It is no secret that many hi-tech companies are under increased pressure to meet the stringent cost and hourly rate requirements of their projects.

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It is no secret that many hi-tech companies are under increased pressure to meet their projects' stringent cost and hourly rate requirements. This motivated Siemens Gamesa’s Offshore Equipment Engineering department to enter into an agreement with R&D Test Systems in early 2020. It was hoped that a Danish technical project manager and a team of engineers in Prague would arrive at an efficient model that would also be economically viable.

R&D Test Systems has had an office in Prague for several years. Their team of employees in the Czech capital has used their engineering expertise to various projects in numerous fields, including design, construction, calculation, and ‘loads and controls.’ R&D has settled on an arrangement whereby a Danish project manager is the single point of contact between the customer and a team of around five engineers in Prague. This is working very well, and the set-up was something Siemens Gamesa was keen to trial.

“Our aim was to save costs. We believe that the more creative and innovative work should take place in Denmark, close to Siemens Gamesa. The more standardized, repetitive tasks, on the other hand, can be carried out in countries where expenses are lower. However, just because we’re interested in saving money does not mean that we’re compromising on quality”, explains Maximilian Kosmale, Team Lead Mechanical, and Structural Engineering, Siemens Gamesa.

Good communication is essential for success

To ensure that communication between Siemens Gamesa and R&D Test Systems ran smoothly, the collaboration was launched on the premise that all contact to the Prague engineers would be through R&D Test Systems’ Danish technical project manager, Kasper Næsby Frederiksen. Kosmale says, “It’s important for us to have an R&D Technical Project Manager (TPM) in our office. Naturally, costs should be kept low, but things have to work, too. It's essential that the TPM is at hand.”

As the cooperation and tasks progressed, it became apparent that, in practice, it made more sense to depart slightly from this strict line of communication. “To begin with, the idea was that our engineers wouldn’t speak to the team in Prague at all. But we’ve now relaxed this approach slightly, and they’re in touch when there’s a need to answer technical questions. However, all communication on delivery and new tasks must be through R&D’s TPM,” explains Kosmale.

The Prague consultants include both experienced and young engineers. The team worked well together, and they were soon up and running on their own. Siemens Gamesa has been extremely satisfied with the team’s high level of technical expertise. “The arrangement was that R&D’s TPM would conduct the first review of the material from Prague, and we would undertake the second review. Apart from the usual challenges of a new set-up, our team has not found any problems. In general, delivered projects have been of high quality,” Kosmale says.

We have no plans to stop cooperating with R&D Test Systems and their team in Prague. We may scale things up or down, depending on the volume of work, but in the long term, we would entertain the possibility of having another team on board.

Maximilian Kosmale
Team Lead Mechanical and Structural Engineering, Siemens Gamesa

Potential for future cooperation

Both R&D Test Systems and Siemens Gamesa found the trial run of this type of consultancy work to be an excellent experience. “It was a pleasure working with the Siemens Gamesa team. Expertise and mutual understanding helped promote an innovative, dynamic process, enabling us to arrive at the best possible solutions in good time,” says Frederiksen, R&D’s Technical Project Manager for this collaboration.

Siemens Gamesa, therefore, sees potential in continuing, and possibly expanding, the cooperation in the future.

“We have no plans to stop cooperating with R&D Test Systems and their team in Prague. We may scale things up or down, depending on the volume of work, but in the long term, we would entertain the possibility of having another team on board. Right now, we’re running two teams with two suppliers; we could imagine this being increased to three teams. The model works, that's for sure,” concludes Kosmale.

R&D Test Systems is experienced

R&D Test Systems has similar cooperation arrangements with other customers and also uses the engineers in Prague for their own turnkey test projects.

The location in Prague is ideal because the level of education in the Czech Republic is high, and there is a strong international student contingent. Communication and cultural understanding between the countries are therefore excellent. The fact that this is an EU-based partnership is also a clear advantage, in that our engineers can be called to Denmark at a day's notice if necessary.

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