Data center generators delivered on time and to budget

Ready when you are – data center generators, without delay

Kohler’s sustained investment in production facilities is providing the data center sector with a timely and dependable supply of critical power solutions.

Customer demand for advanced data center infrastructure is growing fast.

Many colocation and hyperscale developments postponed at the start of the pandemic are now accelerating. The latest research shows that global data infrastructure will reach $200 billion in 2021, increasing 6% from 2020.

For hyperscale and colocation new builds, the project is everything. These multi-million-dollar infrastructure investments operate on carefully orchestrated schedules, with major systems and components such as generators supplied in strict sequential order to ensure that the project runs to budget and without delay.

Suppliers, therefore, form a critical link in the chain. Increasingly, those responsible for designing and building new data centers want to de-risk projects by partnering with organizations that can reduce lead times by providing a one-stop-shop approach – where design, manufacture, testing, and inspection of key systems can be carried out all under one roof.

This approach helps to consolidate and simplify supply chains, ensuring that end-user requirements are met every step of the way.

Sustained investment results in on-time delivery

At Kohler, meeting the data center sector's demands has required a long-term commitment to investment at our headquarters in Brest, northwest France. Here, cutting-edge data center generators built using a proprietary range of engines are produced in significant volume.

On the shop floor, production standards are driven by a culture of repetitive processes more commonly found in the automotive sector. Key deliverables guide all production activities, guaranteeing repeatable build standards at power outputs up to 4,500kVA.

Meanwhile, in collaboration with procurement teams at some of the world’s leading engineering companies, the latest scheduling software, parts planning, and stockholding analysis are deployed to ensure that data center programs are de-risked and delivered on time. The aim, ultimately, is to ensure that all requirements of data center customers are met, without fail, no matter the size of the project.

But the data center market never stands still – and nor can we. Kohler’s ongoing commitment to investment at the 42,800m² Brest site will see an additional $6.5m spent over the next five years. This will enable us to anticipate and meet growing customer demand.

Phase one of work, to be completed imminently, is being carried out to produce a larger number of walk-in enclosures, which house generators in some data center applications. Two of the main docks at Brest will be significantly enlarged, and new lifting beams will be put in place. The existing doors to the docks will also be made higher and wider to accommodate these bigger generator designs.

Phase two of the work, to be started later this year, will expand manufacturing, test, and logistics warehouse floor space. New gantries and cranes will also be installed to enable more streamlined production operations. The investment will further increase the number of large generators and enclosures that can be produced each year.

Expansion of the site will also mean an increase in the number of skilled workers. Around 30 extra production staff will be recruited over the coming months, taking the total number of employees at Brest to about 770.

Shorter supply chains mean fewer delays

Ultimately, KOHLER’s investment in the Brest production facility will bring much-needed generator supply capacity to the data center market at a time of rapid growth.

The provision of a full range of services – covering design, engineering, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance from one state-of-the-art facility – helps colocation and hyperscale customers consolidate their supply base, making planning much more straightforward.

Indeed, in today’s fast-paced data center sector – where the project is everything and time is money – this simplified approach can provide a critical business advantage and fewer delays.

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