I hope you’re well in these challenging times. As you know, the fight against the coronavirus is taking a lot of extra time from all of us. But we at The Switch are working together to get past what we hope to be temporary difficulties. And we’re well positioned to do so. Since we started operations in 2006, we’ve been used to relying on mobile phones, laptops and other online connections to empower our personnel to communicate with one another and our customers, regardless of location.
Our factories are keeping up 100% production capacity. And we have been able to continue delivering our products to our wind, marine and turbo/industry customers on time and as promised.
What’s more, we are continuing to build toward the future. Our Large Drive Test Center in Lappeenranta, Finland, is currently completing the final steps of commissioning. This new facility will be an important resource for us, as we have been racking up some large marine orders recently, despite the virus.
The stricter emission requirements are driving shipping companies to apply new technologies on modern gas carriers to reduce total fuel consumption by up to 40%. Our products are very much a part of those savings. We’re seeing that permanent magnet (PM) shaft generators are being specified when auxiliary gensets are replaced by shaft generators, when running the main engine. The high efficiency with a wide speed range and the compact size of the PM machines bring advantages to the ship design, which are the main reasons for selection of these applications.
We have been selected as the supplier for several of these projects. There is an increasing need for gas transportation, and our solution is becoming standard on those tankers.
Another milestone is that genset manufacturers are understanding that fixed speed gensets are not the optimum answer for variable load needs onboard. We have developed concepts for total load optimization, including drives, DC-Hubs, variable speed PM generators and PM propulsion motors. This is resulting in large fuel savings, and consequently, reduced emissions.
When the Large Drive Test Center is ready, we’ll be able to test these new marine machines and drives with some of the latest state-of-the-art testing facilities.
In our wind business, we have long-term projects with ongoing volumes, thanks to our role as an active player in offshore wind. The same situation exists with our turbo products, where we have been able to move forward with continuous operations. Our high-speed standard series is now in the type-test phase, with great results creating positive interest from the market to go for gearless solutions.
With most of the world on stay-at-home mode, let’s continue to communicate actively over Teams and other online methods to keep up our positive flow of energy! We know that this is the new normal, and we are planning to learn to live with it even in the long term. I believe that we’ll be able to ride smoothly through these trying times.