Tooling solutions for wind energy sector highlighted

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New literature available from Kennametal highlights tooling solutions for wind turbine component manufacturers.

The company's advanced tooling solutions are aimed at those that make everything from turbine blades and gear boxes to towers and mainframe components for this growing industry. Kennametal's KSEM Plus modular drills, for example, can set new productivity standards in the manufacture of such wind energy components as tower segments, pitch bearings, hubs, housings, and frames. KSEM Plus doubles the metal-removal rate of older tools, drilling a 39 mm hole to a 175 mm depth in 42CrMo4 steel in less than 30 seconds. Such results can add hundreds of machine capacity hours each year. "Component suppliers are purchasing new machines or re-purposing existing equipment to meet forecasted growth," says Latanyua Robinson, global market manager – industrial segments at Kennametal. "They realise the importance of tooling solutions in achieving productivity, quality, and safety demanded by wind OEMs and integrators." Turning a wind turbine's main shaft can take hours of processing time, as these components have stringent surface requirements and bear some of a wind tower's highest loads. Kennametal's new Beyond platform of turning inserts is designed to double metal removal rates for the alloy steels used in the wind industry. Milling the giant cast iron rotor hubs used on wind towers can take up to 20 hours with conventional tooling. Using Kennametal's Dodeka or FixPerfect milling cutters can mean significant reductions in face and interpolation milling tasks. And using Beyond turning inserts and KSEM Plus modular drills for a rotor hub's turning and holemaking tasks can drive productivity improvements even further. In addition to describing a wide range of Kennametal tooling solutions applicable to the wind energy industry, the new literature also includes information on Kennametal's project engineering services, including advanced metalcutting strategies, process planning, and production ramp-up assistance.