When Atlas Copco was approached by a customer with an issue concerning the shrink discs in wind energy applications, the company were able to develop an innovative solution to the problem. The shrink disc tensioning solution ultimately achieved savings in time and cost.
The shrink disc application is one of the toughest applications to be tightened for a wind turbine. This is due to the space constraints and the number of bolts which require tightening. Usually, only hex type torque wrenches work for these applications due to limited space. A typical design of a shrink disc will only allow for 250mm – 400mm of working space.
The customer's previous method of tightening was using a hydraulic torque wrench. This consisted of using two operators with two torque wrenches and one pump. Overall, this would take 4 – 6 hours. Although this process was simple, it was time-consuming. Especially as, in summer, this time increased to 6 – 8 hours.
Atlas Copco UK Ltd had experience working with shrink disc applications and developed a tensioning solution for the customer. The customer worked in collaboration with the Atlas in-house design team to ensure the solution was suitable for the application. The new design reduced operation time, as completing the tension process would now only take two hours.
The shrink disc tensioning solution, Atlas states, improved the working environment by limiting noise to operators and reduced operation time. Additionally, for the final tightening, the Hydraulic Torque Wrench RTA was used to record the final torque data collection which proved useful to the customer. In total, Atlas added, the new solution allowed for a total saving of US$118,000 dollars per year.
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