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.
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 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.
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.