Component Supplier – Case Studies
Moderator: Ed Watson – Great Lakes Wind Network
Charlie Appleby, Manager of Client Services, Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions (AMS)
Alexandra Altvater, Dir. Business Development, Beckmann Volmer
Chris Carpenter, Business Development Manager, Flash Technologies
Carl LaFrance, VP Renewable Energy, Molded Fiber Glass Companies
Dennis McKinley, Industry Sales Manager, ABB
-Q1 How did you enter the Windpower market?
– A1: Carl: Innovative foresight back in 1970’s from GM in Calf. plant. Took a while to payoff, but certainly a good decision
– A2: Emerged from European Counterparts…easy transition from existing telecom and airport business
-Q2 Who has a Lean Manufacturing Process
– A – everyone on panel
– Q3 How important is co-location with customers when opening supply manufacturing facility?
– A1: Carl – it is certainly a factor that we consider. We bring in very small parts but our finished product is very large, so in order to keep logistical time and cost down we try to locate near our customers are easily accessible transportation route.
– A2: Alexandra – Very important…actually entered wind market because of close proximity to GE Energy in Germany. Opening Arkansas plant because of location to Nordex facility in Arkansas.
– Q4 How often to you redesign your products?
– A1: Alexandra- Always looking to innovate but most changes stem from customer request.
– A2: Carl – Throughout the entire lifecycle of the product line. Rely on customer insight into what is needed for innovative change.
– A3: Dennis: By customer request
– Q5 What keeps you up at night?
A1: Dennis- What is wind market doing today? Uncertainty in market.
A2: Carl- Lack of longterm US policy in wind.
A3: Chris- No Stable policy for wind.
A4: Alexandra- Unknown market, lack of strong US policy for wind. Manufacturing leaving US for China and others.
Filed Under: Turbines