For the fifth time, Starrag and Walter – in a partnership that has now proven itself three times – have invited people to the "Turbine Technology Days", the industry get-together for turbine production. Over 200 visitors from 19 countries followed the call to Starrag's headquarters in Rorschacherberg on Lake Constance in order to gain an insight into bringing about turbine production that is even more productive and reliable. After all, the aviation industry is experiencing a boom and, even in the energy production sector, there is increasing demand for gas turbines. The consequences: OEMs and supply companies have to simultaneously increase their production figures while also meeting higher quality criteria. At the same time, globalisation is ensuring that the competitive environment is becoming more difficult.
For Starrag and Walter, the aerospace and energy sectors are strategic business areas in which they are developing permanent application-specific solutions in close partnership with their customers. For Starrag CEO, Walter Börsch, this application-specific approach is the key to making leaps in productivity, which subsequently improve competitiveness: "We have extensive process expertise, which includes machine, tool and device technology, as well as software and automation. This allows us – in line with our claim "Engineering precisely what you value" – to not only offer Starrag machines but also complete production systems that are precisely tailored to meet the customers' requirements and guarantee maximum benefits."
Walter AG is also addressing the challenges of the future. Walter is offering customers a complete process – from the tool right through to the machining strategy. Mirko Merlo, CEO of Walter AG, emphasises the importance of digitalisation: "Digital solutions are the future of modern machining. It is no longer just about turning, milling, drilling and threading. Perfection and precision are basic requirements.
Walter presented solutions that are more than just tools. Tailored and efficient processes are important prerequisites for this. Using smartglasses, the participants were able to visualise digital networking and Industry 4.0. Keynote speaker HyunSoo Yoon, Director of Engineering Division, Aerospace & Defense Group at the South Korean company Hanwha Techwin reported on the success of automation with innovative production systems. Together with Starrag, they succeeded in using flexible production systems and robot automation to make the production of engine components 42 per cent more efficient. His belief: The new technological opportunities must be continuously studied and put into practice.
There were numerous approaches to doing this at the Turbine Technology Days. Working together, Starrag and Walter designed 14 stations that used practical examples to illustrate the opportunities offered by increasing productivity. One impressive example is the blisk machining with new barrel and torus cutters which, in contrast to conventional approaches, reduces costs by up to 60 per cent. In addition to machining examples, Starrag and Walter also demonstrated the diverse potential improvements that can be implemented thanks to digitalisation and modern software. The event was accompanied by the nine competence partners whose products – from cooling lubricant, testing and measuring technology and tooling systems, through to software solutions – play a significant role in the process chain. For participants who want an even more in-depth look into the future of machining, Walter opened the doors to its headquarters in Tübingen, including their new technology centre, on an optional third day.