Windpower Monthly, in collaboration with Moventas, hosted a roundtable discussion on gearbox innovation at WindEurope 2019. With industry experts from General Electric, Acciona, Siemens Gamesa, ABB, Innogy, Windpower Monthly, and Wood MacKenzie, the different stages in the supply chain were represented during the conversation. The discussion gave insights to near and long-term market developments.
In part three of the article series experts discuss about concentrated power in the wind industry.
There has been a high degree of consolidation among wind turbine OEMs in recent years. Is this process likely to apply to the gearbox manufacturers?
Alfredo Fernandez Sison, Gearbox Engineering Manager at Siemens Gamesa, thinks it will happen. ‘The global footprint is driving decisions so I think it’s inevitable. Big companies don’t like a large choice of suppliers, and purchasing departments make decisions based not only on technology but also on logistics, local presence and risks.’
Uusitalo commented that ‘Moventas represents a one-stop solution for turbine manufacturers. We have decades of experience in working with turbine manufacturers to co-create successful turbine platforms and meeting their gearbox demands. Exceed Evo launched in September 2018 is a great example of true partnership model where gearbox and turbine drivetrain was engineered together with OEM. Moventas gearboxes are designed with both OPEX and CAPEX in mind, as their modular gearbox design enables both reliability as well as unprecedented up-tower serviceability.’
For technological developments do we need to think far into the future or more short term? How far down the line do we need to think for developments to be plausible but also be innovative. Uusitalo said ‘we have new technologies coming, but we cannot think of solutions further than ten years into the future. We need to have clear visibility up to five years and have a solid technology roadmap to support that, but also remain agile to market demands. It’s difficult to know what will be happening in the long term. The last ten years of onshore development has shown, that technology development can be much faster than anticipated.’
Barcia concluded the discussion saying: ‘The wind sector is inventive, it’s just a matter of thinking wisely and choosing the right technology as a solution. Do we need to keep asking whether it can wait?’
A comment from a Moventas specialist on the topic of the article
“Here at Moventas, agile processes and true partnership are at the heart of every development project we launch together with our customers. We see that the only way to create successful multi-year roadmaps is to invest in co-creation and thorough planning already at the Fuzzy Front End of the project. Especially when starting to build a new product roadmap together with customers, we need to take a look beyond the horizon and design a product to meet customer wind turbine evolvements also after five years or even more. Exceed Evo is a prime example of a next generation wind turbine gearbox. Validated cutting-edge technology together with a strong customer partnership guarantees that Exceed Evo meets current and future wind turbine market requirements.
We at Moventas have also recognized the high degree of consolidations in the wind industry. In addition, today OEM´s are expecting key suppliers, such as gearbox manufacturers, to have solutions to support customers around the globe close to their game field. Currently we are studying options to expand our manufacturing, assembly, and testing capabilities to cover global demand even better. For example, our team in China is constantly strengthening, and the growing team is focusing on strategic procurement and quality assurance areas in the first phase. “
The article was originally published at www.windpowermonthly.com. The first two chapters and the quotation at the end are Moventas’ additions.