Click here to watch Tutorial Videos >

Machine Engineering Helps Harness the Wind

"Harnessing the wind has become an important source for energy," said a Starrag spokesperson. "Wind energy generated 7.2% of electricity in the United States in 2019 and supports more than 120,000 jobs."

The spokesperson continued, "The 280 ft. tall wind turbines, which have three blades each measuring 120 ft., require machines with a similarly impressive scale. Starrag solutions-including Heckert with its Large Athletic Series, Berthiez RVU vertical grinding machines and Dörries vertical lathes-are ideal for particularly large, heavy workpieces and have proven useful for wind turbine manufacturers around the globe."

Heckert HEC 1600 machines can process workpieces with edge lengths of 11' and up to 13 tons in weight. "Dörries lathes combine excellent productivity and maximum precision," said the spokesperson. "These vertical lathes have been developed for tailored solutions of planetary gear carriers in wind power plants with their extreme demands in terms of accuracy." Berthiez RVU 2800/250 machining centers are suitable for grinding, turning, drilling, cutting and performing inline measurements on large components in a single clamping operation.

The Heckert stable cross bed construction and its thermos symmetric design are designed to provide high-precision machining with a short turnaround time. It also can minimize off-peak times with several set-up spaces. The technological challenges in the production of wind turbines include the large, complex gearboxes that house deep-lying form elements. The Heckert HEC 1600 has an NC quill with stepless adjustment up to 30" for long travels and the machining of deep-lying form elements. The NC quill guides the tool into the gearbox houses to work safely without requiring expensive special tools with excessive lengths, according to the company.

Due to the modular design and flexibility of the Heckert HEC 1600, it is possible, for example, to choose between a horizontal main spindle optional with integrated extendable NC quill, or a swiveling horizontal/vertical head for 5-sided machining. This enables the machining center to be matched ideally to customer requirements.

The NC quill adds to the versatility of the Heckert HEC 1600. "It provides a significant surge in machining large gearbox housings, torque support and planetary gear carriers in large components for many sectors, including the power generation industry," said the spokesperson. "Their accuracy is the result of automatic temperature compensation for thermal influences and thermal stability by cooling the quill and its bearing with a separate cooling unit."

The Dörries CONTUMAT VCE 1600 and VCE 2800 turning lathes are designed to process diameters of up to 63" and 110". VCE indicates the single column design of the compact lathes, which have a vibration-reducing cast iron construction. The symmetrical transmission and frame design provide even temperature distribution for enhanced accuracy. Speeds of 450 and 224 RPM and hydrostatic guides in the X and Z axes contribute to overall productivity.

"Wind turbine manufacturers benefit from numerous Starrag machine product features," said the spokesperson. "For example, manufacturing time can be reduced by 50%; set-up times are reduced because clamping, unclamping and re-clamping parts are parallel to the machining; and non-productive idle times are saved with high dynamics in tool and workpiece handling. Additionally the machines offer high production safety and workpiece quality."

For more information contact:

Starrag USA Inc.

Skyport Business Park

2379 Progress Drive

Hebron, KY 41048


< back