Thursday, 17 December, 2020

Developing a company in an industry driven by innovation and security is no easy task. Gerhard Kopplin knows. The challenges in the role of  Technical Director at one of the world's leading companies for industrial connections are exceptional. But when nothing is left to chance, success is also a given.

An engineer with technology in his blood

Kopplin grew up in Hamburg, Germany and knew early on that his future was technology. He started with advanced Lego construction and went on to repair everything from bicycles to tape recorders. Eventually it became computer programming. All through "learning by doing". Friends and books were the only knowledge banks available.

After a few years at university, Gerhard worked for a few years with aircraft design and aerodynamics at Airbus in Hamburg, among other places. He was also a salesman for a construction company in the aerospace industry for a number of years. When he got a job with Roman Seliger at the age of 30 and came in contact with MannTek for the first time, he could hardly have imagined that his career would take a completely different turn. The company where Gerhard started in 1992 was one of three that later invested in MannTek in the middle of an ongoing financial crisis. The company had been plagued by a number of problems for a long time and now they were working hard to solve them. Everything from communication to technology and finances had to be dealt with. German co-owners sent Gerhard to identify the source of the worst problems. When Gerhard went to Mariestad in Sweden he met a fairly well-functioning unit in terms of production. It turned out that there were no technical problems. Rather, it was about miscommunications, where the various parties were talking past each other. Sometimes it is a long way between Germany and Sweden.

After four or five trips, it was clear to Gerhard that Sweden had good control and that he had gained a good overview of what needed to be done. Management in Mariestad soon realised what a great benefit Gerhard’s actions had produced. The relationship deepened in the coming years and he could look forward to a position whenever he wished. When the timing was right to change scenery, and in 2006, Gerhard moved to Sweden with his family. At that time, MannTek was still a fairly small company, with only 12 employees. That soon changed. And so, his MannTek career took off.

Technical quality assurance

Gerhard Kopplin is responsible for MannTek’s technical product development. He ensures that there is a solid modular system within the product family, which means that the same standard can be maintained for all solutions that leave the factory in Mariestad. Together with a dedicated team, he develops innovative solutions that are at the forefront of the entire industry. How? 

Gerhard says:

“Our way of working is very straightforward. We always start from current standards when we develop new solutions and products. We are extremely transparent in our approach and put safety and efficiency high on the agenda. We develop based on the customer's needs and specifications. What we do not have the competence to develop, we let go. We would never pretend to have experience in areas that are new to us. But we can always learn, and we are constantly challenged by new knowledge and new rules in our field.”

Gerhard enjoys the breadth as well as the depth in his role. Today it is more about getting others to do what he himself has done before. But the job is still a great source of fun.

Product development – top of the line

Product development often means that there are no documented rules and standards to adhere to, because similar products do not exist. Then Gerhard's job becomes finding and identifying equivalent solutions, which is not always easy. There is also a close dialogue with decision-making bodies and third-party organisations to let them set parameters for what will apply in the future. This means that the company is completely transparent to authorities and decision-making bodies, in order to identify an optimal solution. One example is LNG. There were no guidelines in the beginning, but as solutions emerged and in dialogue with other parties, we now see demands for ship bunkering and refuelling of LNG-powered vehicles, among other things.

The motivation to constantly think fresh and find balanced solutions for the future lies, of course, in knowledge that is both deep and broad. Plus being part of an in-depth process when it comes to completely new product development. Right now, the future is about hydrogen. Something that really requires expertise.

At the forefront with the future in sight

“When we were first asked about hydrogen, we did the job properly,” says Gerhard. “Today we are at the forefront of a whole new area once again. And it does not end there. Of course, as new fuels see the light of day, they need to be studied and analysed in order to be able to offer the right solutions when they are here. Today, a lot involves global transport, and the challenge of the future is to create solutions and products that meet requirements for sustainability and efficiency.”

In addition to continuously improving the existing product range with regard to durability, higher pressure requirements, and ergonomics, we are involved in developing self-closing couplings for refuelling trucks and for bunkering vessels with liquid hydrogen gas. We are also involved in projects for refuelling rockets with LNG or liquid hydrogen. The low temperature of -253 degrees and the low density of liquid hydrogen place special demands on materials and solutions.

For Gerhard, of course, this means exciting future prospects.

Wednesday, 9 September, 2020

Cooperating competitors verifying a global standard


On the 22nd of July history was made in the development of LNG bunkering and its future when one of Europe’s gas majors invited quick coupling manufacturers to an interchangeability test.

Three European manufacturers (German, British and Swedish) were invited to take part in the test held at the Gutteling facilities in Rotterdam. The purpose was to verify and prove interchangeability between different manufacturers quick couplings according to the ISO 21593 Standard.

This is a crucial point in LNG bunkering procedures in that it ensures any bunker vessel or bunker station is able to service any LNG powered ship anywhere in the world as long as both parties carry a quick coupling according to Standard.

Unfortunately, only two manufacturers, KLAW and MannTek, took part in the test while the German manufacturer declined the invitation.

The test was a complete success and justifies the effort in establishing an ISO Standard for an LNG ship bunkering interface that guarantees bunkering interchangeability worldwide.

As manufacturers both KLAW and MannTek would like to jointly thank the driving forces behind creating this standard such as the gas majors, shipping operators and not least SGMF for its support.

MannTek and KLAW

Thursday, 3 September, 2020
Between the 26-28th August MannTek China has been exhibiting at China International Petroleum & Petrochemical Technology and Equipment Exhibition (CIPPE). In the Shanghai New International Expo Center our team showed the visitors our DDC, DAC, DGC, DCC, DEC as well as our Cable Release Breakaway Couplings. MannTek China is also going to be present at CHINA MARINE ECONOMY EXPO 2020 in October as well as CNTE 2020 and NGV 2020 in November. 
CIPPE Shanghai 2020
CIPPE Shanghai 2020
Friday, 20 December, 2019

Sunny Autumn

During the autumn, the pressure on our production unit in Mariestad reached an all-time high. A lot has been going on and we have, as always, been working hard to meet our customers’ high demands on the new solutions we develop for them. We successfully performed several FAT-tests and delivered, for example, two complete bunkering systems and one transfer system for Southeast Asia over a short period of time. This would not have been possible without the excellent teamwork that our co-workers deliver every single day, always taking that extra little effort – the Manntek way.

Summing up, we look back at a fantastic year with numerous innovative ideas and new solutions coming true. We thank you for a brilliant cooperation and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to an exciting 2020.

Monday, 8 July, 2019

In our line of business we need to meet the highest Standards regarding Safety and Quality. We work hard to fulfil both internal demands and external as ISO 9001 and PED. When we deliver our LNG Solution Systems their additional demands as for example SIL 2.

We are happy to announce that from 1 June 2019 Richard Butler joined MannTek as Quality Director. Richard holds a degree in Marine Engineering with more than 30 years of experience as Senior Lead Assessor and previously Engineer Surveyor at Lloyds Register in UK, Australia and Sweden.

In the future we can offer more specialized Consultancy services regarding both our products and Systems solutions.

We would like to thank Per Nordsjö for his services at MannTek for 15 years. Per has not only been the Quality director but has also act as an advisor for the Management. Per’s contribution to the development off MannTek cannot be overstated and Per will now retire.

Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

MannTek has established an affiliated company in China because of the progress, development and the great market in the region. This company is a WOFE (Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise) with all import and export possibilities. The company is established in Hangzhou. Our location in Singapore Park has offices, meeting rooms, product demos and stock.  You’re most welcome to visit us here or contact us so we can visit you.

Our team has more than 20 years of experience with Dry Disconnect Couplings and Safety Breakaway couplings.

Please find all contact info at www.manntek.cn

 

Wednesday, 2 January, 2019

2018 was another successful year for MannTek. The turnover increased with nearly 30 percent vs 2017. MannTeks turnover has increased every year except two from the time the company started. From a start-up company to market leader in Dry Disconnect Couplings in 20 years. Our LNG Solution products have gone from zero to one of the Leading Solutions for small scale bunkering in only a few years. Now we are looking forward to 2019.

Monday, 11 June, 2018

MannTek has delivered a complete transfer system to Antony Veder which is going to be part of the modification of the LNG carrier Coral Methane into an LNG bunker vessel. Starting in 2019 to cover the LNG bunkering demands across Europe, the primary operating area is going to be the southern parts of the North Sea as well as the Mediterranean Sea.

The system includes an 8 inch PERC and 6 inch MannTek Dry Cryogenic Couplings. The transfer line also includes the MannTek innovative designed nitrogen activated PERC's monitored and controlled by the high pressure nitrogen system (HPN2). The HPN2 monitors, controls and releases the PERC's by utilising high pressure Nitrogen and controls the pressure right to the face of the valve before and during the LNG transfer. Using an innovative low pressure nitrogen system which is monitored continuously ensures that on ESD2 the valve will separate. This system is also including a programmed PLC that monitors the transfer and has included automatic checks support. The system is SIL2 rated by DNV.

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

MannTek has delivered a LNG transfer system to Swedegas, who is building a bunkering facility for LNG in Gothenburg. The Transfer system which uses MannTek DCC and CBC-PERC couplings is going to be part of a construction that has been ongoing since winter and is scheduled to open in August 2018. The thought behind this facility is for vessels to be able to bunker LNG at the same time as the unloading and loading of cargo is going on.

Friday, 6 July, 2018

During his trip through the country, Swedish Prime minister Stefan Löfven, visited MannTek, as his only stop in the region, for a tour through the factory.

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