Precision Gear offers new service to help keep NI's wind turbines turning
Precision Gear Company Ltd has introduced a new 'up tower' service that enables the company to carry out wind turbine gearbox repairs on site, therefore enabling customers to avoid the costs incurred when transporting a faulty component to the workshop.
The Toomebridge-based firm has more than 20 years' experience in the wind turbine industry and over the two decades has grown and adapted to the ever-moving requirements of the young and challenging sector of renewables.
Precision Gear Company (PGC) Ltd, along with other companies in the industry, are determined to grow the sector in Northern Ireland. When PGC entered the market, 500kw turbines were regarded as being very large. Now, 1.5MW to 3MW for onshore is the norm, and up to 6MW offshore.
These are huge pieces of equipment that are mostly manufactured in northern Europe and the United States.
PGC specialises in the repair and inspection of the gearboxes fitted to wind turbines of all sizes.
Usually, when these vital pieces of equipment are in need of service or repair, they have to be lowered to the ground and brought to the firm's workshops in Toomebridge. This is a particularly costly exercise that requires cranes, labour and trucks.
Depending on the condition of the gearbox, this may be the only option, but PGC has been seeing an increasing number of cases where the unit can be repaired while remaining in the turbine.
To facilitate this, PGC engineers have used their many years of experience in a workshop environment to develop and implement the introduction of the up tower service, which provides the customer with a cost-effective solution for gearbox repair, and is particularly effective in the larger range of turbines of 1.5MW and above.
PGC says its trained technicians have all of the certification and training required to carry out this work in an economic, safe and timely manner.
The unique service begins with a technician visiting the turbine and using an endoscope to carry out a detailed visual inspection, to pinpoint the area in the gearbox that needs attention. An assessment will then be made which will look at two options: can the unit be repaired 'up tower', or does the unit need to be removed and repaired in the workshop?
The company said: "If the unit can be repaired while remaining in the turbine, all paperwork is put in place and the technicians are sent to the site.
"This normally takes two days or, if we are pre-registered with a company, the work can be carried out immediately.
"At PGC we pride ourselves in getting the asset back up and running as soon as possible, and to do this we have had to be adaptable in our approach to maintenance.
"This in turn will help the customer's profitability and a profitable customer is a happy customer."