Since 2006 C&F Green Energy (CFGE) has been striving to find solutions to provide more powerful, yet safer, wind energy solutions for residential, commercial and agricultural applications. With a background rooted in precision manufacturing, C&F was well placed from the start to design innovative wind turbines that would combine unrivalled performance and power with clean aesthetics and reliability.
With this in mind the company has assembled a world class team of industrial design experts in this field to deliver solutions based on innovation and engineering excellence. The group attributes its success to unrivalled levels of workmanship quality, streamlined manufacturing processes and continual product design and reliability improvement.
Since its inception, the company has developed an innovative range of small to medium-sized turbines that incorporate the same advanced technologies that are used in Mega-Watt sized machines. Leveraging its expertise in manufacturing and design, not to mention its global reach, C&F Green Energy is in a unique position in being able to offer this advanced technology at very competitive prices.
“Our commitment to customer service and our confidence in our products are evident in the fact that all customer contracts will be directly with C&F Green Energy and all warranties will be carried by us,” explains Enda Meaney, Quality Manager. “This includes the market leading warranty that is available for five years.
“Our mission is to make C&F Green Energy the global leader in small and medium sized generation. We build what we firmly believe to be the best wind turbines in the world.”
C&F Green Energy’s mission statement demonstrates its overriding aim to become a world leading manufacturer of small to medium size wind turbines. In line with this vision, the company also strives to make wind energy affordable and accessible to everyone. “Whether you are an individual interested in harnessing wind power for your sole consumption or an investor interested in making profit from generation of power for general availability on the national grid, we have an affordable solution to satisfy that need,” says Meaney.
“To compliment this strategy, our Quality Policy states that we will undertake to conduct our business in a manner which endeavours to protect our environment, the health and safety of our employees and to continuously improve the quality of our products and services to our customers.”
Continuous improvement is critically important to C&F Green Energy, in fact they truly believe their commitment to quality underpins the entire operation. As Meaney explains, “My aim is to equip C&F Green Energy not just for the sustainment of high quality standards but to meet the demands of global business growth and the ever increasing customer expectations that come with an innovative and evolutionary industry such as the renewables wind energy sector, which we are currently leaders in.”
In terms of business strategies, CFGE has leveraged on the well-established processes and methodologies used by the entire C&F Group family of companies and facilities. “We have a global footprint of businesses strategically married through mergers and acquisitions since our establishment as a tooling manufacturer in 1998. These businesses align well in terms of supply chain continuity and economy of scales in purchasing power and industry expertise,” says
CFGE understands that its quality goals are not achievable without a strong team of employees working behind the scenes. “The renewables energy sector is both a growing sector and a hugely sought after sector in terms of attracting highly skilled and valuable resources. This is an environment CFGE is enjoying at present as we equip our business to meet growth demands. The most attractive aspect of working with CFGE is the cutting edge technology and the continuous demand for change and improvement,” says Meaney.
“What you learn and experience in six months in C&F is equivalent to 18 months experience in most other industry sectors. This is due mainly to the fast evolving technology and the variety of exposures an employee has throughout their daily activities. We are a tight-knit community that depends on openness, cross-functional cooperation and an attitude to succeed. Behind every wind turbine is a slip stream of energised people.”
CFGE use a combination of both owned and sub-contracted service and repair crews throughout Ireland and the UK, European and Global markets. This allows the business to quickly penetrate its customer base in the event of either routine service calls or breakdown and support requirements. As Meaney explains, this does however also provide a challenge in terms of keeping crews up to speed on latest process and procedural advances.
“To meet this challenge, and as we expand our crew base, we are currently embarked on a global crew re-training program which is being project managed in-house in Galway. Both current and new crew teams are being put through end-to-end training programs from tower and turbine installation, through service and maintenance, to electrical installations and commissioning, including health and safety and quality fundamental principles.
Complementing this, we are developing a series of video based training aids that we can remotely distribute to all our crew members.”
Supply chain management
One of the company’s USPs is the fact that it manages all aspects of the project in-house, making them 100 percent accountable and thus giving customers complete peace of mind. CFGE have a network of road crews available to transport turbines and tower structures to any site in Europe and beyond. In some cases, access to a customer site may be challenging and require specialised machinery to ensure an efficient installation, which often can be hampered by inclement weather conditions. Advance planning and knowledge of the local environment is critical in determining installation requirements and this is achieved thorough site surveying as part of the contract. Much emphasis is placed on the secure transportation of the product so that it reaches the customer site intact and free of damage.
The installation process is carried out by teams of UK, Ireland and International crews. “These are teams of specialised installers from mechanical to electrical engineers, equipped and trained to build tower structures, install turbine nacelles, connect to electrical controllers and commission the installation in full for the customer. Key to providing a good quality service to our customer base is having crews geographically and strategically placed to ensure prompt response times,” says Meaney.
“One of the inherent benefits the C&F Group can offer its Green Energy subsidiary is the entity of self-sufficiency of material supply through its chain of metal and tooling businesses. Many of our parts, from raw steel to precision engineered parts come from within our own supply chain, giving us complete control over costs, quality and time,” he says.
A key strength of CFGE is the ability to produce innovative designs that ensure its products are at the cutting edge of the wind energy industry. The business is continuously producing new designs that will ensure CFGE have the best turbines and will remain as leaders in the market space. “This industry is all about efficiency of conversion of energy from one form (wind) to another (electricity) at the least set-up and operational expense possible,” says Meaney.
“To achieve this, we are constantly innovating on design and quality. An example of this is a current initiative being project managed in Galway whereby we are conducting in-depth reliability studies and design of experiments (DOE) on our existing product ranges in order to improve long term reliability of mechanical parts and sub-assemblies, which in turn, will lead to overall turbine reliability improvement. We are in partnership with a leading reliability statistician to conduct these trials over the coming months which we hope will yield product improvement and also generate in-house expertise in this specialised area.”
“C&F Green Energy have designed a family of turbines, which gives us great scope in entering the global markets due to our unique design and product range. We are the only global wind turbine manufacture that offers this option in the small to medium product range. With these choices of turbine sizes, this gives us and our customers the possibilities to tailor their development” said Paul Fitzpatrick, Global Business Development.
CFGE is focused on developing innovative solutions for the world and realises that a mission this ambitious needs to be underpinned with good business practice. From continuous improvement to investment in technology, people management to a robust supply chain, CFEG is ensuring it is well placed to triumph now and in the future.