Case Studies

Turbine Manufacturer Enjoys Multi-Fold Improvement in Productivity

Turbine Manufacturer Enjoys Multi-Fold Improvement in Productivity

 

Introduction

Electric power is an integral part of people’s lives today and the power generation industry is all about harnessing and providing energy in a reliable and safe manner. Likewise, suppliers to power plants have the same expectation placed upon them, which makes precision and quality control doubly important.

For Indian after-market manufacturer and service provider, Swan Turbine Services Pvt Ltd (Swan Turbine), technical excellence and certification were identified early as two critical pillars of its business. The Hyderabad-based company places great importance on hiring people with the right skill-sets and experience, and on providing its employees with the right equipment and technology to do their jobs well.

Mr. P. Satyanarayana, Managing Director of Swan Turbine, expressed, “We endeavor to deliver components of impeccable quality to our customers, and my vision is to attain an annual revenue of US$5 million by 2016, and US$1 billion by 2020. In order to do so, we must constantly explore ways to increase our productivity.”

Swan Turbine Services specializes in steam, gas, hydro turbines, and rotators.

Based in Hyderabad, India, Swan Turbine Services Pvt Ltd specializes in steam, gas, hydro turbines, and rotators.

Specializing in steam, gas, hydro turbines, and rotators, Swan Turbine is a one-stop shop for refurbishment, spares and services, repairs and retrofits, EPC contracts, O&M contracts, as well as the re-engineering and relocation of power plants. Across Swan Turbine’s projects, measurement needs typically revolve around inspection, dimensional calculations, alignment, and reverse engineering.

The company first invested in a German-made laser alignment system to cope with these measurement needs. While the system did serve its purpose, the team recognized that these measurements were prone to human error, and were not as accurate as they would have like them to be. In addition, as newer and better technologies became available, the laser alignment system was gradually becoming insufficient for the team’s work demands. The existing equipment could not measure some of the larger objects nor provide digital data for measurement reports, which were increasingly important factors for the team.

The turbines that Swan Turbine manufactures range from 100mm to 3m

The turbines that Swan Turbine manufactures range from 100mm to 3m in size.

Moreover, Swan Turbine had to outsource some of the other measurement tasks, as the process was tedious and time-consuming. This was not an ideal arrangement as the measuring services would take almost three full days, including transportation, when Swan Turbine only had two weeks to turn the project over.

As a result, when FARO first reached out to suggest an on-site product demonstration, Swan Turbine was interested to find out more. “Once we saw the device in action, there was no doubt in my mind that it would improve our production processes tremendously,” said Mr. Srinivas Gummadi, General Manager of Swan Turbine. “Outsourcing our measurement needs was tedious and time-consuming. However, our greatest area of concern was having to depend on a third-party for something as basic as accuracy and precision of our products.”

The FaroArm Fusion performing non-contact scanning of a turbine

The resulting scan data on a computer

The FaroArm Fusion performing non-contact scanning of a turbine (top), with the resulting scan data on a computer (bottom).
 

A Better & Faster Way to Acquire Measurements

After observing Swan Turbine’s business and assessing its measurement requirements, FARO recommended an 8-ft FaroArm Fusion to Swan Turbine. One of FARO’s best-selling product lines, the FaroArm is a portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that resembles a human arm in appearance. Equipped with several articulating joints, the FaroArm is able to determine and record the location of a probe in 3D space, and report the results through software.

The Fusion has a spherical working volume of approximately 2.4m, which satisfies Swan Turbine’s object size range of 100mm to 3m (for each turbine blade). With the Fusion, the team at Swan Turbine is now able to inspect the manufactured turbines accurately, easily, and quickly. With these new in-house measurement capabilities, Swan Turbine immediately managed to save precious time on transporting its products. “We now have better control of our project timelines,” said Mr. Gummadi. “In fact, we are enjoying nearly 100% time-savings since investing in the Fusion. The increased productivity means we can deliver faster or make use of the time we saved elsewhere.”

Since investing in the Fusion, Swan Turbine has also enjoyed better accuracy and reliability in its measurements, eliminating human error from the equation. The device’s versatility and portability are also qualities that Swan Turbine appreciates. While the team still uses vernier calipers occasionally for simple manual measurements, the Fusion is heavily utilized for at least 8-9 hours each day across applications of alignment, inspection, and testing – all with a single device.

Implementing the Fusion onto its production line was a decisive change that required Swan Turbine team members to adapt. Commenting on the effectiveness of this change, Mr. Gummadi revealed, “It is almost mind-blowing how the Fusion has impacted our production schedules. We used to take 3-4 days to inspect one to two turbines, but we are now checking 5-6 turbines within a day! The timely after-sales support we receive from FARO team has also made this transition easier. I am deeply satisfied to say the least, and this is a stepping-stone that will help us achieve our company’s vision for 2020.”

Take measurements anywhere on the shop floor

The portability of the Fusion enables engineers to take measurements anywhere on the shop floor.
 

About Swan Turbine Services Pvt Ltd

Founded in 2001, Swan Turbine Services is an Indian after-market manufacturer and service provider for the power generation industry. Specializing in steam, gas, hydro turbines, and rotators, the company is a one-stop shop for refurbishment, spares and services, repairs and retrofits, EPC contracts, O&M contracts, as well as re-engineering and relocation of power plants.

Swan Turbine Services employs over 200 staff members in its headquarters in Pashamylaram Medak, Hyderabad. As business expands, new plans for a second plant that is twice the size of its first facility are under way.

For more information, please visit www.swanturbines.com.

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