“The potential is considerable”

Tobias Oser (33) studied mechanical engineering and business administration at the Technical University of Munich, ­Germany, before joining SCHOTTEL in 2015. In technical sales and distribution, he gained experience in different roles, first in a graduate ­program, then as a Sales Manager in the Tug & ­Offshore segment. Tobias Oser took over the management of the Merchant Vessels segment from long-standing SCHOTTEL employee Hans-Herbert Dünow, who has now retired.

Mr Oser, what goes on behind the scenes in the Merchant segment at SCHOTTEL?

We serve the global market of tanker, cargo, dredger and fishing vessels, which usually have specific requirements for main and auxiliary propulsion systems and CP shafting. On the one hand, our setup is intentionally broad, but on the other hand, we also have in-depth specialist knowledge, so that we can consistently focus on specific needs and respond early to developments that are important for our customers.

Is this a typical example?

This example can be used to generalize the need of many owners to operate their ships with the utmost reliability and efficiency in a dynamic environment. Dredgers are used in many situations, such as when building artificial islands in the Persian Gulf or dredging a deepwater port in Asia. Rotary drives are then often required in order to keep the ships in position or manoeuvre them precisely even in adverse conditions.

Would you say that coastal projects are becoming more diverse and important for your segment?

Absolutely. Salmon farming, for example, is booming in Scandinavia. Sometimes huge fish farms operate in the open sea, because the circulation of fresh water is particularly good there and the faeces of the animals does not become a problem due to the permanent change of location. Live fish carriers take over the task of either supplying the farms with young fish or transporting adult fish from the farms to the mainland. The dynamic positioning of the carriers is essential, even with stronger waves or winds. Our finely adjustable, controllable propellers are ideally suited to this task.

Sounds like precision work.

Very often it is. SCHOTTEL has got a modular system that includes a variety of propulsion types and modules as well as wheelsets and seals. For each project, we use exactly the equipment that the customer needs. We configure the propulsion individually, depending on the purpose and duration of use, the conditions and the loads occurring on site …

… which can sometimes be extreme. How important are aftersales and service to you and your customers?

Our contact with the customer does not end with the sale of a propulsion unit; quite the ­opposite in fact. Our service is extremely important, because in the event of damage no customer can or wants to wait long – every break­down costs money. Of course we are well aware of this and have a sufficient number of competent employees in place accordingly. ­SCHOTTEL has over 150 service mechanics world­wide, so we can guarantee a fast and comprehensive response. I think it is fair to say that SCHOTTEL is setting standards for speed and quality in the industry.

Digitalization plays a major role in almost all industries and segments. Does it keep you busy?

We were just talking about service and aftersales. Online remote maintenance and predic­tive maintenance are becoming increasingly important, and digital technologies play a key role in this. In the future, it will be normal for our tech­nicians and engineers to connect to customers’ systems online in order to analyze and rectify machine defects, directly order the spare parts needed or carry out software updates.

To what extent does fleet management benefit from the digital transformation?

We already provide owners with software tools that they can use to comprehensively manage their fleet virtually on the basis of a wealth of ship data. This offers tangible advantages during ­operation. A condition monitoring system helps to detect irregularities or increasing wear as soon as possible to ensure repairs are made before damage occurs. This predictive maintenance therefore makes it easier to plan spare parts stocks, whether for scheduled replacement or during regular docking. And ultimately the Merchant segment also benefits from this: our customers are seeing time and again that their investment has paid off and that ­SCHOTTEL is a strong partner for the long term. The potential offered by SCHOTTEL is considerable.

The Segments at SCHOTTEL

  • Tug & Offshore Energy
  • Cruise
  • Ferry & Yachts
  • Merchant Vessels
  • Navy & Governmental
  • Modernization & Conversion

Tobias Oser

Sales Director Merchant Vessels bei SCHOTTEL