Efficiency drives Siemens’ $20m centre

11/02/2016 - 06:03

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Global industrial products group Siemens has opened a $20 million service centre at Perth Airport, highlighting the growing competitive shift from the construction to the operational phase in Western Australia.

Siemens’ Michael Freyny (left) and Thomas Moser at the group’s new $20m Perth workshop. Photo: Evan Collis

Global industrial products group Siemens has opened a $20 million service centre at Perth Airport, highlighting the growing competitive shift from the construction to the operational phase in Western Australia.

Siemens global head of customer service for industrial businesses, Thomas Moser, said the company built facilities of this kind only once every five or six years, when the long-term demand from users of electric motors and drive chains reached a critical mass.

Siemens estimates it has sold about 5,000 pieces of specialist equipment in the state. In the Pilbara it has 500 megawatts of installed drive power and 150 conveyor-drive systems.

Dr Moser said the state-of-the-art workshop had a $5 million test bed to simulate motors running in installed conditions, as well as a vacuum chamber and ovens to apply resin insulation.

He said the mining downturn made efficient maintenance even more critical than before, as users sought to sweat their assets and get more out them, reducing shutdown periods when maintenance was required while at the same time retaining high safety standards.

“The worst thing you can do is not to invest in service ability when people are looking to use their equipment longer,” Dr Moser said.

He added that, while the basic electric motor had not changed significantly in decades, technology around monitoring usage and efficiency was evolving rapidly. Cloud computing was providing the ability for manufacturers and service providers to monitor equipment remotely and intervene at times that reduced the impact on users and bottlenecks in their maintenance programs.

Siemens committed to the state-of-the-art workshop three years ago when customer demand indicated that their purchasing decisions would be guided by the ability to have access to long-term care-and-maintenance services. It will employ 30 people.

“During the boom they bought equipment and they were asking how do we service it,” Siemens Australian general manager of industry equipment, Michael Freyny, told Business News.

“Servicing becomes part of the lifecycle commitment.

“It is a significant reduction in downtime if you can do it here rather than overseas.

“It is now about how can our customers be more efficient.”

Mr Freyny said this was especially applicable in the process industries prevalent in WA, where plant was installed for long-term operations, such as multiple decades, where efficiency of throughput was the goal.

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