These include replacement blades, nose cones, nacelles, hatch covers and other fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) components that are no longer stocked by the OEM.
MFG, headquartered in Ashtabula, Ohio, USA, has 15 manufacturing sites in North America, five of which are partially or fully dedicated to composite parts for the wind energy industry. The company also operates a wind energy composite maintenance and repair business, Wind Energy Services Company, headquartered in Gainesville, Texas.
As the population of turbine fleets gets larger and older, the need for replacement composite parts for equipment is on the rise, MFG explains. Frequently, operators in need of a composite part – due to a devastating weather event or normal wear – discover that the OEM no longer carries what they need, or may no longer be in business. To answer this need, MFG is using its manufacturing capabilities to offer newly manufactured spares made from tooling generated from the customer’s part. This process is said to be fast and does not damage the original part.
Another opportunity for composite repair services and spare parts is supporting resellers of pre-owned turbines. These businesses acquire smaller turbines that are being removed from service by operators that upgrade to more powerful, larger models. Once reconditioned, this equipment can be sold on to other organisations.
“We are discovering that operators are thrilled to know there is a dependable, high quality resource for spares,” reports Gary Kanaby, MFG director of sales for wind energy. “We recently delivered 15 nacelle covers and spinners as well as 50 replacement hatches to a wind farm that suffered a disastrous wind event. The insurance carrier covered the replacement cost – but the OEM no longer carried the parts. We were able to produce and deliver so they were operating at full productivity in a matter of weeks.”