Saving time with Easy Plug

    When we work as one team, good things happen — LM Wind Power’s company values tell us that. But if you want further proof, look to a recent collaborative effort between Design Engineering and Global Equipment Engineering (GEE).

    Typically these departments deal with different phases of blade production. Design Engineering works primarily in the conceptual world of numbers and programming, while GEE works with the physical equipment used to create molds and blades.

    But, collaboration between the two teams has notable value — leading to a new “Easy Plug” tool to save time and increase design accuracy by automatically calculating the geometry of mold plugs. In fact, this new tool will now complete calculations in one hour that used to take one engineer a full week of work!

    “Our engineers are highly educated. If they have to spend too much time doing a routine job, then we are doing something wrong,” said Wei Zhang, Design Engineering Senior Engineer. “We should have a program to do routine tasks, so engineers can be freed up to do innovative projects.”

    Designing plugs requires cooperation
    Each time LM Wind Power designs a new blade type, GEE first has to design a plug to create the blade mold around. This plug is basically an item that has the same shape as a blade. 

    Though the plug itself is built by sub-suppliers, GEE does the design in-house because it is very linked to the blade geometry created by New Product Development.

    “We have a very close cooperation on the design side, because if you need a mark on the blade, then it needs to be in the mold,” said Rasmus Duegaard Jensen, GEE Senior Portfolio Manager. “How the blade looks on the surface and its geometry is how the plug and mold look as well.”

    That’s where Easy Plug comes in
    Easy Plug is essentially a design optimization tool for GEE to use when generating plug designs.

    “The plug is always the start of any project here in GEE, and this new program will deliver the final plug geometry to our manufacturer (the supplier) one week earlier than before,” Rasmus said. “Saving one week of work on approximately 2-3 new plugs per year won’t mean we need fewer employees, but it will optimize our project lead time.”

    In addition to saving time, Wei said the new tool removes the risk of human error when manually creating a design. “Now the output is based on the computer, which ensures the result is 100 percent correct,” he said.

    What comes next?
    Saving time on plug design is only a first step. Wei and others in his department are working on other programs for generating blade designs and frames, for example. With the potential to significantly improve design efficiency, Rasmus expects future projects to continue in this direction.

    “We are asking questions about the bigger picture: What if every time we have a routine job, then you can actually write a code that can do the job? What if that is 30% of our engineering job?” Rasmus said. “Instead of working on a single task, you could manage many tasks simultaneously, which could really reduce both design time and cost. When engineers can use even more of their time on innovation rather than routine tasks, this will benefit our business.”

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    19-04-2018 13:06:50 | twitter

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    First stop in the @generalelectric Haliade 150-6MW #WindCycle: blade production. At our factory in Castellón, #Spain, we made the 198 LM blades that will eventually spin at #Merkur offshore wind farm. Each blade is 241 feet (73.5 meters) long and 27 tons, helping the turbine generate 6 MW of energy. Photographer @nicanorgarcia captured a worker finishing the surface of a blade. #WeKnowBlades #LMplaces #lmwindpower #greenbusiness #wind #windworks #windturbine #windturbines #renewables #windpower #windenergy #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #future #sustainability #Haliade #GE #engineering
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    We're reflecting on the #WindCycle this week! Follow on Instagram as a GE Haliade 150-6 MW wind turbine comes to life, starting with these LM 73.5 meter blades manufactured in Castellon, Spain. Photo credit: @nicanorgarcia #WeKnowBlades http://fal.cn/LMinstagram
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    LM Wind Power

    Reflecting on the #WindCycle this week with @generalelectric on @instagram! Follow a GE Haliade 150-6 MW wind turbine as it comes to life, starting with these LM 73.5 meter blades from Castellon, Spain. Photo credit: @nicanorgarcia #WeKnowBlades https://t.co/vpQzPBru9v
    09-04-2018 19:03:15 | instagram
    We’re reflecting on the #WindCycle this week with @generalelectric! Follow a GE Haliade 150-6 MW wind turbine as it comes to life, starting with these LM 73.5 meter blades manufactured in #Castellon, #Spain. Photo credit: @nicanorgarcia #WeKnowBlades #LMplaces #lmwindpower #greenbusiness #wind #windworks #windturbine #windturbines #renewables #windpower #windenergy #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #future #sustainability #Haliade #GE #engineering
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    LM Wind Power

    On March 18, LM Wind Power won the 2017 Technical Support Award at Goldwind’s ninth-annual supplier conference! Learn more about this milestone in the close partnership between our technical teams. #WeKnowBlades
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    Reaping the wind with the biggest turbines ever made - @GErenewables HaliadeX #offshorewind turbine and @LMWindPower blades featured in report from @BBCNews. https://t.co/00Ks2IEm72 https://t.co/TKfWObyptH
    05-04-2018 07:52:01 | twitter

    LM Wind Power

    On March 18, LM Wind Power won the 2017 Technical Support Award at Goldwind's ninth-annual supplier conference! Learn more about this milestone in the close partnership between our technical teams: https://t.co/af3j6sa2hf #WeKnowBlades https://t.co/JcwsxlulxL
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