Filling 1300 cooling holes on a large gas turbine vane can be a time-consuming process. If done manually, it can take up to nine hours for an operator to check and fill the holes on one vane. To free up operators for other tasks as well as reduce the overall repair time per blade, the Orlando Innovation Center developed a robotic solution that fills up to 80 percent of the holes in less than four hours with the remaining holes filled manually in about 30 minutes. That’s a 50 percent reduction in repair time with most of the work done without an operator. A user manual, onsite operator training, and recommendations for processes and procedures were also provided. Although the robot was designed for a specific part, this technology can be adapted for other applications inside or outside of Siemens.
The camera inspection system was developed to monitor the trailing edge of the blade near the platform in between recommended human inspections. Performed while on turning gear, the camera provides a photographic record of the erosion rate by blade number and date. Customers use the results to schedule service at their convenience versus having to shut the unit down during high demand periods.
Josh DeAscanis, business development manager, says, “As a global resource for innovation, we are frequently called on to automate processes, develop software, and perform/improve production work. We are excited to collaborate and solve problems with folks from inside and outside Siemens Energy. So, the next time you don’t have the time or resources to solve a thorny problem or test an unproven idea, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.”