Start your engines

The Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC), MAN Diesel & Turbo Benelux and Wartsila share the inner workings of their propulsion departments and look back on special projects they have worked on this year. Time to start the engines.

“We are the producer of medium-speed diesel engines”, says Jean Christophe van Acker, sales and marketing manager at ABC. “And we have been since 1912. Next to that we can supply variants in marine propulsion, diesel or propeller. We have three main product groups and historically have a marine background. I would say about 66% of our business is marine-oriented. Of that I would say around 85% is exported to other countries. I believe our strength lies in being active around the globe with agencies in Europe, Africa, South America and parts of Asia. These are also countries we feel we need to mould for the future.” Wim Knoester, sales director at Wartsila, agrees and notes: “Brazil is a major goal, there is much to do there and we can help assist in making this port grow. Many of our customers are going there, so we need to be where they are.” Customer wishes are high priority for MAN Diesel & Turbo, Marc Boels senior manager at the MAN GO (Global Organization) within the MAN Group comments: “Anything the customer wants or needs, we can supply. This can be seen from the engine to a complete propulsion system, the whole package. Not only do we offer anything the customer may need, we do not shy away from the industry.”

Separate or the complete package

In 2002 Wartsila took over the Lips company, meaning an impulse for the smaller player. Wartsila is the producer of lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets, with 170 locations all over the world, including seven in the Netherlands. Knoester: “We can offer separate propulsion products or the complete package. It is useful that we are globally available, as this means we can offer a local network to our customers abroad. Being close to the client is what is important to us. The propulsion part of our organisation is housed globally as well, from America to Asia and in between. In Drunen, for instance, there is no longer a production facility, but most of our research and development and engineering is done here. We mainly focus on cruise shipping and offshore including the fleet of supply vessels. Much of the production is done in our Italian and Chinese production facilities.”

No 8 MbH December 2012 voor website.jpg 68 1Quality and development

ABC employs around 320 people and has a turnover of € 65 million. Van Acker: “This year we celebrated our 100 year anniversary.” During these festivities their new engine, the DL63, was presented, which is aimed at the  offshore industry. It can deliver between four to ten megawatts and has six cylinders. In time, eight to ten cylinders can also be made available. Officially launched during SMM in 2012, ABC means to improve their quality and development. Van Acker: “It also meets new regulations as it has no catalysator, which is unique, and provides a basis for the future as the regulation will come into force in 2016. Without the catalystor the emission meets requirements from the market.”

Innovation for high efficiency

“Our innovation lies in always trying to find the highest efficiency, this is also high on our customers’ wish list”, comments Knoester. “Next to that, regulations are changing, which means we in turn have to change our products to meet new demands. One of the latest go-to areas is ice-classed products. The Arctic and the Baltic harbour extreme conditions and more and more companies want products that can withstand these factors. The key, I believe, is making efficient combinations.” An interesting project at Wartsila is the Condition Based Monitoring (CBM), since its release two years ago, more than 200 units will be sold by the end of this year. Established within the Propulsion Services in the CBM Centre Propulsion for the correct delivery and guarantee of contract. The CBM Centre Propulsion allows online data analysis and support to CBM and prerequisites for (preventative) maintenance. The CBM Centre Propulsion strives to continuously improve the CBM products and the maintenance instructions in cooperation with the Services, the R&D and the engineering departments to remain leading in propulsion systems.

No 8 MbH December 2012 voor website.jpg 68 2Land and Sea Academy

Wartsila also has ten training centres in different areas globally. One of these training centre is located in Waalwijk, the Netherlands. This Land and Sea Academy is meant for employees as well as customers. Wartsila feels that customers should be able to work well with the product and even more so, that their own employees know what is available. Knoester: “If you work in an office or a production facility, you should know what a product is and does. Sure, we offer a set of standard training opportunities in the form of e-learning, but a new product will always see its way to the academy to make sure everyone is up to date.”

Trend to last the ages?

Boels states: “Few trends last the ages. Development will always be necessary. The industry is bracing itself for what may come. In the mean time they are waiting. The NOx emission regulations will hit the industry, but the question is still how hard. We feel it will be a while before steps are taken. Really, it is a story of the chicken and the egg, which came first? We await the first wave to hit. Change does not happen overnight so we do not expect this to happen in this situation either.” Van Acker concurs, stating: ” Though I believe, in all honesty, people would rather not be faced with these new regulations, people are starting to think about options and they will unfortunately be costly. The industry is currently demanding a solid medium-sized engine, with plenty of power and efficiently. So, we have to think about how we can give this to our customers in such a way that it is economically viable for them.”

Rebecca McFedries