Material Handling

Enercon Embraces Innovation to Manufacture Massive Wind Turbines

Enercon, a German wind turbine manufacturer is using RUD Tecdos Tool Mover to lift, move and turn large rotors of wind turbines.

Manufacturing a large wind turbine is a daunting task. Loaded with expensive magnet arrays and intricate coil windings, they require heavy, precision-engineered rotor hubs that can be challenging to move into place on the factory floor. German wind turbine manufacturer Enercon GmbH is using an innovative solution to handle the massive hubs. Instead of cranes and slings, a new turning table is performing the heavy lifting and positioning. 

At its new Mechatronics Competence Centre in Aurich, Enercon relies on a compact turning table developed by RUD Ketten Rieger & Dietz GmbH, based in Aalen, Germany. The RUD Tecdos TM Tool Mover turns the rotor hubs, which weigh up to 65 tons, safely and quickly. The turning process, which had previously taken around two hours with a crane and chain, is now completed in just a few minutes. The turning table has been in use since April 2021 at the center. 

After painting, the large-volume cast bodies of the rotor hubs are taken to the assembly line, where their inner workings are installed. The turning table comes into play here. The rotor hub must be turned on the assembly line in the factory. Weighing up to 65 tons and with correspondingly large dimensions, it represents a mammoth task in the intralogistics process. 

The RUD Tool Mover can manage 65 tons of load and three different hub sizes. The maximum load was not a problem; Enercon were able to meet the load requirements by individually adapting their standard range of the RUD Tecdos TM.  

The rotor hubs have a diameter of up to 3.5 meters and in the standard version the turning table’s supporting surface is 2.5 meters wide x 3.5 meters long. Together with the Y-shape of the hub and a support angle that does not exactly correspond to 90°, these were not the optimal prerequisites for a stable turning process. Special layers were designed that can be fitted to the table, precisely matched to the three different hub sizes which have different angles of 5 degrees, 3.5 degrees and 2.5 degrees. 

Credit: Article taken from Magnetics Business & Technology website. The original article can be accessed here.

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