal best.

todds trip2 resized 600

However, what struck me most during this visit was how well Germany utilizes alternative energy. During the two-hour ride from Frankfurt’s airport to headquarters in Mulfingen, I saw multiple wind farms. Set back in the countryside’s rolling hills, the size and infrastructure of these huge turbines are amazing – they’re engineering marvels! It’s hard to believe that people in the United States call these an eyesore, or complain about the noise they emit. These seem like very minor issues compared to the benefits they provide.Solar power is also huge throughout Germany – the country is ranked #1 in the world for solar usage. Bloomberg reports that Germany managed to break its record for new solar installations in 2011 despite sizable reductions in subsidies for the industry.

todds trip3 resized 600

It is very hard to drive (or run) through the villagesin Germany without seeing solar panels – they are everywhere! Germany’s large solar farms, commercial businesses and residential homes are all harnessing the sun for electricity. They have spent a lot of time and money to build this infrastructure. Now they’re reaping the benefits of low-cost, clean power.

Incentives play a BIG role in how far Germany has come in alternative energy use. In the United States, where we’re ranked #4 for solar power usage, we have federal tax rebates and similar solar incentives. In contrast   Germany offers manufacturers a fixed amount for every kilowatt-hour of energy produced by a solar system.

While Germany has concerns with the possibility that their solar incentives could be reduced by putting a one gigawatt-per year cap on new installations, we in the U.S. face an uncertain future for our Production Tax Credit (PTC). While the credit is due to expire this year, I am hopeful that it will be renewed by Congress.

The U.S. has come a long way in alternative energy use. Following Germany’s lead, it’s essential we continue to grow our alternative energy production and markets. Our population and economy will be better for it.

Tags: Solar Power, Wind Power, ebm-papst, Energy Efficiency, Alternative Energy, Germany