Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Turbine blades: lightweights from the Upper Palatinate – Handelsblatt

Regensburg, Frankfurt It is an attempt to bring together the best of three countries. A few years ago General Electric decided to open an experimental work, the managers employed only once at a seminar with the Japanese Kaizen philosophy. Plant Manager was finally Elissa Lee, an American. You should ensure speed and efficiency. When choosing a location, GE decided but then neither Japan nor the United States, as was evident at a glance in the workshops: The robots have received from the employees name. “Lumpy” is one of them, under the sign hangs a picture of a dachshund. For Germany, it is General Electric decided in 2007. The U.S. company wanted to produce extremely light in an entirely new process low-pressure turbine blades for aircraft engines.

there is the engineering knowledge and automation expertise, also the technology was originally developed in Bavaria, said Lee. Therefore, GE rented a hall in Regensburg and invested a double-digit million amount. 2013, the first shovels of Titaniumaluminid were delivered, which are used since April among others in the Boeing 747-8 Lufthansa. “This year, we focused on the industrialization of production,” said Lee. The output should be increased to several thousand blades.

the Regensburg project also entered new territory GE. “We have never done this before: the technology to develop parallel at the site, is also produced at the later,” says Lee. But as GE saved time, the blades came to market faster. Titaniumaluminid is a material that is interesting for many applications because it is very lightweight and can withstand high thermal loads. “But it is difficult to edit the material,” explains Thomas Jenter, responsible for automation at the site. Titaniumaluminid pulls in the molten state to other elements and is contaminated so fast. Therefore, it was indeed used a much smaller scale in Formula 1 in valves and turbochargers, but not on a large scale in the aviation industry.

But in aircraft weight and load capacity are everything. For nothing the airlines spend more than aviation fuel. Therefore, the engines must become more efficient, the aircraft lighter. Lag of the consumption of the German fleet per passenger per 100 kilometers in 1990 still 6.3 liters of kerosene, they were 3.68 liters last year. So it should go according to the will of the airlines.


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