Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Industrial Production instead of Rotor Blade Manufactory - Fraunhofer IWES starts new project

Rotor blades are still made almost completely by hand. In the “BladeMaker“ project, Fraunhofer IWES scientists and industrial and research partners are searching for automation solutions in order to make the manufacture of rotor blades more cost effective, quicker and with a higher quality.

Rotor blades account for about one quarter of the total cost of a wind energy turbine, a fact which results from the high proportion of manual labour involved. Significant cost reductions can be achieved through changing from small series production to large scale industrial production.

For this reason, the main focus of the joint project “BladeMaker“, with a total of 18 partners and coordinated by the Fraunhofer IWES, is the complete manufacturing chain for rotor blade production.

The project’s target is to reduce production costs by well over 10 per cent and for the long term, to set up a “BladeMaker Demo-Centre” which will be a national and international centre for the research and development of rotor blade production. In order to achieve this ambitious target rotor blade design, materials and manufacturing processes will be taken into consideration. Florian Sayer of the Fraunhofer IWES explains:”In international competition rotor blade producers are under great cost pressures which we will tackle with automation.”

The researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute will first of all analyze all of the work procedures and technologies of rotor blade production and assess automation potentials. Then, any promising automated manufacturing processes will be investigated and simulated. Finally, at the end of the five year project demonstrators will be created for the respective process steps and the “BladeMaker Blade” will be designed, optimized for automated production. “The BladeMaker design provides an insight into what can be achieved in automation,” explains Sayer about the project.

The BladeMaker project will run until the end of September 2017. The project is funded with EUR 8 million by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety.

Background rotor blade production:
The state of the art in rotor blade production is the so called vacuum infusion process. For this purpose, two moulds or blade halves are reinforced with fibre-glass or carbonfibre matting. This work step is undertaken almost completely manually. Then a vacuum is generated and a resin injected bonds the mats. After hardening, the two halves are pieced together to form one blade and then varnished.
Further information:

Tanja Ellinghaus, Press Officer
Tel. +49 511 762-17678

Dipl.-Ing. Florian Sayer, Head of Competence Center Rotor Blade
Tel. +49 471 14290-329

EWEA 2013, Vienna, Austria, 4 - 7 February 2013
Visit us at our stand B77.

Uwe Krengel | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging
25.10.2016 | Colorado State University

nachricht Did you know that infrared heating is an essential part of automotive manufacture?
25.10.2016 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>