Hexagon hybrid technology drives wind energy innovation at Siemens Gamesa

Partnership with leading offshore wind turbine manufacturer results in automated metrology-assisted assembly installation combining photogrammetry, laser tracker and robot technology.

23 2월 2021

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division today announced the installation of a new automated inspection system custom-built to meet the large-scale needs of wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Now operational at the Siemens Gamesa Cuxhaven offshore nacelle assembly plant in northern Germany, the unique installation combines the power of photogrammetry, laser tracking and robotic automation to deliver a high-productivity solution for aligning the large flexible stator components of generators used in direct drive wind turbines.

The system uses a custom-developed four-camera 3D Arena photogrammetry system with a robotic calibration tool in combination with a Leica Absolute Tracker AT930 and a mounted constellation of ultra-wide-angle Super CatEye reflectors. It represents an excellent example of a metrology-assisted assembly, a growing field that applies high-accuracy measurement devices to make sure a complete product is constructed to the same degree of accuracy as its individual components are designed and manufactured. 

“With this project we’ve engineered a new type of system that gets results within required tolerances at a greater level of productivity than was previously possible, and with great potential for continued development,” said Duncan Redgewell, President, Metrology Devices at Hexagon. “This is a project that really shows off the strength of the product portfolio available from Hexagon – I don’t think any other company in the manufacturing inspection sector has the hardware knowledge required to develop a single integrated system that combines photogrammetry and laser tracker technology so seamlessly,”

Direct measurements of the stator and mounting area are collected using the 3D Arena cameras, while the Absolute Tracker is responsible for maintaining an accurate single frame of reference across every aspect of the system, using its large-scale absolute positioning capabilities to ensure placement accuracy to within just 150 microns when assembling stator panels up to 12 metres across. The concept emerged from close cooperation between the Offshore Operations Innovation team at Siemens Gamesa and the photogrammetry and laser tracker technology experts at Hexagon, as well as with third-party integrator ARGON, who developed the metrology software and automation aspects of the project on the foundations of Hexagon’s SpatialAnalyzer platform.

“This has been a fantastic project to be a part of, involving some really inspiring technical collaboration and innovation,” said Geert Creemers, Founder and Co-CEO at ARGON. ”An important aspect of the project for the Siemens Gamesa team was the capacity for shop-floor users to work with the system end-to-end without the need for long and complex training. We like to think of metrology as just another tool, so we focus on making it as simple to apply as possible when we develop our measurement integration systems. We call that the ‘coffee machine principle’, and it has been a central concept in developing this system for the team in Cuxhaven.”

While the initial design concept deals with stators measuring six metres across, the Siemens Gamesa team is focused on the future and the need to produce even larger systems to meet the demands of the offshore wind energy industry.

“We at Siemens Gamesa are driven by continuous innovation,” said Marius Fuerst-Sylvester, Calibration Engineer at Siemens Gamesa. “Our technology that’s used to produce clean energy from the wind has made tremendous progress due to our ongoing efforts to do things better, both in our product development and in the production of our turbines. Very soon we’ll be regularly dealing with stators that are even larger as our portfolio grows. Safely and reliably assembling bigger components requires more than traditional, manual methods. With the new 3D Arena-Tracker system from Hexagon and ARGON, dealing with larger components benefits all parties.”

It’s foreseen that the project will continue to develop, with an expectation that the current manual adjustment of stator segments will in the future be replaced by an entirely automated adjustment process. This has the potential for further time- and cost-saving, significantly increasing the productivity of this important site for Siemens Gamesa’s Offshore Business Unit.

“The time-consuming method of adjusting the accurate distance between magnets and stator is crucial to efficiency,” said Benjamin Henriksen, Production Specialist at Siemens Gamesa. “We had the idea to automate at this point and use digital technology to make production easier and smarter. Solutions like the one developed with Hexagon and ARGON enable us to achieve a more accurate assembly and higher productivity, making Siemens Gamesa’s manufacturing smarter.” 

This unique metrology-assisted assembly project was created specifically for Siemens Gamesa over the course of two years through close collaboration between teams at Hexagon, ARGON and the Offshore Operations Innovation team at Siemens Gamesa. For more information about how Hexagon works to develop systems like this one, please contact your local Hexagon representative.

“The project "Flexible nacelle production for wind turbines of the future in Cuxhaven" (FLECX) is funded by the European Union, the State of Lower Saxony and NBank. FLECX develops the fundamentals for digitally supported assembly processes for future offshore wind turbines that are adapted to component properties.”

More information: More information: https://www.siemensgamesa.com/en-int/explore/innovations/research-collaboration

헥사곤(Hexagon)은 센서, 소프트웨어 및 자율 솔루션 업계의 세계적인 선두 기업이다. 당사는 산업, 제조, 인프라, 안전 및 모빌리티 애플리케이션에서 효율성과 생산성, 품질을 높이기 위해 데이터를 업무에 활용하고 있다. 확장 가능하고 지속 가능한 미래를 보장하기 위해 도시와 생산 에코 시스템은 당사의 기술을 통해 점차 연결되고 자율적으로 변화하고 있다.

당사는 전세계 5개 대륙에 위치해 있는 현지 서비스 센터, 생산 설비와 대리점을 통해 제조 분야에 스마트한 변화를 도입하여 품질을 통해 생산성을 향상시키는 세상을 만들고 있다.

헥사곤 매뉴팩처링 인텔리전스는 지역 및 다양한 기업의 산업분야에 걸쳐 품질과 생산성을 주도하는 세계 최고의 정보 기술 기업 Hexagon(Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B; hexagon.com)의 계열사이다.

헥사곤의 솔루션은 센서, 소프트웨어, 특정 분야의 지식, 고객의 워크플로우를 이용 가능한 정보를 제공하고, 업무 프로세스를 자동화하고, 생산성을 개선하는 지능형 정보 생태계로 통합한다. 이러한 솔루션은 광범위한 생명 산업에서 사용된다.

헥사곤에 대한 더 자세한 정보는 hexagon.com 및 트위터  @HexagonAB 에서 확인할 수 있다.
About Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy 

Siemens Gamesa is a global leader in the wind power industry, with a strong presence in all facets of the business: offshore, onshore and services. 

The company’s advanced digital capabilities enable it to offer one of the broadest product portfolios in the sector as well as industry-leading service solutions, helping to make clean energy more affordable and reliable. 

With more than 105 GW installed worldwide, Siemens Gamesa manufactures, installs and maintains wind turbines, both onshore and offshore. The company’s orders backlog stands at €31.5 billion. 

The company is headquartered in Spain and listed on the Spanish stock exchange (trading on the Ibex-35 index). Learn more at siemensgamesa.com

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