For about two years now, this initiative
has been organizing engineering activities across disciplines and national
frontiers. Engineering Competence Centers (ECCs) and Functional Competence
Centers (FCCs) devote themselves to joint projects, independent of site, in
order to benefit from each other’s experience, boost competitiveness and cut
costs in the long term. Using the existing component testbeds in Augsburg to
develop new injection systems for two-stroke engines in Denmark is just one
example. In return, equipment in Copenhagen was used for new tests to try out
improved injection in four-stroke engines. “We had to make adjustments to the
testbeds for the different engines of course,” Claus Rarup Lund, Senior
Manager, Hydraulics & Injection at the Copenhagen site, explains. But the
mutual benefits outweigh the effort involved, with optimum use being made of
test units without additional, cost-intensive investments and time being saved
in the development process as a whole.
"Transferring design know how from
four stroke to two stroke is also contributing to the rapid market maturity of a
pioneering two-stroke system and makes us more effective,” is Lund’s
Using the existing component testbeds in Augsburg to develop new injection systems for two-stroke engines in Denmark is just one example for Engineering UNITED.
Unlocking hybrid potential on a large container
ship seems a bit more futuristic. We are not talking about the main engine, but
the auxiliary engines, which are responsible for
generating electricity on board, for example. “They could work more efficiently
and greenly if we combined and integrated conventional and electric drives on
the vessel,” Alexander Knafl, Head of Advanced Engineering & Exhaust
Aftertreatment, Augsburg, explains. For the past year, an alliance between a
battery manufacturer, a ship designer, a Norwegian classification society,
Copenhagen’s two-stroke engine expertise and Augsburg’s experience in the
hybrid/battery field has been pooling its forces in a study that is due to end
in June 2019. The objective is to combine engines and storage media optimally,
and to filter out and reassemble the very best of the components. Simulations
produce different efficiency ratings depending on the configuration. “If they
permanently reduce operating costs on the bottom line, then hybrid has a chance
with shipowners,” says Alexander Knafl.
could work more efficiently and greenly if we combined and integrated
conventional and electric drives on the vessel.
Engineering United depends on the people
who advance the process in a mutual exchange. And on interconnecting data in
order to make knowledge available across the board, put it to productive use
for everyone and so generate added value for customers too. “The digital twin’s
best chances in the future are as just such a benefit,” Giovanni Birolini, Head
of Engineering Architecture & Services (EGS), explains. An engine on a
ship, a compressor in a plant – two examples that could soon be duplicated on people’s
mobile phones in parallel with reality. The image is used for analysis,
documents servicing, orders spare parts in good time and documents their
substitution. At the development stage, the digital twin helps to simulate
scenarios and avoid possible malfunctions.
Furthermore, comprehensive cost
transparency is an essential approach of EGS. "It creates the
prerequisites for identifying the right starting points for cost and value
optimization both in the technical design and along the entire supply chain,"
explains Michael Plöckl, Head of Product Cost Management. "The cost
optimizations are then implemented in close interdisciplinary cooperation with
the development, production and purchasing departments. The step-by-step
development of comprehensive product cost management (PCM) is being carried out
through pilot projects - with the perspective of an external consultant - at
Turbomaschinen in Oberhausen and the two-stroke engines in Copenhagen. The aim
is to adapt the methodology, which until now has only been practiced in
Augsburg, to the new components and machines in order to achieve the best
possible result. This requires an intensive exchange between all participants
in order to build up capacities for implementation on site in the medium term.
The findings from these projects provide the basis for improving
competitiveness throughout the company in this field.
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