Opportunities and Challenges in Global Business

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 in UEA Blog

As a slip ring supplier for wind turbines, UEA was recently invited to join an opening ceremony for a foreign wind turbine maker that is planning on building new wind turbines in Iowa. This project, supported by the local government, will continue to promote local economic development and employment. One's initial thought might be that manufacturers from other countries such as India and China would only focus on their domestic clean energy demand, but times are changing. As we've frequently heard, the global trend for business is being pursued around the world, which is fundamentally reshaping the economic, political, and social landscape.

Take China as an example. Concerns about energy security, power outages, air pollution, and climate change have fueled renewable energy growth. Wind power is the fastest-growing power generation technology in China. By the end of 2008, at least 15 Chinese companies were commercially producing wind turbines and several dozen more were producing wind turbine components or subsystems. As of 2010, China has become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines. In 2013, China led the world in renewable energy production, with a total capacity of 378 GW, mainly from hydroelectric and wind power.

As a reliable slip ring manufacturer, UEA has a lot of potential to expand our global market share and play a big role in the renewable energy industry. On the other hand, due to the differences from county to county on design specifications, technical standards, documentation format, test requirements, and application environments, our UEA engineering teams face quite a few challenges. Specifically from product development processes, design to prototype, and performance testing standpoints. For example, UEA staff has seen different wind turbine OEM's having different vibration test requirements on frequency range and acceleration magnitude in terms of wind turbine operating environments. There is no doubt we have to be adaptive to meet our customers' specific requirements. We have successfully overcome challenges including language barriers through communications clarifying information. In addition, we have learned to recognize cultural differences in order to understand each other better.

As can be expected with international customers, the initial steps can be overwhelming when establishing processes and communications, but our confidence and comfort levels have increased and we learn from every experience working with them.

Our ultimate goals are to deliver products that fully satisfy our customers, to maintain long-term relationships, and in the meantime, to expand UEA's presence globally.

Bo Li
Design Engineer