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The complete Industry News section from the July 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
One of the hot items on the public agenda these days is "The Environment." Suddenly everyone wants to save the whales and the rain forest. Politicians, rock stars, and big business have all discovered that you can't get anything but good press for saying that you're in favor of trees and marine mammals.
According to the U.K.-based WITT Energy website (witt-energy.com), "The WITT is the only device in the world that can capture energy from all movement and turn it into electricity. No other energy system can exploit the full spectrum of movement, enabling it to harvest power from water (sea, river or tidal), wind and human or animal motion."
Onshore and offshore wind turbines boast some of the most critical assets in order to run effectively.
Let's talk about large gears. Not the size or scope or inspection process, but the forecast and market potential in areas that utilize these massive components. We'll examine key industry segments like energy and mining and tap IHS Economics for a forecast for 2016 and 2017 (spoiler alert: it's not great). Additionally, we'll discuss some of the critical factors influencing global big gear manufacturers Ferry-Capitain and Hofmann Engineering.
The efficiency of a gearbox is the output energy divided by the input energy. It depends on a variety of factors. If the complete gearbox assembly in its operating environment is observed, then the following efficiency influencing factors have to be considered
Having outlasted the worldwide Great Recession, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) forecasts a constant growth in wind energy, i.e.: "increase in worldwide capacity to 460,000 MW by 2015."
Over the past few months we've talked with a lot of gear manufacturers. Many of them tell us business is strong, while others are struggling with reduced demand. The difference between them isn't so much in the quality of their manufacturing operations, but rather trends in the end markets they serve.
Gearbox performance, reliability, total cost of ownership (energy cost), overall impact on the environment, and anticipation of additional future regulations are top-of-mind issues in the industry. Optimization of the bearing set can significantly improve gearbox performance.
The turbines are still spinning. Theyâ€™re spinning on large wind farms in the Great Plains, offshore in the Atlantic and even underwater where strong tidal currents offer new energy solutions. These turbines spin regularly while politicians and policy makersâ€” tied up in discussions on tax incentives, economic recovery and a lot of finger pointingâ€”sit idle. Much like the auto and aerospace industries of years past, renewable energy is coping with its own set of growing pains. Analysts still feel confident that clean energy will play a significant role in the future of manufacturingâ€”itâ€™s just not going to play the role envisioned four to five years ago.
Bob McCulley of Comprehensive Heat Treat Specialists describes how even the most energy intensive industrial processes can be made "green."
Uncertainty casts a shadow over future business opportunities for manufacturers serving the new energy markets.
We talked energy efficiency with some major players in the lubricants industryâ€” but with a focus on their productsâ€™ impact regarding energy efficiency of gears and gearboxes in wind turbines.
A very direct and effective way of increasing power transmission efficiency is a changeover from mineral-oil-based lubricants to synthetic lubricants.
Heat treatment industry reinforces environmental/energy conservation.
"An industrial business with a very important growth potential for the next decade." That's the wind energy as described by Ivan Brems of gear manufacturer Hansen Transmissions International.
The United Statesâ€™ long-held dream of energy independenceâ€”as in cheap, clean, free of overseas extortion and renewable energyâ€”could very well be realized in part by the country-wide development of wind turbines...
Big gears and wind turbines go together like bees and honey, peas and carrots, bread and butter andâ€”well, you get the idea. Wind isnâ€™t just big right now, itâ€™s huge. The wind industry means tremendous things for the energy dependent world we live in and especially big things for gear manufacturers and other beleaguered American industries.
Itâ€™s not too often a trade show so far surpasses organizersâ€™ expectations for size that it must be relocated. This was just the dilemma the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) faced with the Windpower 2009 Conference and Exhibition, which was originally scheduled to take place in Minneapolis, but will now be held at McCormick Place, Chicago.
Amidst the energy industry's uncertain future, gearbox manufacturers are focusing on supplying the aftermarket.
News Items About Broadwind Energy
1 Broadwind Energy Appoints Brad Foote President (April 1, 2010)
Daniel E. Schueller was appointed president of Brad Foote Gear Works, Inc., the gearing systems business of Broadwind Energy, Inc. Schu... Read News
2 Broadwind Energy Plans Expansion of Gearbox Capabilities (March 17, 2010)
Broadwind Energy, Inc. recently announced the expansion of its Precision Repair and Engineering services with enhanced megawatt (MW) gear... Read News
3 Broadwind Energy Announces Expanded Organizational Structure (February 4, 2009)
Broadwind Energy recently announced an expanded organizational structure and leadership team to support its wind and alternative energy b... Read News