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BWE service survey 2013

The customer is king

Good service now plays a key role among turbine manufacturers. The results from the latest service survey 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. By Sascha Rentzing

Nordex is going from strength to strength, while Repower is struggling – these are the two most striking results to emerge from BWE’s 2013 service survey. 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 last year’s score of 2.86 and an embarrassing 3.6 in 2011. Hamburg-based Repower, however, only achieved 2.75 for its services – a quarter of a mark worse than last year. However, out of the six manufacturers that were evaluated in total, Repower remains the unfortunate exception.

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Vestas achieved the same score as last year, 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 2012. 

Aurich-based manufacturer Enercon remains the undisputed service champion, moving up the scale from 2.10 to 1.96.  “We are extremely happy that we now have a one before that point,” says Volker Kendziorra, managing director of Enercon’s service department. “We were always market leaders from a technical point of view, but now we have also achieved that status in customer service.” It is certainly clear that things are running smoothly in customer service at Enercon – the company has shown improvement in all 12 areas of the survey, particularly in the quality and promptness of its repairs. “Our decentralised service network is a key factor behind these good results,” says Kendziorra. Enercon already has 130 service centres in Germany and there are plans to open more in the south of the country, where many new installations are expected.

This is an abridged version of the article – the complete text is available in issue 5/2013 of new energy.

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