Smart solutions to make the assembly of wind turbines even easier and safer

Productivity, efficiency and reliability are becoming increasingly important for achieving the ambitious expansion targets for energy generation from renewable sources. This was particularly evident at WindEnergy 2022 in Hamburg at the end of last month.

Source: Atlas CopcoSource: Atlas Copco

A tour of the exhibition booths of many producers and suppliers revealed the challenges the industry faces:

Because modern wind turbines are complex technical structures that depend on the perfect interaction of their individual components, every process step in the production, assembly and maintenance must be carried out safely, fully completed and ideally also documented in a traceable manner. "But that is easier said than done," Sebastian Pesdicek openly admits. Pesdicek is product manager for bolting technology at Atlas Copco Tools Central Europe GmbH and knows from working with manufacturers and service companies where the shoe pinches:

Especially out in the field, where the turbines are erected and operated. "Regardless of whether it's an onshore or offshore construction site - until now it has been almost impossible to correctly tighten all connections at the first time, and to fully document the processes, let alone to do this automatically." Accordingly, the expectations and demand for fast and safe bolting technology were high in Hamburg.

Atlas Copco calls its concept for the wind energy industry Smart Connected Bolting and uses this term to describe a comprehensive product and service portfolio with which users can finally bring the added value of Industry 4.0 to the field:

Tools and tensioning systems, their controls as well as measuring and testing equipment, which cover all assembly cases around a wind turbine. They have built-in intelligence to generate, collect and communicate quality-critical assembly data.

"The presentation of our tried-and-tested solutions on original bolting cases struck a chord with the audience. By interlinking this Industry 4.0 equipment, users have full control over their processes at all times and all tightened joints are automatically documented without additional involvement of personnel." This avoids any transmission errors and saves time, effort and costs, as promised by the leitmotiv Quicker - Safer - Smarter.

Almost in passing, the manager mentions that the exceptionally powerful devices are lightweight and can be moved to any location with minimal effort. This provides additional flexibility. According to Pesdicek, the additional added value that the Atlas Copco philosophy brings over the entire life cycle of a wind turbine is trend-setting: "Smart Connected Bolting offers a technology that can combine and analyse data from assembly and maintenance work over the entire life cycle of a wind turbine". For example, status reports can be derived from this, as can predictions of maintenance requirements, and the recurring use of this data can be used to improve selected processes through to customised services from Atlas Copco - the Data Driven Services - for continuous optimisation.

More information on Smart Connected Bolting and its solutions under

Atlas Copco
Heiko Wenke
atlas copco, smart, solution, renewable source, renewable energy, wind turbine, assembly

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