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Helping MAN Energy Solutions to create a more agile organization

MAN Energy Solutions is the world’s leading supplier of two-stroke engines and stationary installations. MAN Energy Solutions enables its customers to achieve sustainable value creation in the transition towards a carbon neutral future. Addressing tomorrow’s challenges within the marine, energy and industrial sectors.

MAN Energy Solutions faced massive challenges in recruiting qualified senior software developers for an advanced C++ project in preparation for MAN’s digitalization. The assignment was put out to tender and Etteplan (previously TekPartner*) was chosen to provide support. The cooperation has extended to include the parent company in Augsburg.

We chose Etteplan based on qualifications and price. I don’t know of any other consultancy that can match Etteplan’s ability to allocate qualified developers from any discipline, and make it work. That’s why Etteplan is our primary supplier of consultants.

From a competitive standpoint, the setup with Etteplan has been extremely valuable because it means that we can progress faster and therefore meet engine delivery deadlines that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve otherwise. The collaboration opens the door to a lot of possibilities and gives us far greater readiness and a more agile organization: it’s so easy to call Etteplan and tell them what I need, and then they deliver the right consultant for the job. There is a big difference between hiring a permanent employee and a consultant. At Etteplan, they are good at identifying the right consultants during the process – better than we do actually. Strategically, it can be easier for me to hire consultants rather than permanent employees due to the organization’s headcount policy. At the same time, it allows us to increase productivity during peak times. Approximately 10% of my employees in Copenhagen are consultants at the moment.

MAN Energy Solutions has been working with Etteplan for 10 years with, among other things, VHDL for FPGA, Windows Image and C++. Etteplan's consultants are completely knowledgeable about FPGA and our platform.

"The collaboration with Etteplan opens the door to a lot of possibilities and gives us far greater readiness and a more agile organization."

Henrik Rechnagel Olesen

Senior Manager, Head of Automation & Control, Two-stroke, MAN Energy Solutions

Successful pilot project in Eastern Europe

MAN’s low-cost department in India is good at testing and user interfaces, but they are not geared for solving complex development tasks. So we needed to find out if this could be done in Eastern Europe instead. The cooperation with Etteplan has worked really well here too and has been very transparent: Etteplan set up a number of strategic models for collaboration from the start. My colleague and I then took part in a fact-finding study tour where Etteplan introduced us to potential partners. After that, we got the green light to run a pilot project where the existing prototype for troubleshooting was rewritten in C++ in order to future-proof the tool and get the code and ownership of everything. The pilot project has made it possible for the data from our control system, which was expensive or impossible to send via satellite, to be downloaded to a flash drive. It has been really good working with consultants based in Eastern Europe; it was not more difficult working with a developer in Macedonia, Serbia or Belarus than if they were in Jutland.

Preparing for compiler and Cloud of the future

For the past three years, Etteplan has prepared our existing source codes and converted a number of systems to ensure that they are supported by Clang. The project should make it possible to limit, filter and select data so that it can be sent by satellite. The aim of digitalization is for all vessels to be connected, so that we can offer shipowners, service providers and licensees solutions that optimize our engines and provide preventative maintenance. The first users will be presented at the SMM trade fair in the autumn. The next step in our digitalization phase is to develop an agent that can interface between the control system and Cloud, so that you can order data within Life Cycle Maintenance, download new software, etc.

We recently sent three of Etteplan's Danish consultants to our four-stroke engine branch in Augsburg. This branch faced huge challenges in recruiting competent engineers for the software part of the platform, so it was an obvious step to propose the same setup that we use. One of the three consultants was already employed in my department. I have complete confidence that they’ll be successful with him on board. We get fantastic feedback from the German side and expect that more consultants will work on this project in the future.”

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