Component testing -- Gear boxes in Germany

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Gear unit manufacturer Winergy, part of the Flender group in Germany, is underlining its confidence in the future of wind turbine technology with the construction of major new component testing facilities. Winergy recently inaugurated what it describes as the world's largest station for serial testing of gear units, built at a cost of EUR 4 million. The station serially tests gear boxes assembled at Winergy's works in Voerde for wind turbines of up to 6 MW rated capacity. Next year, Winergy will set up a test station for gear boxes for wind turbines of up to 7 MW and follow this in 2005-2006 with a test station for prototype gear units for machines of up to 12 MW. Winergy says it supplies about 40% of all gear boxes used in wind turbines. About 80% of production is located in Germany, the other 20% at its North American works in Elgin, Illinois, opened last year. Churning out about 2500 gear boxes for the wind industry annually, Winergy expects to achieve turnover in 2003 of EUR 250 million, accounting for nearly one-third of parent Flender's total annual turnover of EUR 900 million.

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