Visiting the market leader in the homeland of the Reformation

Visit at ENERCON Magdeburg

Visit at FAM Förderanlagen Magdeburg

In June 2017, 21 Russian entrepreneurs attended a qualification seminar at DMAN, organized as part of the Manager Training Programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

For company visits, the group traveled to Magdeburg. In the morning, the managers visited ENERCON Magdeburg, the market leader in the wind energy industry. During a highly interesting guided tour of the production, the participants learned about the very high level of vertical integration in this industry (over 80% in-house production).

All main components of the wind turbines – such as ring generators, inverters, rotor blades, cast components, towers and nacelles – are produced in ENERCON's own plants. This ensures strict quality control and independence from suppliers. In addition, the experience backflow from production to development reduces the risk to lose know-how.

The participants were impressed by the unique features of the wind turbines: no gears, but everything turns! The entrepreneurs learned a lot about the special shape of the rotor blades, which are equipped with "spoilers" so that they can adapt to the wind direction. The guests were amazed that a lot of manual work is still necessary, especially with the winding of the huge ring generators made of copper. The company produces on order, it does not produce on stock.

Pavel Bekesha from Rostov was amazed to learn that bureaucratic procedures (ground surveyor, unity of flora and fauna, foundation, etc.) can take the longest time of the implementation process, from order to go-live of the plant. It became quite clear that the quality of the results is ultimately determined by the commitment of each employee.

Sergey Emelin drew an interesting comparison: In Russia, the expert comes to work. In Germany, the expert works! You have to arouse people’s willingness for change. Sergey Emelin took the opportunity to enter into negotiations with ENERCON on the construction of wind farms in the Ulyanovsk region. He is now expecting an offer from ENERCON.

To Ivan Sakantsev from Ekaterinburg, it was clear that the main capital of German companies is their staff. In all the visited companies, there was a good working atmosphere. He was able to convince himself of this both at ENERCON and at FAM Förderanlagen Magdeburg, visited in the afternoon.

At FAM, global mechanical engineering company, the machines are even greater than at ENERCON. The manufacturer of conveyor systems has a history dating back to the 19th century. Project manager Waldemar Wiens provided detailed insight into the production of bulk material plants, open pit, storage, loading, conveying and port technology. Here, too, engineering and production come from one single source. The topics discussed included cooperation with Russia and participation in major projects in Russia and the CIS countries.

Pavel Nikitinskiy from St. Petersburg came straight to the point and asked for advice on how to do business together. His consulting firm can take care of subsidies and establish contact with numerous well-known large customers in Russia.

Overall, the group spent three interesting days in Magdeburg, the center of the Reformation. Their cultural programme on Saturday included a city tour and visits of the cathedral and the Green Citadel. In the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the participants thus had ample opportunity to walk in Martin Luther's footsteps.