The CEO of The Switch, a leading supplier of megawatt-class permanent magnet generator for wind turbines, recently urged the wind industry to adopt a networked approach to deal with slowdown and boost innovation
In a statement released earlier this month, Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, President and CEO of The Switch, called for the adoption of an industry-wide networked model to overcome the rigidity of the vertical integration that still stifles the entire industry, making it difficult to adjust rapidly to the slowdown and to maintain a high level of innovation.
“In the wind power industry, we have all witnessed the fallout from the global economic downturn and the significant geographic shift from Eurosope and the US towards China and emerging markets. Now, we’re finally seeing signs of this industry opening up to the benefits of networking, with large turbine manufacturers selling off component manufacturing operations to other specialist players to better compete by concentrating on their core strengths,” said Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen.
Industries that have embraced networking are better prepared for fluctuations in the market that can come from business cyclicality, market volatility or even geographical shifts. Networking within entire industries is not new. The automotive or telecommunications industries have been operating in such a manner for years, leading to deeper specialist expertise, the ability to add scale where necessary and faster time to market.
Companies in the wind power industry now need to focus on being good at their chosen core competences. Through specialization, you can tap into cumulative experience, which leads to significantly improved quality, ensuring a world-class solution with bigger and better wind turbines.
“Scalability, or being able to ramp up or down rapidly, is another benefit. In the wind industry, this means that a company can develop something new for six months, use it for two years, and then move on to new products, if the market so demands. This gives a company unrivaled agility when it comes to designing new technology and being on the innovative forefront,” said Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen.
For the wind power industry, a networked approach takes companies to where the market is – to be in the right geographical location, to make rapid product changes, and to survive at a time of major economic and market upheavals.
“We strongly believe that a networked approach is the only way to move the wind power business to the next level with world-class expertise, agility and speed,” Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen concluded.