We explain … the work of service technicians with Günter Höfflin

Never heard about the job description “service technician”? Günter Höfflin, Service Director of Caterpillar Rail, Industrial, Engines and Energy Systems at Zeppelin Power Systems, explains why being a service technician is one of the best jobs in the world – even more so, when you’re working at Zeppelin Power Systems.

Meet Günter Höfflin from Zeppelin Power Systems.

Mr. Höfflin, please give us a few facts and numbers: How many repairs did our service technicians from Power Systems carry out in 2018?

We pulled off 14.000 repairs in total and all of our segments: marine, locomotive, industrial and energy.

How many service technicians are screwing and repairing on behalf of Zeppelin Power Systems?

200 service technicians are operating for us at Zeppelin Power Systems worldwide, 90 service technicians in Germany alone.

How long does it take to repair an engine?

The duration of each repair is different. Some engines run again after two hours, sometimes it takes us up to two months to repair them. It all depends on the engine and the damage.

How long is the lifespan of a engine?

That depends on the engine as well. The lifespan of a gas engine of a block-type thermal power station is round about 80.000 operating hours. After that it needs an overhaul to run again for 80.000 operating hours before it has to be rechecked and overhauled again. And so on. An industrial engine on the contrary needs an overhaul after circa 12.000 operating hours.

Please, take us with you and give us a little insight into the work life of a service technician: What happens when you repair an engine?

We start with an inspection. The rest depends on the case: Does the engine need a partly maintenance, because the turbocharger or the seals need to be exchanged? Then there is a so called “top end exchange”, if we need to renew the whole bearing, for example. The most complex and elaborate case is a complete dismantling of the engine.

Why is Zeppelin better than everyone else at repairing engines?

Engines are as good as new after they got repaired by our service technicians, for several reasons:

First of all, because we have the best trained service technicians. All service technicians attend special CAT trainings when they start working for our company, and take part in up to four trainings a year. Therefore they’re always up-to-date. Also important to mention are our excellently equipped workshops, customer service cars and equipment.

Moreover, we only use Caterpillar’s original spare parts, do our repairs according to the manufacturer’s specifications and have a very strict quality management, too: No engine is leaving our workshop without extensive testing.

In addition, we operate and have technicians all around the globe. We ensure quick availability and provide quick turnaround times as well.

Spread the word: Why is being a service technician such a great job?

Being a service technician is a very diversified job. No day or no repair is like the other.

Being a service technician at Zeppelin is even better. First of all: At Zeppelin, you have lots of possibilities to develop yourself as a service technician. You have the chance to work independently on different kinds of engines, in different sectors and in different countries as well. You can choose to work as a qualified electrician in block-type thermal power stations or work oversees by accompanying ships for repairs on board. Many companies have only one “highway”. We at Zeppelin have many.

Our service technicians are permanently trained and developed, and work with the best and newest equipment. In addition, Zeppelin is a great company with a really exciting history, too.

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