US machine tool manufacturers enter the wind power field

Recently, the surge in US wind energy development projects has prompted two major US-based automated machine tool manufacturers to make major market development strategy decisions.

Ingersoll Machine Tools launched two wind energy industry projects in April. One of them is the introduction of an automated wind turbine blade production demonstrator to provide wind turbine blade manufacturers with development testing of their production and processing equipment. The other is the MasterWind Lean Manufacturing Center, which integrates these automation technologies into Ingersoll's business to produce mechanical components for wind turbines, including hubs, gearboxes, upper and lower panels and engine compartments. According to Ingersoll, the first MasterWind Center will be established at the company headquarters in Rockford at the end of 2010. Ingersoll Chairman and CEO Tino Oldani said: "Ingersoll is committed to meeting the new manufacturing needs of the wind power industry and is working hard to help the US manufacturing industry take the lead in the international market."

Benefiting from the Green Industry Development Program, Ingersoll's projects received $5 million in government funding. The Green Industry Development Program is part of the Illinois Energy Act, which is regulated by the US Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities and funded by the US Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Recently, CNC machine tool supplier MAG Industrial Automation Systems announced the establishment of a new renewable energy business unit, which is mainly engaged in the design and manufacture of automated manufacturing systems for wind turbine components and solar panel batteries. MAG business director Joe Jones pointed out that MAG has a good start in the renewable energy business. In recent years, MAG has focused on the development of composite materials and machine tool automation for wind turbine components, and has introduced a number of new products based on its own proven technology and modules. Currently, MAG is funded by US$7 million in Michigan, USA, which will be used to develop carbon fiber turbine blades and design and manufacture production and processing units for a wind power hub project called “revolutionary”.

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