While the UK is not a leader in the manufacture of wind turbines, one British company is rapidly becoming indispensable to the specialist service companies that repair and maintain them.
Thanks to its ability to manufacture large diameter replacement bearings in a fraction of the time required by the ‘international bearing manufacturers’, Revolvo, based in Dudley in the West Midlands, is helping wind turbine maintenance companies to meet very tight deadlines. Flexible production at the company’s brand new manufacturing facility allows it to supply standard or bespoke solid and split bearings - to order - in sizes up to 1.5 metres outside diameter in a matter of weeks.
Wind turbines are still comparatively ‘new’ in technology terms, so the problem of maintaining and re-conditioning them is a relatively recent one. What’s generally not appreciated is that they have a finite service life, as evidenced by the first generation of turbines installed ten-years ago, or longer, that now require maintenance and overhaul. These maintenance procedures usually involve a gearbox rebuild and replacement of large shaft bearings. However, unlike new builds, the maintenance projects have to be completed as quickly as possible, to minimise the generation downtime. Moreover, companies are often awarded repair business contracts at the last minute after competitive tender, and so need to source the repair parts quickly, because it would be extremely expensive to keep an inventory for all service parts on the shelf.
This is where Revolvo can assist. Revolvo, well known for its range of SRB split roller bearings, also manufactures large, OE-standard solid bearings – cylindrical, taper roller, thrust and deep groove ball bearings - to order from its new state-of-the-art UK factory, and can deliver them in a fraction of the lead-time of the large international bearing manufacturers, often in a matter of weeks. This means that refurbishment projects can be delivered on-time and within budget by sourcing the bearings required for wind-turbine transmissions directly from Revolvo.
“Our ability to radically reduce delivery times, especially for large diameter bearings means that we have gained a great deal of new business in the wind turbine power generation sector,” said Adrian Menzies, Revolvo’s Sales and Marketing Director. “A lot of this business has been won because international bearing manufacturers simply cannot deliver large bearings with anywhere near the lead times that we can. However, we have also established a reputation for producing bespoke and standard bearings for the mining, steel, water, process and power generation markets, where our success is down to our quality and reliability, as well as our ability to deliver on time.”
A member of the ERIKS Group of companies, Revolvo manufactures solid bearings in sizes from 25 mm bore to 1500 mm external diameter, and SRB split roller bearings in sizes from 35 mm bore to over 1000 mm internal diameter, plus imperial equivalents. In addition, the company also manufactures inch, special custom designed, and obsolete sizes of solid ball & roller bearings, which are used to keep older machinery in operation. All Revolvo bearings are produced to DIN PO/ABEC 1 standards, with up to P5 available on request.
For more information, visit www.revolvo.com