Reference project in the

Supervising the production of fibre-composite rotor blades for wind turbines

Monitoring and optimisation of the entire manufacturing process of one of the world's largest rotor blades

At the Siemens Gamesa Renew­able Energy (SGRE) produc­tion facility, we monitor and opti­mise the manu­fac­turing process down to the last detail. An impor­tant chal­lenge is to detect faults in the struc­ture at an early stage so that immense addi­tional costs and delays can be prevented.

The task

In early 2021, Deutsche Windtechnik Offshore & Consulting and Vatten­fall commis­sioned us to monitor the produc­tion of one of the largest rotor blades in the world. At the Siemens Gamesa Renew­able Energy (SGRE) produc­tion facility, we have been super­vising and opti­mising the manu­fac­turing process down to the last detail.

Our tasks include:

  • Moni­toring the entire manu­fac­turing process.
  • Inspecting the produced struc­ture for defects and iden­ti­fying possible weak points.
  • Eval­u­ating changes in the design and produc­tion process.
  • Preparing reports on the manu­fac­turing progress for the compo­nents.

The chal­lenges and solu­tions in detail

In order to be able to reli­ably and quickly generate the rele­vant infor­ma­tion about the produc­tion process, we first had to estab­lish a network within the produc­tion facility. We also had to find reli­able and effi­cient ways to cope with the high output of rotor blades (up to 10 units per week) and the spatial expan­sion of the factory (more than 2 km²). Another chal­lenge was to detect faults in the struc­ture at an early stage to ensure that faults would not affect a large number of rotor blades, which would result in large addi­tional costs and delays in the whole project.

Our know-how

The following compe­tences at ar engi­neers led to success in this project:

  • Exten­sive expe­ri­ence in the field of produc­tion monitoring/​optimisation as ar engi­neers have been involved in this job for more than 3 years and our employee Michel Elle has been contin­u­ously working at SGRE in Aalborg for more than 2 years.
  • Special­i­sa­tion through Michel Elle’s Master’s degree in Wind Engi­neering”.
  • High exper­tise in the field of design and eval­u­a­tion of composite struc­tures.
  • Years of expe­ri­ence in moni­toring wind turbines in oper­a­tion.
  • Partic­i­pa­tion in inten­sive safety training for working with epoxy resins.
  • Comple­tion of the SCC17 training.

Our way

Our compre­hen­sive and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary expe­ri­ence has helped us to reli­ably solve the many chal­lenges and tasks we face. In addi­tion to tech­nical qual­i­fi­ca­tions, this also includes organ­i­sa­tional and lead­er­ship skills to coor­di­nate the compa­nies involved and to be able to react quickly and flex­ibly to impon­der­ables in an adequate manner. All this has helped us ensure long-term product excel­lence and very high customer satis­fac­tion.

Michel Elle
Project engi­neer

Back­ground: M.Eng. Wind Engi­neering

Michel’s favourite project:

My passion is working on future tech­nolo­gies like wind energy.

My job in the renew­able energy sector allows me to put my specialist skills from my Master’s degree in Wind Engi­neering into prac­tice. I super­vise the produc­tion of wind turbine rotor blades on site at the customer’s produc­tion facility. In produc­tion moni­toring, I support the customer in a very varied daily routine with both my theo­ret­ical and prac­tical know-how of fibre-composite struc­tures. In addi­tion, I partic­u­larly benefit from the expe­ri­ence gained in recent years at ar engi­neers in the field of manu­fac­turing fibre-composite struc­tures in boat building - espe­cially ultra-light racing dinghies as well as the plan­ning of composite lifeboats for small series produc­tion. This acquired exper­tise means that I am now very familiar with produc­tion processes in small quan­ti­ties.

It was a large and exciting task for me to take on the respon­si­bility for quality assur­ance in the produc­tion of rotor blades abroad for a large company. This included moni­toring produc­tion as well as the final inspec­tion of the indi­vidual rotor blades.

As part of these activ­i­ties, I also took on project manage­ment tasks such as:

  • checking sched­ules and iden­ti­fying and assessing possible bottle­necks in produc­tion and devel­oping solu­tions in the event of produc­tion delays and
  • commu­ni­cating with the customer and coor­di­nating between the produc­tion partner (Siemens Gamesa) and the customer (Vatten­fall), as well as docu­menting and preparing reports.

This project was my favourite because I was able to work on my passions for future tech­nolo­gies, espe­cially wind energy and fibre compos­ites. Thanks to this project, we at ar engi­neers can offer our customers exten­sive exper­tise in the produc­tion plan­ning and moni­toring of complex, highly loaded fibre-composite compo­nents.

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