Udo Kronmüller, Lufft Sales Manager for business unit ‘Wind and Weather’ answered the questions by the wind fair portal.
» Windfair: Is the Wind Energy Industry a priority for your company? How so?
Udo Kronmüller: As a manufacturer of meteorological sensors and measuring systems we can not overlook the renewable energy market, in this case the solar and wind sectors in particular. In the final analysis, meteorological parameters such as radiation and wind are what “drive” us in these fields and therefore they have to be accurately measured. We have worked hard in recent years to ensure that our products are consistently suitable for harsh applications on wind energy plant turbines. The toughest of laboratory tests and field sampling in extreme climates have now finally led to their deployment in series production by various turbine manufacturers. The wind energy industry is therefore the most important strategic pillar of our “Wind & Weather” business.
» Windfair: How many employees does your company have? How many dedicated to wind energy?
Udo Kronmüller: We currently employ around 80 people at our Fellbach headquarters and our subsidiaries in the USA and China. In addition to the “Wind & Weather” business segment, which is relevant to renewable energy, we are also active in the fields of “Traffic & Weather” and “Industry & OEM”. As such, about one third of our employees are directly or indirectly engaged in the field of renewable energy.
» Windfair: Tell us something about your wind energy products or services. How does your portfolio look like?
Udo Kronmüller: Our showpiece for the wind energy industry is the ultrasonic anemometer Ventus-UMB, which provides consistently reliable wind measurements for controlling wind turbines. Even under extreme climatic conditions, both onshore and offshore and in hot and cold climates alike. The Ventus-UMB is currently the spearhead of our sensor matrix – unique on the market – which follows a modular system and represents virtually all aspects of meteorological measurement technology. Our Ventus-UMB is also used increasingly on measurement masts for wind yield assessments, especially in locations that are prone to ice. Lufft underlines the high quality through the operation of its own calibration laboratory (DAkkS). The component parts of this laboratory include an accredited wind tunnel where a 100% test is performed on all delivered wind sensors.
» Windfair: Do you have any special training programs for your employees?
Udo Kronmüller: The competition for good professionals is very strong, especially in Baden-Wuerttemberg which is characterized by the automotive industry. For this reason, not only is the need for training self-evident; it is a clear necessity which will allow us to exploit our innovative edge as a competitive advantage in the future. In fact, we have just taken on another two apprentices to begin their professional careers at Lufft. Students also strengthen our team through cooperation with our regional universities.
» Windfair: Politics – worldwide – give wind energy a hard time at the moment. What do you expect for your company in the future?
Udo Kronmüller: As a relative newcomer in the field of renewable energy, admittedly it will be a little easier for us to continue our growth going forward. For this purpose, the world market offers us outstanding potential for the coming years. However, we note with concern the nationwide political confusion as regards responsibility, especially in the field of wind energy. At the federal state level, we are committed to the increased development of wind energy in the southwest of Germany through our membership of Windcluster Baden-Württemberg e.V.
Thanks for the interview.