Service survey

The customer is king

Sascha Rentzing, 17 Oct 13
Good service now plays a key role among turbine manufacturers. The results from the service survey for 2012 carried out by the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) show that most manufacturers are continuing to improve their maintenance and repair services, and the gap is closing on independent service providers.

Nordex is going from strength to strength, while Repower is struggling – these are the two most striking results to emerge from BWE’s service survey for 2012. On a scale where up to 1.5 is “very good” and 4.51 to 5.5 is “poor”, Norderstedt-based manufacturer Nordex scored 2.7 for its maintenance and repair services, compared with its score of 2.86 in 2011 and an embarrassing 3.6 in 2010. Hamburg-based Repower, however, only achieved 2.75 for its services – a quarter of a mark worse than the previous year. However, out of the six manufacturers that were evaluated, Repower remains the unfortunate exception. Vestas achieved the same score as in 2011, while all of the other firms actually improved in terms of service, despite the fact that 2,439 megawatts (MW) were installed in 2012.

In the past, operators often got a raw deal from manufacturers when order books were full. It is clear that this has changed: companies are now doing more than merely paying lip service to the importance of providing good repairs and maintenance. “Service allows manufacturers to document the quality of their product,” says Carlo Reeker, membership director at BWE. Independent service companies, however, appear to have reached their limits. Although they still scored higher overall in comparison to turbine manufacturers, their lead is getting smaller and smaller – four of the seven independent providers that were evaluated scored lower than in 2011.

This is an abridged version of the article – the full text is available in new energy issue 05/2013

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