The Timken Company announced that its wind energy revenue grew 17% over the last five years, outpacing the estimated 7% growth the wind industry experienced as a whole, according to Wood Mackenzie research.
“With global demand on the rise for renewable energy sources, our customers’ success depends on designing larger, more powerful and efficient wind turbines,” said Andreas Roellgen, Timken vice president, Europe, Asia, Africa. “As wind turbine manufacturers continue to push the limits on performance, designing and manufacturing bearings for them is increasing in complexity. Timken’s long history of technical problem solving and engineering innovation for the world’s most challenging applications continues to be a significant advantage for our customers in the wind energy industry.”
Timken products, such as engineered bearings and lubrication systems, are designed to help wind turbines operate with greater efficiency in producing power. Also, the company’s maintenance services help maximize a turbine’s performance over its lifetime.
Timken increased its presence in both gear drive and main shaft equipment as the global wind energy market sector experienced rapid growth in 2020. And ongoing trends – such as OEMs building larger turbines that generate more power, and turbine main shaft designs that increasingly rely on tapered roller bearings to take on additional loading – continue to favor the company going forward. In fact, Timken demonstrated its industry leadership by recently partnering with a leading OEM to design and manufacture bearings for the world’s largest and most powerful wind turbine.
Timken, which entered the wind energy market sector 15 years ago offers customers a complete engineering solution that meets an application’s demanding duty cycles. Employing its collaborative technical sales model, the company works with customers to understand their most important success factors and key challenges. This tried and trusted approach is paying off in the rapidly evolving wind energy sector, where Timken has been able to provide timely support to customers with solutions for new wind installations as well as existing designs that are underperforming. Given that the industry’s growing base of installed turbines generally requires a major overhaul after 10 to 15 years, Timken is well-positioned to support not only new equipment, but also the increasing demand for maintenance, repair and overhaul services.
“Downtime and repairs can be very costly for wind turbine operators, and our wind energy solutions support our customers’ needs to optimize reliability, cost and performance,” said Roellgen.
For example, to help increase the service life of bearings in wind turbine main shaft applications, Timken developed a thin-film coating that simultaneously increases surface hardness and wear-resistance, while reducing friction. Replacing main shaft bearings with upgraded Timken® bearings with wear-resistant coatings can help wind operators reduce maintenance costs over the turbine lifecycle.
With the share of electricity generated from renewables expected to more than double by 2030, Timken continues to make targeted capital investments to support future growth. That includes more than $75 million through early 2022 to increase renewable energy capabilities across its footprint. In 2020, renewable energy represented 12% of total company sales, making it Timken’s single-largest end-market sector. Investments in the wind space will support increasingly efficient and advanced manufacturing of large products at higher volumes.
News item from Timken
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