Dowding Machining is working with MAG Industrial Automation Systems to improve the manufacturing process for wind turbine components.
According to excerpts from the article:
The Lansing, Mich.-based venture, dubbed Astraeus from the Greek mythological "father of the four winds," will use a unique new machine design to dramatically reduce the production times of turbine hubs, the large castings to which the blades are attached, to about four hours — a process that now typically takes 20 to 24 hours on the best production lines.
In what will be the first implementation of MAG's Rapid Material Placement System (RMPS), the new company will bring integrated manufacturing, with automation and repeatable process control, to wind blade fabrication — a process that has historically been manual, making blades prone to imperfections and weight variations, and exposing wind turbine manufacturers to warranty and replacement costs.
The new business unites MAG, a world leader in machine tools and aerospace composites, and Dowding Machining, a large-component precision machining operation, in an effort to make wind energy more cost-competitive as an alternative energy solution.
"We've already seen significant interest in our capabilities from Asian and European companies," said Jeff Metts, president of Dowding Machining. Plans for Astraeus include opening global facilities to supply worldwide demand.
The management and organization of Astraeus will be announced by the end of the year, with production expected to ramp up very quickly. "We plan on producing some of the components by the middle of next year," said Roger Cope, president of the Strategic Business Development Group of MAG.
Read the entire article here.