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In an exclusive interview with WindInsider magazine, TK Chow – Regional Sales Director (APAC) – IND, LAP gave us an overview of the company’s high-tech products and the recent developments that took place in the company. We learned the key highlights of LAP’s Laser projectors used for rotor blade manufacturing along with the quality and compliance procedures followed to produce these world-class products.
1. Please tell us about, what has been the overall impact of the pandemic on the wind industry?
Overall, despite the pandemic, the business in the Wind Industry has remained resilient. There is a constant need to power businesses, transportation, communications, and homes, and with the growing emphasis on “Green” power from many major countries, the Wind Industry continues to show resilient growth over the Pandemic years (albeit at a cautious rate).
2. Please give our readers an overview of LAP’s products and services.
LAP is one of the world’s leading suppliers of laser systems that increase quality and efficiency through laser projection, laser measurement, and other processes. In particular, for the Wind Industry, our Laser Projector Systems provide visual guides to Operators during the Wind Blade lay-up and assembly process.
3. What have been some interesting developments that have happened in your esteemed company lately?
During the pandemic years, LAP has signed a global agreement with LM Wind Power for the supply of Laser Projector systems for their wind blade manufacturing lines in their plants globally. To date more than 20 lines have been delivered and are still ongoing; this includes LM Wind Power plants in India. It is a great win-win story for both LM Wind Power and LAP.
4. Could you brief us on the key highlights of LAP’s Laser projectors used for rotor blade manufacturing.
Our Laser Projector Systems provide visual guides to Operators during the Wind Blade lay-up and assembly process. There are hundreds of layers of composite materials and build-up components that need to be placed onto the wind blade mold, and each layer/component needs to be placed carefully and accurately onto positions on the blade mold. Traditionally this will be done by referring to edge markings on the blade mold, physically measuring, and extrapolating before each layer/component is placed. Traditional methods are prone to errors and take a long time for experienced operators to carry out. With the use of the Laser Projector System, the whole sequence of layup can be programmed and advanced from step 1 to the last step with the click of a button with the Laser lines drawing out visual laser templates onto the blade mold indicating where each layer/component should be placed to millimeter accuracy. This would greatly reduce the layup time (increasing production rate) and greatly improve the accuracy/quality of the blade being assembled. It also makes the onboarding of new operators faster as they just have to follow the laser lines rather than waiting for experienced operators to guide them on what to do.
5. What are some technology trends that we are likely to see in the wind sector in the coming years?
There is a growing trend for larger blades (both onshore and offshore, but especially offshore) to feed the world’s Green Energy goals. With larger blades, they become more complex to build and use more composites for strength and durability; it is also increasingly more critical that blades are made with high accuracy and quality. The recent Ukraine-Russia conflict has also driven the world to rush towards alternatives to gas. Hence we are expecting to see much more developments in the Wind sector. All these factors are driving factors for Wind Blade Manufacturers to consider LAP Laser Projector Systems to improve their production rate and production quality.
6. What are the quality and compliance procedures followed at LAP in order to offer the best and most reliable solutions?
LAP works to uniform standards and with certified processes. For us, “Made in Germany” means the highest precision in manufacture and quality inspection of each individual device. The quality of our products, processes, customer service, and management has been regularly certified by an independent third party since 1996. All locations around the world use a quality management system to EN ISO 13485 or EN ISO 9001. LAP processes are globally harmonized and certified, to ensure efficient collaboration and smooth processes between our locations. Our Code of Conduct documents the principles and values we adhere to in all interactions with our employees, customers, suppliers, society, and the environment as we engage in daily business. We are conscious of our responsibility to use conflict-free materials in our products. The use of these resources is specified in our Sourcing Guideline with respect to conflict materials.
7. What can we look forward to from LAP in 2022?
We foresee that the Wind sector will continue to show resilient growth in 2022 for LAP with the onboarding of new key accounts.