Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (Fraunhofer IWES) on Friday announced the launch of a research project, called BladeFactory, which is designed to make rotor blades production faster.
The project, which will run for three and a half years, has received about EUR 7 million (USD 8.1m) from the German Federal Ministry for Economics Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
Using current technology, the production of a rotor blade blank takes around 24 hours and almost all production steps are done one after the other in the main mold tool, Fraunhofer IWES explained. "To shorten the production time, we want to perform various processes simultaneously and move some of the work away from the main mold tool to other devices," said the project's manager, Roman Braun.
The project also targets quality improvement via measuring technologies and mechanical tests during the manufacturing process. A 3D laser measurement system, which records the 3D geometry of the finished parts, will be tested for the first time. According to Braun, the introduction of robust and parallel production processes could yield huge cost savings.
The project started at the beginning of October. Fraunhofer IWES is working on it with 14 project partners.