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Wednesday, November 24, 2021 

Engine developer WinGD has reported potential component shortages as a result of supply chain difficulties, but says it has been proactive in dealing with this challenge and continues to work in close cooperation with its suppliers to mitigate the situation.

Supply chain issues have meant that there is a global shortage of semi-conductor chips, a key part in engine control systems. The underlying reasons for the shortage are said to be manifold, with the steep increase in global demand accentuated by Covid-19 related effects, being seen as the primary cause.

WinGD has recognised the potential impact this could have on engine production and on-time delivery, and has carefully monitored component deliveries while, at the same time, anticipating production requirements. This allowed the company to place orders early for semi-conductor chips and other vital components, thereby providing an important hedge against delays.

Rudolf Holtbecker, WinGD Director of Operations, said: “Chip supply shortage is affecting engine builders across the board. We are well positioned at the moment because we took immediate action in close collaboration with our engine builders and suppliers. In recent years we have prioritised localisation as well as design improvements for certain components to improve flexibility in our supply chain, which is proving to be an advantage right now. But the situation remains dynamic and we continue to carefully monitor it so as to take action as needed.”

WinGD points out that the maritime sector has for some years been undergoing a rapid transition towards the application of smart, digital-based, solutions. This has undoubtedly raised propulsion efficiency levels, while making a positive contribution to the lowering of operating costs. It has, nevertheless, involved supplies of electronic components that are also required by a host of other industries. Consequently, the exponential growth in global demand for such supplies during the past two years, combined with various unanticipated political and health-related factors, has led to the current supply chain crisis. 

Holtbecker added: “Digital technology advances have been enormously beneficial to our industry, enabling improvements in both efficiency and emissions, with further improvements still to come. Having to rely on popular in-demand components, such as semi-conductor chips, means that marine equipment manufacturers are now competing with other industries for these essential components. Our focus remains on supporting our customers, whether engine builders or ship operators, whatever the circumstances, so we are doing our utmost to manage the situation effectively. Careful management is the key. By forecasting potential needs and ordering early, deliveries can be largely safeguarded, which will relieve the pressures imposed by possible component shortages.”

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