‘Michigan Triple Play’ Results In Wind Turbine Blade Automation Order

Auburn Hills-based KMT Robotic Solutions Inc. (KMT-RS) and Grand Rapids-based Stiles Machinery Inc. last week announced the sale of a wind turbine blade root end cut and drill system to Energetx Composites LLC of Holland. 

This order was the result of these three Michigan businesses diversifying to include wind energy in their expertise and working together to engineer the best manufacturing system for root end processing.

This project is made possible by funding provided by the Bureau of Energy Systems, Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the federal stimulus.

Energetx Composites was launched in summer 2008 to focus on the manufacture of wind turbine blades, building on the expertise developed as boat builder S2 Yachts. A new factory is planned for the production of utility-scale blades which measure 150 feet and beyond in length. There are plans to employ up to 750 people in this plant over the next five years.

Energetx contracted with Stiles Machinery to act as its project manager focused on assembling the equipment required for this new facility. 
“Many companies are unaware of the breadth of equipment that Stiles represents,” says Stephan Waltman, vice president of marketing for Stiles. “We provide machinery and services within the wood industry, plastics, metals, composites, and more. We are extremely pleased to help Energetx in their endeavor to grow this industry and offer new employment opportunities in Michigan.” 

Stiles is a leader in recommending, supplying and supporting high-quality production systems. It began focusing on the emerging composites industry, particularly wind energy and aerospace, in late 2007 and since that time has successfully integrated a broad range of industrial machining systems
KMT Robotic Solutions of Auburn Hills built on its expertise of trimming composite parts for the boat, bath and truck industries, expanding into wind energy in 2007. KMT has become the global leader in robotic automation for the processing of wind turbine blade root ends. The system provided to Energetx is based on KMT’s RoboTrim WT-2000 root cut and drill system which is quickly becoming the industry standard. 

This system will use the latest drilling process technology, 25 percent faster than previously available and patent-pending KMT-RS technology to quickly locate the blade, minimizing the set-up time and maximizing productivity.

Said Kevin McManus, president and CEO of KMT Robotic Solutions: “Diversifying the Michigan manufacturing base and creating contributions to local economies is important work and this project is a win-win-win for Michigan manufacturing.”

KMT Robotic Solutions was formed in December 2006 with the union of KMT Cutting Systems in Ronneby, Sweden and Robotic Production Technology in Auburn Hills. KMT Robotic Solutions has more than 3,700 robots installed around the world and more than 25 years experience developing, designing, building, servicing and supporting robotic cutting, trimming and cleaning systems for manufacturers. More at www.kmtrobotic.com.

Founded in 1965, Stiles offers a broad selection of world-class machining and finishing solutions spanning multiple industries from automotive to marine, contract components to wind energy technology. Stiles provides machinery systems to increase production capacities, as well as improve process technology to help clients compete globally. Moer at www.stilesmachinery.com.

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