Due to the large demand for offshore wind in the future, component production, including the blades, needs to increase significantly. A consortium in Denmark has kicked-off research project AIOLOS, which aims to optimize factory output at low cost. Dutch Pontis Engineering is one of the partners.
When scaling up production, it is important not to incur unnecessary costs in new production facilities if this can be avoided, in order to ensure competitiveness. New innovative development in automatization and digitalization seem to be an appropriate solution that can easily be implemented in already existing production facilities.
This starting point has resulted in the establishment of the AIOLOS research project. The research project represents a paradigm-shift when it comes to addressing blade production and factory output. It will tackle the most important cost drivers in the production of large high-performance composite structures (>15m length) and aims to develop ways to increase production capability, flexibility and quality.
The AIOLOS project aspire to:
• Significantly decrease both operational as well as capital expenditures (OPEX and CAPEX)
• Significantly increase factory output through acceleration, automation and digitalization
• Decrease production waste
• Reduce non-conformance of large composite structure production
Made in Denmark with a Dutch touch
The AIOLOS-consortium comprises six partners from both industry and academia. The consortium is led by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy who will ensure that the development impact in AIOLOS can be maximized for large OEMs. Other partners are:
• Clobotics and Dutch Pontis Engineering: Innovative SMEs providing specialized key knowledge for production improvements, and who will drive the wider applicability of AIOLOS’ results into the Danish wind industry
• FORCE Technology: A leading non-profit research company, which is a government-supported research hub to support industry and cross-industry collaboration
• Aalborg University: University which will focus its expertise on design of modular prefabricated blade components and the joining of those and support the dissemination and training level achieved by AIOLOS.
• DTU Wind Energy (Technical University of Denmark): University which will contribute with its expertise in modelling and manufacturing to establishing a digital factory with improved processes and product quality as well as to support the dissemination and training level achieved by AIOLOS.:
“Pontis is the only Dutch party to this Danish consortium. We have been asked for our unique know-how of rotor blade production technology. In this research project, we use our experience and expertise, particularly in the field of automating composite production processes. The new technologies we are developing aim to keep Western Europe competitive in this field. We as Pontis are proud to be able to contribute to this.”Sjef van Breugel, Managing Director at Pontis Engineering
Siemens’ Aalborg-facility to first implement AIOLOS
AIOLOS will be implemented at Siemens Gamesa’s factory in Aalborg, Denmark. Here specifically, it is expected to significantly increase the company’s blade production as well as enable a reduction of blade manufacturing costs. Across the entire wind industry in Denmark, it is also expected that AIOLOS will increase job opportunities in areas such as robot operation and maintenance, data analysis and blade production operators. The technologies developed in the framework of this project will be adapted for a wider industrial spectrum including maritime and transport industries.
Project duration and investment
The AIOLOS-project which was kicked off in April 2021 and will run until 2024. The total project budget is 77,650,000 DKK (approx. 10,420,000 EUR) and hereof, Innovation Fund Denmark is responsible for 38,380,000 DKK (approx. 5,150,000 EUR). Innovation Fund Denmark has invested 38.4 million DKK in the project. Source: Pontis