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Gou Jianhui: Maintain High Standards for Product Reliability

Published: 2015-01-30


Source: Wind Energy Issue No.1, 2015

Guest interviewee: Dr. Gou Jianhui, Managing Director and President, NGC Gears.

Wind Energy: NGC has 30% of its wind power business in foreign countries. It is generally known that foreign customers have higher demands in regard to quality, so how does NGC meet the requirements of overseas customers?

Gou Jianhui: NGC emphasizes technological innovation, management innovation, and talent innovation. Through continuous improvements in manufacturing technology, stable investment of funds for research and development, and constant perfection of production technique, NGC has gradually developed its own core technology systems, developed a number of world-advanced products with independent intellectual property rights. While retaining control over the complete supply chain system and through utilization of the flexible advantages peculiar to the Chinese market, NGC has gradually improved its global service network and carried out continuous reform and adjustment in such aspects as management systems and internal operational process to satisfy the demanding requirements of our international first-class customers. Through long-term cooperation and experience with different schools of users in Europe, Asia, and America, NGC has succeeded in occupying an important seat in the international wind power market and expects to continue its expansion.

NGC in recent years has begun to establish a service network in North America, and has established technology and service centers in Singapore, Germany and the United States to serve markets in Asia Pacific, Europe and America. These measures will ensure a more solid development of global business by NGC.

Wind Energy: NGC has installed 30,000 wind power gearboxes, and its market share has ranked top in China and even in the world, while its development has been rapid and steady. How does NGC achieve that? What is your next strategy?

Gou Jianhui: By relying on keen market insights, NGC management made a decisive decision 10 years ago to enter the wind gearbox market, and thus rapidly organized strong teams to respectively focus on research and development, production and investment, marketing, and customer service. By maintaining emphasis on heavy investment in research and development, strict requirements in quality, and meticulous and rapid service, NGC have successfully developed and launched to market its main gearboxes and pitch gearbox & yaw drive in 600kW, 750kW, 1MW, 1.5MW and later 2MW, 3MW and 6 MW, making NGC a preferred supplier for one-stop supply. Thanks to close cooperations with leading domestic and international customers, NGC always keeps ahead of the latest industry technology, market demands, and market trends, helping it adapt to different application environments, such as plateaus, high and low temperatures, low wind speeds, and intertidal regions, thus meeting the various requirements of clients. Excellent and stable quality and efficiency and good service have won the trust of customers. With its wind gearbox sales ranking top in the world, NGC has won wide industry recognition.

The medium and long term goal of NGC is to realize sustainable development through advanced management systems and international operations. NGC positions itself as a globally operated gearbox and power transmission solutions expert maintaining a higher rate of development as compared to market averages. This makes NGC an industry leader. This goal will be achieved through reliance on prospective market strategy, continuous investments in innovation, advanced manufacturing technology, zero defect management concepts, high investment in human capital, and the development of a positive corporate culture.

Wind Energy: The gearboxes of some companies at home and abroad used to have issues with batch sizes, and many people note that there are higher requirements on the processing process, assembly process, material selection and production management for gearboxes. How does NGC solve these problems? Do products sold to domestic and foreign markets have unified price and reliability?

Gou Jianhui: In line with the principles of quality first and customers foremost, NGC has always oriented its entire supply chain and life cycle of the product as the management focus. This means emphasizing continuous improvements and zero defect management. Equipped with a mature supply chain system and a sound system of supply chain management systems, NGC ensures the elimination of hidden risks in raw materials and purchased parts. The company emphasizes research and development, and adopts the world's most advanced research and development means of technique and technology, including optimized product development processes, eliminating most issues of product failure in test phases. Therefore, the reliability of NGC products is able to maintain a high level, and thus is broadly recognized by customers.

For different service environments of wind turbines, the design of NGC gearboxes is also different. Whether in China or abroad, NGC adopts unified product quality systems, unified platform for research and development and the unified manufacture standard. In other words, NGC products are guaranteed in their consistent quality and price at home and abroad. Especially in terms of product quality, all NGC gearboxes meet requirements of the industry and the enterprise itself, and processing and testing equipment are from the world's leading manufacturers. Thanks to these standards, the entire production processes from processing, heat treatment, grinding, and assembly to testing are fully unified, and the quality of the products launched to market at home and abroad are entirely identical.

Wind Energy: From the wind gearboxes in 750kW to those in 6MW, how is the development and design of gearboxes at NGC approached? What’s your recent development in offshore wind power markets in China?

Gou Jianhui: The wind gearboxes of NGC start from 750kW, with a 6MW product platform now fully developed. Both at the initial design stage and now the concept system design stage of MW products, NGC adheres to independent research and development, with technology as the guide and quality as the premise. This has allowed the company to research and develop qualified gearbox products catering to the needs of customers. NGC has strict process controls for new product design. From the receipt of the customer's requirements, technical agreement consideration, concept design, to the conclusion of prototype contracts, technical details design, calculation, customer confirmation, and subsequent production and testing, NGC staff complete each task in a solid and reliable manner, neither rushed nor rash.

NGC gearboxes have been preliminarily applied to China offshore wind power. The current mainstream model of offshore wind turbines from international whole machine manufacturers has a power of around 6MW, so the market entry of the 6MW gearbox of NGC is well-suited to the demand of the market. Compared with that of onshore wind power, the development costs and maintenance costs of the offshore wind power are much higher; therefore, NGC will continue to focus on product reliability and maintainability in its research and development of gearboxes.

Wind Energy: Do you think there is any gap between China's wind gearbox enterprises and foreign enterprises?

Gou Jianhui: Compared with the development cycle of foreign wind power, China's wind power enterprises need to gain more experience and improve upon their technologies. The wind power enterprises in China started late, but are developing to a rapid pace. Installation scale of wind power is increasing so rapidly that a trend of excess capacity is occurring. In addition, key technologies and independent intellectual property rights for wind power equipment still need further improvements, so do the quality management systems and execution of wind power enterprises. (By Zhao Liang)

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