ebm-papst Fans, Blowers and Technology

What is the Ultimate Global Benchmark for Quality Management?

Posted on Mon, Sep 08, 2014

By Jack Derewonko - Quality Systems Manager

Above and beyond statutory and regulatory standards, ISO 9000 certification is designed to help organizations ensure they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders related to their products or services. Over a million organizations worldwide are independently certified, making ISO 9001 one of the most widely used quality management tools in the world today.

At ebm-papst, the ISO 9001 quality system is used to design and manufacture quality products of the highest degree. Thebenefits of ISO 9001 are far reaching and impact all areas of our company.  A consistent approach to meeting customer requirements, improving all aspects of product performance and reducing the defect rate ensure operation savings. 

To achieve ISO 9001 certification, a company is required to fully document a quality control program and follow the procedures it writes.  This does not mean the products are certified to ISO 9001 but the quality system is certified.  The ISO 9001 quality system at ebm-papst reduces operational costs and improves customer satisfaction. 

  • Increased marketability – customers recognize ISO 9001 certification as an important factor when selecting suppliers.  

  • Product performance – ebm-papst’s customers expect our products to perform at the highest levels.  We achieve this goal with solid designs and well documented quality control programs.

  • Reducing operational expense – quality programs like corrective action, internal audits, and continual improvement reduce defect rates and improve the efficiency of our production lines.

  • Increase customer satisfaction – high quality products help to meet customer expectations which leads to satisfied customers.

  • Improved internal communication – Some of the ISO 9001 requirements focus on self-assessment.  This helps ebm-papst employees understand the interaction between departments.  We have a focus on internal customers so process controls are established.

  • Improved supplier relations – ebm-papst suppliers play an important role in product quality.  We have systems like supplier audits and performance measurements to improve and manage our supplier base.  

Without proper planning and training, there can be disadvantages of an ISO 9001 quality system.  Excessive documentation can lead to control issues and loss of important data.  Too few records will leave you without evidence of compliance. At ebm-papst, we are striving for a paperless system which will save time, improve quality, and lower our impact on the environment.



About Jack Derewonko
Quality is part of the ebm-papst Inc. DNA; Jack Derewonko oversees the processes that keep it that way. As Quality Systems Manager, Jack applies his 13 years of expertise in managing the company’s ISO9001 and IS014001 systems. He also oversees the company’s quality control department, ensuring that return material authorizations, credits, calibration work and corrective actions are properly handled and documented. Jack received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and materials science with a minor in English from the University of Connecticut. Outside of work, he enjoys fishing, photography, mountain biking, skiing and golf.

Tags: Manufacturing, ISO9001, ebm-papst Inc., quality controls

Manufacturing’s biggest challenge

Posted on Thu, Aug 14, 2014
describe the imageBy Bob Sobolewski - President and CEO at ebm-papst Inc.

“There are only three ways that a country builds wealth – you make things, you mine things and you grow things. Everything else is ancillary to that.”
– Pat Lee, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association

U.S. manufacturers contributed $2.08 trillion to the economy in 2013. For each dollar spent in manufacturing, another $1.32 is added to our economy, the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. (National Association of Manufacturers).

Here in Connecticut, 4,826 companies employ 167,900 manufacturing workers who earned $12.4 billion in wages and salaries last year. Every $1 million in manufacturing output in our state translates to $2 million in sales in other industries, 8.3 new jobs and $700,000 in new personal income (CBIA).

With a resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S. — including companies that are insourcing jobs and facilities — you’d think we’d be riding high with no complaints.

Not yet.

National Metal Fabricators President Tom Bonine lists seven of manufacturing’s biggest challenges. To strengthen companies that make quality products and pay good wages, the National Association of Manufacturers urges our elected leaders to choose policies that make this country a better place to invest, a better place to innovate and a better place from which to export.

Having managed growth at ebm-papst Inc. for nearly three decades, I share the views of my fellow Connecticut manufacturers. Federal and state regulation, taxes, reduced demand, raw material prices, overhead costs and competition keep us up at night.

My view? There’s no production without education. As highly experienced employees begin to retire, I worry about preparing new generations for careers within our advanced manufacturing facilities. 

There are solutions we should support, including innovation and training hubs nationally and locally. The National Network of Manufacturing Institutes has four of their 45 projected hubs up and running in in Youngstown Ohio (additive manufacturing), Chicago (digital manufacturing and design), Detroit (lightweight metals, and Raleigh, North Carolina (power electronics).

Here in Connecticut, three manufacturing centers offer a certificate in advanced manufacturing machine technology, while Connecticut’s colleges and universities offer some of the most competitive engineering programs in the country. 

Our most important challenge? Convincing more than half of U.S. teenagers that their perceptions of manufacturing are false. What this means is that promoting manufacturing careers to high school kids isn’t enough. We have to start much earlier.

Is your company struggling to find qualified and enthusiastic people to help you innovate? Partner with your region’s engineering programs, technical training programs and centers. But also go deeper by supporting programs that help our young children embrace the excitement, fun and challenge of inventing and building things.

About Bob Sobolewski
Robert (Bob) Sobolewski
is President and CEO of ebm-papst Inc. A member of many community and industry trade organizations and associations, Bob has been recognized for his support of educational programs, especially those that bring schools and the workplace closer together. He serves as President and Chairman of ingenuityNE and NE FIRST, Chair of the Connecticut Executive Advisory Board of FIRST, a member of the Fairfield University School of Engineering Executive Advisory Board, Vice Chair of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association Board, a Director of Okay Industries, Inc., and a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Component Industry Association (ECIA) Foundation.

Tags: Bob Sobolewski, Manufacturing, CBIA, ebm-papst Inc.

Ergonomics for the manufacturing floor – keeping it healthy and safe

Posted on Thu, Jan 16, 2014
BrianLadegard 110x145
By Brian Ladegard- Director of Operations

In manufacturing, we have to anticipate and react to several challenges that arise when building
our products – product weight and required fastener torque are two of the most common.

Product Weight
Our products have become increasingly larger over the years, as our product range has expanded and our EC motors began to proliferate. We now work with parts that are much heavier than previous generations.
To avoid unScizzor Jacknecessary injuries (such as back strain or pulled muscles) from product lifting, we researched, specified and installed many lift assist devices. These devices range from the simplest form of a Scissor Jack, whereby the product pallet can be raised off the floor to a more comfortable 32” working height, to more elaborate larger crane systems.

Generally, we use two main types of cranes – overhead bridge cranes and freestanding jib cranes. Overhead describe the imageBridge Cranes allow for mechanically assisted part lifting
and then movement from station to station in a work cell. Typically, this type of crane assists in moving product through 3-5 stations in succession. Freestanding Jib Cranes perform the same assisted lifting – but only do this in a small circular area around their base. Typically, we use jib cranes to pull parts out of boxes, put parts into boxes, or assist with lifting in a single work space. Both are designed to keep operators from becoming fatigued over a full shift of work.

Required Fastener Torque
The other related challenge is fastener torque. Along with our product sizes – the fasteners we use have also grown overtime. Generally, fastener torque is proportional to the size of the fastener. Torque is the twisting force required to install a specific fastener so that it tightens the mechanical joint and keeps it from separating.
The issue with torque is one of physics – for every force there is an equal and opposite force. So, when we use a pneumatic or electric screwdriver to apply this force, there is an equal and opposite reverse force felt by the person (or device) that is holding the screwdriver.  This is called a “torque reaction” or “break back torque”. If left unchecked, it can cause muscle damage, aches and soreness to operator wrists. So, whenever we use devices with higher torque values we employ an “ergo arm” or a “counterbalanced arm”. These arms are supplied by the makers of the screwdrivers and are designed to allow for free movement of the screw gun, while eliminating break back torque on the operator’s wrists. Typically, they also balance the physical weight of the tool – so operators can work for long periods using this tool with comfort.

About Brian Ladegard
A lifelong tinkerer with a passion for product engineering, ebm-papst Inc. Director of Operations Brian Ladegard draws his expertise from the variety of engineering and sales positions he has held at the company over the past 20 years. He’s managed ebm-papst operations since 1996, including manufacturing engineering, production planning, component purchasing, production/plant operations, building maintenance and external contractors. Brian also oversees the company’s MRP planning, inventory control, capacity planning, bar coding, shop floor control systems and strategic sourcing activities.

Tags: ebm-papst, GreenTech, Manufacturing, Scizzor Jack, Product Weight, jib cranes, break back torque, counterbalanced arm, Efficiency, ebm-papst Inc. Director of Operations, Fastener Torgue, product lifting, fastener, torque, ergonomics, Brian Ladegard, Ergo Arm, overhead bridge cranes

Putting the ‘advanced’ in manufacturing part 2 of 2

Posted on Thu, Oct 10, 2013

describe the imageHow is Connecticut developing tomorrow’s advanced manufacturing workforce?

By Bob Sobolewski, President and CEO, ebm-papst Inc.

In my last post, I encouraged us to discard old ideas about how we used to make things in the U.S., and to be open to careers with today’s advanced manufacturing companies.

President Obama’s National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing aims to increase investments in advanced manufacturing technologies, expand the number of workers with advanced manufacturing skills, make our training and education systems more responsive and support partnerships to create new manufacturing technologies.

As part of our country's manufacturing strategy, a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and advanced manufacturing institutes at the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy are looking at how we can improve our use of materials and our production methods.

Meanwhile, Connecticut’s focusing on helping train and connect workers to fill open positions. What have we done so far?

Manufacturers have expressed their needs.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s High Growth Job Training Initiative grant, in The Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s Education Foundation created certificate programs (college credit and noncredit) in lean manufacturing and supply chain management.

Educators are responding.

The CBIA Foundation’s lean manufacturing and supply chain management certificate programs were so successful that the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (part of the Connecticut Community Colleges’ College of Technology) and CBIA members continue to build on this training curriculum for both students and teachers.

We’re creating pathways to high tech manufacturing careers.

Connecticut’s Technical High School System and the Connecticut Community Colleges (COC) work together to offer our state’s technical high school students a College to Career Pathways program. The program allows students to earn up to 14 college credits at the same time they’re in high school, while benefiting from college-level counseling, career fairs, job shadowing and internships. It’s a great way to help our technical high school students jump start a 2 or 4-year degree and begin plotting their career options.

We’re supporting our teachers.

As part of the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association and in affiliation with the New England Association of Technology Teachers, the CT Technology and Engineering Education Association (CTEEA) offers training and education for all teachers who want to present the latest advances in manufacturing to their students.  If you’re a tech teacher, don’t miss CTEEA’s annual conference November 8 at Central Connecticut State University.

We’re beginning to connect job seekers with employers.

Earlier this year, U.S. Representative John Larson introduced the Connecticut Manufacturing Job Match Initiative, an effort to link employers with qualified employees. Read the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ here.

We’re calling upon UConn.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Next Generation Connecticut initiative aims to leverage the University of Connecticut’s resources to build Connecticut’s future workforce, create jobs, and bring new life to our state’s economy.

Some of Connecticut’s initiatives have just begun, while others have already trained and placed skilled employees. Our challenge is to keep up the momentum, translating job requirements to relevant education and training programs.

Most importantly, we must continue to demonstrate how advanced manufacturing will help fuel our economic recovery, and why careers in this sector are both challenging and fulfilling.  

Tags: Education, Bob Sobolewski, Manufacturing

Putting the ‘Advanced’ in Manufacturing, Part 1 of 2

Posted on Mon, Oct 07, 2013

describe the imageWhat parents and students must know about today’s manufacturing jobs

By Bob Sobolewski, President and CEO, ebm-papst Inc.

During the Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s (CBIA) Connecticut Creates! Manufacturing Forum this past January, representatives of our state’s manufacturing community discussed their challenges in recruiting and retaining skilled people.

During the forum, Dave Tuttle, manufacturing department head at Platt Technical High School (part of Connecticut’s Technical High School System) shared a story that made the audience groan with frustration.

A young man that Dave taught had just obtained his advanced manufacturing certificate. He was on the verge of accepting a highly skilled, good-paying position. Before he could accept, however, his parents nixed the deal and forced him to continue his schooling at a four-year college.

What happened? Rather than envision their son’s productive (and profitable) career in a clean, modern facility that makes innovative products, they imagined him in a dead-end position hammering widgets on a dirty, hazardous and dimly lit shop floor.

Our young people want to make a difference. To be on the cutting edge. Their families want them to have secure jobs with growth potential in modern and stimulating work environments.

Here’s why today’s advanced manufacturing jobs offer both.

1. Manufacturing’s renaissance is gaining steam. According to this recent U.S. Treasury infographic, private investment in U.S. manufacturing is high, and the products we produce are increasing our exports.

2. Jobs anxiously await. According to a recent report from Deloitte, about 600,000 manufacturing jobs remain unfilled in the United States simply because employers cannot find people with the skills they need. Last year, Connecticut manufacturers had 22,000 openings for manufacturing jobs. Many went unfilled.

3. It’s no longer the factory your dad, mom (or grandparent) worked in. As Cisco’s recent blog points out, the business of making stuff no longer requires hard manual labor by many. With technology improvements, today’s manufacturing jobs do require intelligence, training and a willingness to continually push the efficiency envelope. In stark contrast to factories of the past, today’s production floors are bright, open, organized, clean and safe.

4. The pay’s better than the job you (might) find after a four-year degree. With manufacturing jobs going unfulfilled and office jobs scarce, surveys are revealing that increasingly, it’s the two-year technical degree that’s creating income and security.

CollegeMeasures.org recently found that students who receive an occupational and technical associate’s degree could earn $10,000 per year more than those with a non-occupational associate’s degree.

Reinforcing this new reality, more than half of Connecticut’s manufacturers are hiring graduates of Connecticut’s technical high schools, more students than from any other educational institutions, according to the 2011 Survey of Connecticut’s Manufacturing Workforce conducted by CBIA’s Education Foundation.

5. There are few obstacles to advancement. Factories of the past focused on repetitive, mindless assembly tasks. Today’s manufacturers understand that flexible, adaptive workers who demonstrate initiative on the floor and strive to learn new technology are critical to the company’s success, and reward them accordingly.

In next week’s post, I’ll explore how government, industry and education are working together to begin to address our manufacturing skills gap, nationally and in Connecticut.

Tags: Education, Bob Sobolewski, Manufacturing

Tools of the High Mix Manufacturer

Posted on Thu, Sep 26, 2013
By Brian Ladegard, director of operations, ebm-papst Inc.

As a high mix, low volume (HMLV) manufacturer, ebm-papst Inc. produces more than 700 unique engineered-to-order products every year for a wide array of market applications at our Farmington, Connecticut facility.

We’re continually evaluating new products’ manufacturability – how can each be produced easily, effectively, and with maximum reliability?  As we serve custom-order requirements, we’re also balancing our plant’s level of automation, organization and manufacturing flow to improve throughput, lower costs and ensure quality.

CNC Machines: A custom shop’s best friend.

Our sheet metal processes — laser cutting, turret punching, press brake bending, hardware insertion, rolling, and single point resistance welding (spot welding) — are set up nicely for low to medium volume production. Our computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines help us rapidly change part geometries through the machine’s software.

For example, our laser cutter allows us to move holes and edges by changing X and Y positions in the machine‘s program code.  If the same part were “hard tooled” (with dedicated die sets and a coil-fed stamping process), these changes would require significant costs and time to re-make sections of tools within each die set.

IMG 0427 resized 600

Our sheet metal methods are appropriate for annual volumes from 5 to 20,000 pieces – representing a good balance between low initial tooling costs, fast time-to-market, and modest piece costs. Sometimes we can make simple investments in punching tools that rapidly reduce our sheet processing times.

Keeping it simple (and flexible)

In our final assembly area, we use simple, generic tools (air screwdrivers, simple wire cutting devices, single-shot pop rivets, and manually initiated testing plans) and develop the final assembly process with minimal need for assembly-specific fixtures.  We’ve set up work cells of 2-3 operators each who divide up that cell’s tasks.  We balance the time for each task, so that no one is left idle as the product moves through assembly. When volumes increase, we utilize dedicated assembly jigs (to assist in standardized label placement, for example) and fixtures to speed the process up.  These are typically developed and purchased when products have consistent “every week” demands.

Just in time’s ally

When volumes ramp up again, we often setup a dedicated work cell space with dedicated tools and KANBAN (“ready floor stock” in bins) component inventories. These dedicated work cells allow us to respond rapidly – as soon as the last component arrives – and begin assembly with very little setup time. 

When to automate. When to go manual.

How does the level of automation at our German facilities compare with automation at our U.S. plant, and why?

Our German operations produce larger quantities that require fewer product variations. This enables them to standardize the way they move parts from one position to the next, utilizing conveyor belts (trolleys) or robotic arms.

In comparison, our U.S. facility lives by the mantra “any way you want it – quickly.” To accommodate shorter product life cycles for sheet metal assembly shapes and sizes that are constantly evolving, we take an agile and adaptive approach. Typically, small sets of products are moved from work cell to work cell along with each product’s priority. We also work with a computer driven “dispatch list” in each work cell.  Once parts finish “upstream”, they immediately show as available in the next work cell – and take their proper place in the queue of work in the next cell.  Of course we also have the ability to manipulate this list – to reflect the constant changes in customer demands.

Tags: ebm-papst, Manufacturing, Efficiency

3 Benefits of Localizing Production of Larger Fans

Posted on Thu, Jul 18, 2013

Beauchemin Scott 051By Scott Beauchemin, VP of Engineering, ebm-papst Inc.

Our company’s product portfolio has expanded into much larger sizes over the past decade. Ten years ago, a large ebm-papst fan was 500mm to 630mm in diameter. Now, we’re selling fans up to 1.5 meters in diameter that are used in large-scale refrigeration and ventilation applications.

Because importing such large products from our manufacturing counterparts in Germany posed logistics and warehousing challenges, we at ebm-papst U.S. decided to take advantage of our 25+ years of value-added experience to localize production here in the U.S.

The ebm-papst fans we purchase from Germany are now built into larger sheet metal assemblies designed to meet specific customer needs. The majority of this customization happens at our Farmington, Conn.-based U.S. headquarters.

We began by localizing production of our larger axial fans, which are typically used in condensers for the refrigeration market or in chillers in the HVAC market. These fans consist of a GreenTech EC motor, HyBlade® axial fan blades, grill guard and sheet metal venturi. Our U.S. facility now produces the sheet metal venturi and the final fan assembly.

As a result, motors, blades and grill guards are now shipped from Germany in more densely packed pallets, increasing the amount of components sent in one container and helping to reduce our environmental impact.

The next step in the process was to localize production of RadiPac assemblies. A RadiPac is a backward curved impeller, driven by a GreenTech EC motor, contained in a sheet metal enclosure. As energy efficiency has become a hot topic in the U.S. market, demand for energy-efficient backward curved impellers using a GreenTech EC motor has increased significantly. These products are typically used in rooftop air conditioning units, computer room air conditioning units and air-handling units, just to name a few applications.

SC12 MG 3449 (2)
RadiPac assembly

Localizing this production comes with many benefits. Three of the main ones include:

1. Products made to order

A major benefit to producing axial fans and RadiPacs locally is our ability to customize each product. Our sheet metal capabilities allow us to easily alter the venturi on an axial fan or the sheet metal enclosure surrounding a backward curved impeller. We have the ability to make specific mounting provisions for a customer. We can powder paint the venturi a customer-specified color. The end result is a product that exactly matches each customer’s requirement.

2. Quick turnaround

Beside allowing design flexibility, local production allows us to quickly react to customer demand. One example: We have several customers that use the same base fan in three different product variations. The differentiating factor is the sheet metal venturi. Without localization, we would have to import all three fan assemblies from Germany. Stocking the correct product mix would always be a challenge. By localizing production, we can stock the base components (motors and blades) and customize the sheet metal to each customer’s specs.

3. Reduced carbon footprint

By producing the sheet metal venturi and the final axial fan assembly, the motors, blades and grill guards are now shipped from Germany in more densely packed pallets, increasing the amount of components sent in one container and helping to reduce our environmental impact.

Localized production is a trend that makes sense on many levels: efficiency, customer service, development of skills and jobs in our communities. What other benefits do you see? What opportunities are still out there?

Share you thoughts below!

Tags: ebm-papst, engineering, Manufacturing, Energy Efficiency

Every Day is a GreenDay: Increasing Manufacturing Efficiency

Posted on Thu, May 16, 2013
Brian Ladegard
by Brian Ladegard, Director of Operations
As part of our GreenTech philosophy, not only is our goal to develop new products that are more efficient than the prior generation, but we follow this approach for our processes as well.  That is, our commitment to sustainable practices extends to our production processes for gains in terms of economy and ecology.  Case in point – we have just completed installation of a new Nordson ColorMax powder paint application system complete with their Automatic Feed System and new Encore spray guns.  As a result, we expect to see a significant increase in powder spray efficiency, less scrap powder, lower disposal charges, higher quality painted parts, and significantly faster color change times.

In our old booth, we typically got 60% of the sprayed powder on the parts and 40% became process scrap.  We were able to recycle one color with our older booth, but this didn’t work too well because our primary color kept changing all the time.  In the new Nordson ColorMax booth, we can now effectively recycle ALL colors through the use of dual cyclone technology.  This automatically feeds back (recycles) the 40% of powder that hits the parts and falls into the bottom of the booth – increasing our actual powder usage efficiency to about 95%. 
The other significant advantage for us is color change over time.  The entire booth and all feed hoses had to be fully cleaned (manually) to prevent mixing of colors between production runs.  Our new ColorMax booth has much of the cleaning cycle automated, so a typical color change time for the new booth should be reduced by up to 75% vs. the old booth.  The booth Canopy is a state of the art material that allows for easy blow offs during color changes.  This time regained is significant - as we typically change colors 2-3 times per day.
Finally, we also changed our actual paint application guns to the new Encore system.  These guns are new Low Velocity technology that allows for more even coating and better use of powder at lower air pressures – further reducing powder spray waste.  With the new Lower Velocity technology, we should also improve our painting finish quality for better parts on the “first pass” – with less defects and less rework and re-paints.


Tags: GreenTech, Manufacturing, Energy Efficiency

Q&A with the Director of Operations at ebm-papst

Posted on Fri, Nov 30, 2012
with Brian Ladegard, Director of Operations

Q: A recent article in Design News discusses how ergonomics and repetitive motion injuries are major issues in manufacturing. How does ebm-papst address these concerns?

A: We review ergonomics continuously on our shop floor.  We work with outside consultants on an annual basis with tours and audit reviews – but we also use both engineering controls and supervisory controls to prevent injuries.

For example, we do ergonomic stretching exercises with each and every production employee at the beginning of the shift and then once again right after the lunch break.  These stretches are a series of basic movements that were developed independently and given to us for this purpose.  The total stretching time is approximately 5 minutes and is mandatory.  Just like athletes would stretch out before a game – so do our workers!

Also, we use engineering controls like counterbalanced tool holders for any screw driver or torque tool that applies a strong “reverse torque” that would twist operators’ arms.  We use supervisory controls like job rotation.  This is where take three people in one working place and have them switch tasks – within a single job – every two hours.  One person might be crimping for 2 hours, then switch to riveting for the next two – and then finally to testing for the last two hours.  This basic rotation allows each person to change their range of motion during the day, thus preventing too much repetition.

In the sheet metal shop, we use part supports to hold heavy parts at the required tool height – along with extensive use of scissor style pallet jacks to help prevent operators from having to bend down to floor level for the first few layers of finished parts as they come off machines.

The final examples are the use of robotics for tasks that combine high levels of repetition with higher levels of production – like the new robotic welding cell and the robotic bending cell.

Factory102011 066

Tags: ebm-papst, Manufacturing, ergonomics

ebm-papst Inc: Careers in Engineering

Posted on Tue, Nov 20, 2012
by Scott Beauchemin, Vice President - Engineering

ebm-papst’s success in the market can partially be attributed to our dedication to maintaining engineering resources to support customer projects.  Our local technical expertise allows us to provide a level of support that most competitors aren’t able to provide.  We have several engineering departments within the organization that help make that possible.

The Applications Engineering department has the highest head count of the various engineering groups at ebm-papst.  Applications Engineers are responsible for providing technical support to all customers within an assigned geographic region. Technical support can range from helping the customer select the proper air mover for their equipment to answering basic technical questions about ebm-papst product.  Applications Engineers work with customers from various market segments including HVAC, medical, industrial, IT/ telecom, etc. The diversity of our customer base gives the engineering group an opportunity to learn about various types of equipment.  Applications Engineers also spend part of their time working in our engineering lab which consists of several air flow chambers and a semi-anechoic sound room.  Customers send their equipment to our lab for baseline testing and optimization.  The Applications Engineers coordinate this effort, help perform the tests and report the results back to the customer.  The knowledge of ebm-papst product and customer’s applications gives Applications Engineers an opportunity to advance within the company if they perform well.  The educational background for an Applications Engineer is typically a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  Since our product is very much electro-mechanical, an educational background in Electrical Engineering can also be attractive. 

IMG 0855 edit resized 600

A portion of ebm-papst’s business is producing value-added assemblies for customers.  A value-added assembly can come in different configurations but it generally involves packaging a fan or multiple fans within a sheet metal assembly.  The assembly can include various other components such as connectors, filters and specific control boards.  While Applications Engineers serve as the project manager for these projects, there are three additional engineering groups that have direct responsibilities for these projects. 

The Design Engineering group is responsible for developing the value added assembly in Pro-Engineer and creating Bills of Material.  They are directly involved in working with the production floor regarding their designs.  The Design Engineer will often be seen building prototypes and working with their hands. Design Engineers will also conduct air flow modeling using Computational Fluid Dynamics software.  The goal is to optimize the air flow path in simulation so we only make sheet metal one time.  Design Engineers typically have a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  

The Electrical Engineering group is tasked with developing control boards that are used in conjunction with ebm-papst fans.  Members of the Electrical Engineering group will design the circuits, lay out the PCB so it can be fabricated, write software, build and test prototypes.  The controllers developed by this group are most often installed into a value added assembly but can be sold as a separate component on occasion. Members of the Electrical Engineering group generally have a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering.

The last link in the value added chain is the Manufacturing Engineering group.  Manufacturing Engineers are tasked with supporting the production floor with work instructions, developing processes for manufactured parts and creating new tooling.  We are constantly expanding our manufacturing capabilities so the Manufacturing Engineers keep busy introducing new technology to the floor.  The Manufacturing Engineers work side by side with the Design Engineering group to bring a new product into production.  Manufacturing Engineers typically have a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical or Industrial Engineering.   



Tags: Fans, application engineers, engineering, CT, Manufacturing, jobs, design