Program partners test innovations under pilot project on wind turbine blade
GE Renewable Energy, LM Wind Power and GE Research in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched the “Automated Blade Finishing” program in 2020, aiming to improve throughput, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), and quality in wind turbine blade manufacturing.
Blade finishing includes trimming excess material after molding and grinding blade surface to meet quality requirements.
The program’s vision is to leverage knowledge of advanced composite processing together with sensing, robotics and automation to develop low-cost solutions for wind blade finishing with potential to increase throughput by 30% and improve EHS in factories.
The program is supported by funding from DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). AMO, through the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), awarded NREL $800K. This was matched by $400K from OEDIT, with $600K in company matching contributions.
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