How has digitalization impacted the industry?
Digitalization for our own operations is a no-brainer.
We actually started our digitalisation journey with the acquisition of a small startup like company many years ago and have developed their product towards a digital engine advisory system.
We are now able to provide this software offering on fleet level.
The system compares the actual operation of the engine to the factory acceptance test and advises the operator to tune the engine to ensure it performs at its best.
When we bought it, it was an Excel-based system and you had to run around the engine taking many measurements and typing it into the Excel sheet.
Today, it’s all automated with data transfer to the cloud, and customer access to a portal with great visualizations.
By expanding our digital offering, we also get access to operational data, which helps shape our service offerings. It gives us more flexibility and decreases the risk of shaping our offerings.
That’s how we use it internally. But we also use digitalisation in our next generation of products and hardware concepts, as well as combining them with digital offerings. It’s important to ensure the hardware and software, which take different lengths of time to develop, are compatible and fit together.
In terms of the broader industry, digitalization will have a huge impact on how you run your assets.
What is Accelleron’s focus for the next decade?
Our number one priority is to support the industries we serve and their journey towards decarbonization, as well as the digitalization that comes with that.
Of course, our core business is turbocharging – which is a very interesting journey.
In the past, it took five years to develop a new turbocharger or engine, and then another five years to ramp it up. These are extremely long development cycles.
But if we look where we are now, and where we will be in 10 years, there’s a lot of uncertainty. The only thing we know is that these future fuels will come and need to come. But we don’t really understand the full impact yet.
We have to move forward, learn as we move forward, and adapt our technologies and offerings accordingly. It’s a completely different approach and mindset.
In terms of developing hardware, we have to learn fast and adapt fast. We are aligning the traditional long development cycles with very short learning cycles.
It’s an interesting journey and requires the whole organization to adapt to these fast learning cycles in order to maintain a competitive advantage as we move forward.
What does your role at Accelleron mean to you?
For me, it’s about being part of this decarbonization journey – it’s such a noble purpose. I have been in this industry for many years but I’ve never been so excited.
I grew up making our turbochargers capable of burning heavy fuel, the cheapest but also the dirtiest thing you can think of. My daughters were not very proud of what I was doing. But now I feel it’s completely different. And from this motivation, we change and adapt the way we work and the mindset of the organization. It’s fun and super motivating.
This interview originally appeared in Power Engineering. Read the full interview here.