- Recently, DILO received the Busch Innovation in Vacuum Award. Please tell us about the journey to get this award and how it felt when receiving this award.
Replied by – Christian Scheller (CEO, DILO)
Since we developed our very first SF6 service cart fifty years ago, we have been using vacuum pumps and since then BUSCH Vacuum has always been our reliable partner in advancing innovation. And this was also the case when we developed the first SF6 gas recovery unit as a major step towards reducing SF6 emissions to a minimum. Therefore, we were of course very proud, when the global management team of BUSCH Vacuum has chosen us as the winner of the BUSCH Innovation in Vacuum Award. This award shows that making business and protecting the environment go hand in hand very well.
2. Please tell us about the journey to become the market leader in the field of SF6 gas handling?
Replied by–Ulrich Ammer (Sales Director, DILO)
First of all, I would like to point out that you cannot turn into market leader just like that, not even with considerable resources. This can only be done by the customers who like and buy the products. It all began in 1967 when one of our customers for DILO fittings asked us to develop our very first SF6 service cart and this was when DILO’s journey to become the SF6 market leader began. Together with our customers we have continued developing this technology and expanded our product portfolio, always in close cooperation with our customers and together with an increasing number of global partners. Another important factor is that we have never outsourced any of our core competences to get cheaper alternatives. For us, this know-how is also the basis for further developments but also for the satisfaction of our customers. For example, we recently had a service request for a DILO device that had already been in use for 28 years. As we possess comprehensive in-house knowledge we were able to repair this device successfully and keep a satisfied customer. In summary, I would like to answer the question as follows: Listening to what our customers need, offering them innovative solutions with a very high-quality standard and reliability and learning more and more. This is the foundation to be made a market leader by customers.
3. Why should buyers decide to purchase DILO products?
Replied by– Ulrich Ammer (Sales Director, DILO)
It goes without saying that high quality, top performance and excellent technical standards of our equipment play a very important role for the customer’s purchasing decision. But I would also like to emphasise the very high level of technical support during the life time cycle and the very high reliability of our products. The term “total cost of ownership” is often mentioned, which is very important for our products as the prices for purchasing our products for the first time are a little bit higher but the reliability of the equipment and high durability with low maintenance and repair costs make up for this slightly higher entry-level price. Another point which is very difficult to express in facts and figures is the trust and confidence that our customers have in our products. Our customers know very well that they can trust the word of DILO, i.e. when DILO indicates certain values, these values are actually met, be it technical specifications such as gas recovery times, which everyone can check on our website and which have been officially approved by a third party, or simply delivery times. I would also like to emphasise the safety of our equipment, not only the technical and functional safety but also the ease of use and the intrinsic “intelligence”, which considerably increases the safety for the user to prevent accidents and the risk for the environment since emissions are avoided.
4. Are you ready for new challenges? What are your plans for the next two quarters?
Replied by– Christian Drechsler (Regional Sales Manager, DILO) & Edgar D’sa (Country Manager)
For the first quarter of 2021 we estimate a similar situation as in 2020. That means we will have to live with the same restrictions due to COVID-19. For sales, these restrictions mean that we are unable to travel and meet our customers in personal business meetings. Instead, we have to continue with virtual business meetings and webinars which we have already arranged.
At this point we would like to bring to your attention that fortunately we started to invest in the know-how and equipment of our partner SuperPhoenix long before COVID-19.
Most of the sales as well as after-service work can therefore be done by SuperPhoenix – whether with or without any restrictions due to the current pandemic.
DILO has also invested in the latest media technology for commissioning at the customer’s premises so that training courses can also be carried out online, for example.
Since we are in close contact with our customers thanks to the good cooperation with SuperPhoenix and many systems were regularly serviced, the current crisis is not a major catastrophe for service.
Our service department knows the equipment and conditions at the customers’ sites, so that remote support is easier to provide. In addition, if customers have maintained their equipment regularly, there is no maintenance backlog, which has now increased the risk of downtime.
For the second quarter of 2021 we hope that the current situation of COVID-19 will gradually improve. In dependence of the effectiveness of vaccines and the speed of their distribution to the public we expect to get back to normal life as it was before the outcome of COVID-19. For this case we are looking forward to visiting our customers in India and reviving our personal relations.
5. Nowadays, the environment is the major concern across the globe. What is DILO’s contribution to the sustainable protection of the environment?
Replied by– Tobias Sauter (Head of After-Sales, DILO)
SF6, being the best insulation medium to be used in all GIS, does have some drawbacks if not handled with utmost safety and using state-of-the-art technology.
One of the most critical points for potential emissions is the disposal of bad gas by combustion, a process that causes huge emissions. Another major reason for gas emissions lies in the process of manufacturing new SF6 gas.
With the introduction of the SF6 reconditioning technology, these major issues have come to an end. The separating unit recycles the bad gas to the purest form which possesses 100% of the properties of new gas. This reduces the costs for buying new gas, hence reducing excessive production of new SF6 gas. The separating unit completes the job of recycling the gas on site, thus reducing transportation hazards of bad gas to be combusted and – on the other hand – delivers 100% pure gas without any emissions.
6. What are the advantages of SF6 gas handling equipment by DILO?
Replied by– Ulrich Ammer (Sales Director, DILO)
DILO has produced SF6 service carts for over 50 years. During this time we have been able to build up a rich fund of experience and thus permanently increase quality, reliability, durability and user-friendliness of our products. In addition, the entire design and all critical components are manufactured in house at DILO; purchased parts must undergo a strict approval process before they can be used. Not only are the design and components constantly improved, we also focus on usability for the operator, which is subject to consistent control and improvement. In recent years, our models with semi-automatic or fully automatic operation have replaced devices with ball valves, simply to increase operational safety and relieve the user. Furthermore, the DILO Navigator guides the unpractised user quickly and safely through all functions on some models. The points just mentioned relate very much to the users of our devices, but also the network providers benefit from using our devices. Here we have been able to reduce maintenance and repair costs due to the long service life of our components. For example, our service carts have the special function “compressor test”, which should be carried out approximately every 500 hours. During the 3-minute test, the performance data of the compressor are checked and deviations can be detected early enough before major damage occurs. Should a problem occur, our partner SuperPhoenix India is available on site with a skilled maintenance team to render quick and reliable service. By the way, the service engineers and technicians are regularly trained by DILO and are therefore very familiar with the latest state of the art. I could name more examples here, but this would be beyond the bounds of this interview. At DILO we always keep safety and total costs in mind, not just a cheap selling price.
7. What are DILO’s ambitions to push the “Low Carbon Transition” in the oil and gas industry?
Replied by– Ulrich Ammer (Sales Director, DILO)
Our motto is “ONE VISION.ZERO EMISSIONS” and not only does it mean that our products are emission free but we also understand everything that goes with it. All our SF6 devices go through 100% inspection to ensure long-term gas tightness. Not only do we pay highest attention to avoid emissions when manufacturing our products, but also in the conceptional design of our products. Here we use internal sensors to prevent unintentional SF6 emissions. These intrinsic safety protocols prevent operating errors and also increase work safety. Furthermore, we offer our customers not only emission-free products but also training courses where they can learn the correct handling of SF6 and our products. At our headquarters in Babenhausen, Germany, we have been training experts in the safe and emission-free handling of SF6 in accordance with the European legislation EN517/2014 for almost 15 years. These training courses have also been taking place worldwide, including India, for many years now and are carried out either by our local agents or by DILO experts. This has enabled us to train several thousands of technicians worldwide in the proper and thoughtful handling of SF6, thus avoiding emissions and reducing CO2 emissions (indirectly). For some years now we have also been offering the reconditioning of SF6, where gas that can no longer be used in switchgear is reprocessed and thus made usable again. Recently, we have successfully reconditioned approx. 15 tons of SF6 in Dubai. Considering that 1kg of SF6 has a CO2e of 22,800kg, this means that approx. 342,000,000 kg of CO2 have been avoided. For illustration: This amount of CO2 would be produced by about 2200 cars driving to the moon and back once as this gas would have been destroyed and new gas would have been produced in the same amount. This technology is also available in India, but we are still in the early stages of implementation. We see great potential here, too.
8. What is the gas-insulated switchgear market in India like and how does DILO help in this segment?
Replied by– Edgar D’sa (Country Manager)
The market for gas-insulated switchgear in India is expected to witness a growth of more than 5% during the forecast period 2020 – 2025. Many GIS projects have been lined up especially in the North Eastern region as a PRIME project by our honourable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Where there is SF6 gas there has to be DILO. The only reliable name worldwide in SF6 gas handling with certified proof of ZERO EMISSIONS. A name unmatched to make sure that India reduces its carbon footprint in the world.
The only way SF6 escapes into the air is due to ‘BAD GAS HANDLING’. This happens when using substandard equipment in gas handling where the ‘ZERO EMISSIONS” concept is not applicable. DILO being a pioneer in this concept, Power Grid as well as all electrical utilities in India have made conscious efforts to reduce emissions considerably by making sure that only DILO equipment gets delivered along with every supplied GIS.