The shrink disc application is one of the toughest applications to be tightened for a wind turbine. This is due to the space constraints and the number of bolts that require tightening in a short time. Due to the limited space to work on the application, usually, only a hex-type torque wrench can work. A typical design of a shrink disc only typically allows between 250mm-400mm of working space.
The customer's previous method of tightening was using a hydraulic torque wrench. This consisted of using two operators with two torque wrenches and one pump. Overall, this would take 4-6 hours. Although this process was simple, it took far too long. It was 4-6 hours, in normal weather, but in the summer, it increased to 6-8 hours.
Atlas Copco have a vast amount of experience working with shrink disc applications and we were able to develop a bespoke tensioning solution for the customer. The customer worked closely with our in-house design team, to ensure it would be suitable for the application.
This new solution drastically reduced the operation time, as it now took two operators only two hours to complete the tensioning process. For the final tightening, the Hydraulic Torque Wrench RTA was used to record the final torque data collection, which is highly valuable to their team to see if the job has been completed correctly.
The integration of the Shrink Disc Tensioning solution significantly improved the working environment due to the limited noise to operators and reduced operation time from 4-6 hours to 2 hours. Also having the data capture was an important factor, as this increased the quality of the work which was being produced.
In total there was a saving of $118,000 per year with this new solution, which was saved due to:
- 50-100% faster, efficiency improvement (double capacity)
- Data collection which ensured correct assembly
- Huge work improvement
- Reduce spare parts for torque wrenches (huge workload and high frequency)