Award Winners 2010

Innovative Bending Machine for Induction Conductors Used in Large-scale Generators

Located in Erfurt (Germany), the Siemens generator plant  is acknowledged as one of the world‘s leading facilities  for the design and manufacture of turbogenerators with a power  output of up to 300 MW. Against the backdrop of ever-increasing  competition, the production plant was eager to introduce new  technological solutions aimed at further optimising its manufac- turing processes. Within this context, the main focus was on the  production of conductors, a particularly labour-intensive part of  the overall process. 

In cooperation with the Steinbeis Transfer Center Drive and Hand- ling Technology in Mechanical Engineering, the company came  up with an innovative manufacturing method and a new opera- ting system that revolutionize the complex production process  for conductors, consisting of axial and tangential conductors.  The individual tangential conductors – 15 to 24 in total – are  made of electrolytic copper and are up to 64 mm in width, 8.0 mm  in thickness and 1.7 m in length. The conductors are soldered on  to the axial conductors (up to 7 m in length) on both sides. The  radius of the tangential conductor package corresponds to the  rotor radius of the generator, i. e. up to 0.5 m. The maximum pa- ckage thickness is 160 mm.

Using the conventional technique, the conductors are bent by hand with the help of circular tools, both individually and sta- cked on top of each other, to form a conductor package that  makes up a complete half-coil. Applying this manual method,  the overall processing time required to make a conductor pa- ckage for a half-coil is 145 minutes. Based on many years of  experience, the manual production technique involved aligning  and inspecting the items several times during the overall proce- dure. This approach was in stark contrast to the state-of-the-art  technology applied by the company in other areas of generator  production. The aim: to streamline this section of manufacturing  by introducing entirely new bending / forming technology. One  of the key challenges was to eliminate the springback associated  with the material itself while also ensuring that the surface was  in no way damaged by the process and the conductors retained  their prescribed length rather than expanding as a result of the  rolling procedure.

Owing to the innovative, patented bending process and the newly  installed bending machine, the complete conductor package for a  half-coil can be produced in a single step. The overall processing  time was scaled down from 145 to 27.5 minutes. 

Project Partners

  • Siemens AG Generator Plant, Erfurt
  • Steinbeis Transfer Center Drive and Handling Technology in Mechanical Engineering, Chemnitz 

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