Sales strategy seeks out new markets to diversify into non-marine markets
Czech Republic based PBS Turbo (PBST) is a key supplier to many of the world’s engine builders. A clear focus on MAN’s TCR turbochargers, with a power range of up to 2,700 kW per turbocharger, allows PBST to act as an independent supplier. The current range is based on five frame sizes, from TCR10 to TCR18, these being well suited to medium- and high-speed engine applications.
PBST has paid particular attention to the development of the TCR series and the lowest capacity TCR10 turbocharger has efficiency levels of approximately 60% and can deliver pressure ratios of greater than 5.2:1. This has helped many engine manufacturers to meet IMO emissions limits, which usually demands higher charge air pressures to assist in keeping NOx levels to a minimum.
The TCR10 incorporates compressor wheel cooling technology and has improved rotor sealing arrangements, with both these features being checked through long-term testing. The bearings are water-cooled and this feature, alongside materials used on the turbine side of the product, enable the turbocharger to operate reliably on engines with high exhaust gas temperatures. The result is a product that is both stable and flexible in operation and has good compressor surge margins.
PBST has worked with MAN in developing the TCX turbocharger for two-stage high-pressure applications and built a dedicated test stand for this product at its Velká Bíteš facility. When configured in two-stage packages, these products are rated for pressure ratios of up to 10.5:1. A total of eight frame sizes are currently available and two-stage packages can also be supplied with integrated intermediate and after-coolers.
Another successful collaboration project between the companies has been the Electrical Turbo Blower (ETB), designed to work with exhaust gas recycling systems. The first examples are being produced at Velká Bíteš and the products have already received preliminary sales release status. First deliveries to customers will be in August.
To support its products, PBST maintains its own production, quality control, validation and engineering teams and the company now has a fleet of 19,000 turbochargers in the field. This is split between approximately 11,000 TCR and 8,000 NR units. Production volumes have also ramped up significantly, with 2,600 units being produced last year – double the output seen five years ago. Of these, close to 90% were delivered for newbuildings, with the balance meeting service requirements. The company now plans to raise production further, to a total of 3,000 units per annum by 2020.
PBST cites the reason for this business success as being diversification in sales. Whilst still strongly supporting the marine industry, increased focus has been placed on new applications, including stationary gensets, mining and drilling power and combined heat and power plants. It believes the confidence of these new customers has been gained through PBST product quality and customer satisfaction from supplier score-cards. It also credits its delivery reliability, which is currently running at 95%, as another important success factor.
From an organisational perspective, a recent major change has been the appointment of Thomas Winter, previously the head of validation assessment at MAN, to head PBST’s engineering function. Both companies are confident that this will help develop further synergies, benefiting customers of the business’s engineering and production functions.
In support of the after-market, PBST maintains a network of service partners offering around the clock assistance, 365 days a year, from centres throughout Europe and beyond. Repairs can be carried out at many global locations, where feasible, typically using plasma spraying or welding techniques, and exchange units can be provided for rapid turn-around demands. Turbochagers can also be modernised and upgraded and all factory-built units undergo verification testing.