after its establishment, Viking Heat Engines Germany GmbH (Viking Heat Engines’
new subsidiary) has 13 employees. The plan is to double that number by the end
of this year.
“It’s full speed ahead in Germany,” says Tor
Hodne, Managing Director of Viking Heat Engines. “We are building up a new engineering,
service and sales organization, and for that we need a lot of people. I expect
us to have a total of 25-30 staff by the end of the year.”
The office, which is located in Remscheid, some
44km from Düsseldorf, will be responsible for providing a service organization to
support all CraftEngine installations worldwide. It will house a surveillance centre,
where engines will be monitored from afar to make sure they run as they should
all hours of the day, every day.
Hodne says the German office will be manned 24/7
to give customers the support they need wherever they’re located in the world.
“Our service staff will be able to travel at
very short notice to help our customers all over the world and, by having a
surveillance centre in place, we can quickly fix potential technical problems
and carry out software updates,” he says.
The office will also be responsible for
application engineering, which is all about making sure machines that are
installed meet customers’ requirements and on-site specifications.
“We want to build up this kind of competence in
one place,” Hodne says. “This means that whenever we have a customer in, let’s
say, South Africa, we’ll send all data to our Germany office first for an evaluation
before proceeding with the installation at the site.”
Hodne says the reasons for setting up the office
in Germany rather than anywhere else were twofold. First, Viking Heat Engines
would gain access to the right kinds of competence. Second, it would benefit
from close proximity to its partner AVL Schrick, the engine design company that
has been crucial in the development of the CraftEngine.
“If we want to do some more development to the
CraftEngine, we’ll first do the basic engineering ourselves before transferring
the detailed engineering to AVL,” he says. “This means development will be a
lot faster and cheaper than in the past.”
one of two General Managers at the new office in Germany, has a lot of faith in
“We’re not the first company with such an engine,
but we have come very far in terms of the technical and commercial aspects of
it,” he says. “We should therefore be able to present some cheaper and better
machines to the market than our competitors.”
Mück is very happy to work with the staff from
Viking Heat Engines in Norway, which he describes as a nice and sincere bunch
of people. “We never get stuck in internal politics, which is something
you often find at larger companies,” he says. “We’re just focusing on the
success of the engine – and getting it out there.”