Company adds cutting edge technology to its manufacturing capabilities in anticipation of increased demand.
European multinational MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, based in Augsburg, Germany and one of the world’s leading providers of large-bore diesel engines and turbo-machinery for use in marine and power station applications, has decided to invest and develop its South African blade manufacturing operations to support the three locations it currently occupies, which include Zurich, Switzerland and Oberhausen, Germany.
“We are very proud that our location in South Africa has been afforded such large investments and will be considered on par with the locations around the world. This will entail setting up a Center of Excellence in Elandsfontein, Gauteng, which we are currently busy with and are scheduled to move into in mid 2015,” said Gary Muller, MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa’s Sales and Operations Manager Blades.
European multinational MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, based in Augsburg, Germany and one of the world’s leading providers of large-bore diesel engines and turbo-machinery for use in marine and power station applications, has decided to invest and develop its South African blade manufacturing operations to support the three locations it currently occupies, which include Zurich, Switzerland and Oberhausen, Germany
“MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa has seen progressive growth over the last ten years servicing the MAN fleet of compressors, expanders and steam turbines. To continue our growth in the blade manufacturing industry and secure further market share, we are constantly looking at new technologies and how to incorporate them into our production. We look for innovative features and processes that will improve our quality, reduce our delivery time and improve our flexibility.”
“As our market regions have grown and our customer requirements have changed, we see the need to increase our capacity and at the same time reduce our costs before passing this benefit forward.”
New 3 500m² manufacturing facility
“Besides the new 3 500m² manufacturing facility that is being built adjacent to the current building, we have invested in a high-end Swiss made Liechti Turbomill 1400g CNC turning/milling machine. Our machine arrived in December 2014 and was commissioned and operational for the new production cycle in January 2015.”
“The Turbomill is a single spindle 5-axis machining center for high precision machining at high feed rates. The machine is used for rough and finish machining of complex shapes as needed in the blade manufacturing environment.”
MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa have invested in a high-end Swiss made Liechti Turbomill 1400g CNC turning/milling machine
“More importantly the new machine allows us to machine blades up to 1 350mm in length, which is a big advantage. To give you a comparison the blades used on the turbines at the Koeberg nuclear plant in the Western Cape are only 1 280mm in length.”
“Our partnership with Liechti Engineering, which is now a GF Machining Solutions company, will help us achieve our goals and those of our customers. We will use the experience and knowledge from our Zurich and Oberhausen locations to ensure a successful setup of the Centre of Excellence.”
“It is envisaged that a further two 5-axis machining centers will be added to the shopfloor once we are in our new facility, and this will give us the capacity to manufacture in the region of 300 tons of blades annually. We currently have a capacity of about half that amount.”
Power generation development – going beyond the usual markets
“Another new development is that we have started a drive to enter the 3rd party blade manufacturing arena with a particular emphasis on the power generation market. In this industry we need to ensure that we have suitable machining capabilities to service this market. We are confident that this first Turbomill with its maximum part length of 1 350mm will help us serve customers in this market.”
“In our research we estimated the local power generation market to be in the region of Euro 33 million per year for steam turbine blades. In March 2012, in conjunction with MAN Truck & Bus South Africa we approached the IDC to facilitate meetings with Eskom. In the past we have tried to deal directly with the power stations, but this has not been sustainable and little success was achieved. With the IDC’s assistance we were able to cross the market barrier and meet directly with Eskom. During these discussions we were able to promote our local facility and educate the otherwise unaware department that we were the only OEM to have a local facility for blade manufacturing.”
It is envisaged that a further two 5-axis machining centers will be added to the shopfloor once MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa are in their new 3 500m² manufacturing facility, and this will give the company the capacity to manufacture in the region of 300 tons of blades annually
“We have already secured two orders from Hendrina Power station totaling in excess of Euro 8.2 million, and are currently in negotiation for a third contract worth an additional Euro 5 million. This represents the largest order received for MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa for non-OEM machines. The orders include new discs and blades for stages two to four of the double flow four-stage LP turbine originally designed by AEG. These orders are the first step in opening the very profitable power generation market to MAN PrimeServ, the division which we fall under.”
“As a result of our Eskom discussions we have also had a visit from Alstom, one of the largest players in the local market. The prospects in this industry and those with Alstom are encouraging, and we trust that these discussions can lead us to a long term partner of the local power generation market, which previously was closed.”
A full story on the South African company appears in the Shopfront Focus section of this issue of the magazine.
For further details contact MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa on TEL: 011 842 0700 or visit www.mandieselturbo.com