Siemens wind turbine bladeClick image to enlargeSiemens' blade manufacturing facility in Tillsonburg, ON hit a milestone in its operations: the completion of the 1,000th blade produced at the factory.

The production of 1,000 blades generates enough electricity to power more than 230,000 Ontario homes per year. The Wind Power division of Siemens Canada employs more than 500 across Canada, the majority of whom work at the 253,000-square-foot Tillsonburg facility which has been manufacturing wind turbine blades since 2010.

All Siemens wind turbine blades in Canada are manufactured at the company's blade facility in Tillsonburg.. Situated on 40 acres of land, the facility manufactures 49-metre blades for the SWT-2.3-101 geared-drive platform and 55-metre blades for the SWT-3.2-113 direct-drive platform. Blades produced in Tillsonburg are installed in Canadian wind farms and abroad.

As the largest employer in Tillsonburg, the factory operates continuously at capacity to support order backlog for the domestic market. This accelerated production highlights the positive impact that the Green Energy Act and the Green Energy Investment Agreement (GEIA) have made on Ontario's manufacturing sector. Tillsonburg's first blade was one of 372 used in the commissioning of South Kent, one of Canada's largest wind farms and part of the 270 megawatts (MW) agreement between Siemens, Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. (Samsung), and Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) that came as a result of the GEIA.

In addition to manufacturing, Siemens has also established its first Canadian wind turbine Service and Maintenance Distribution Centre in Chatham, Ontario in order to enhance its proximity to customer wind farms. The 12,000-square-foot warehouse stores commonly used wind turbine parts and serves as a training centre to develop and advance the technical and safety skills of the firm's wind technicians.

The Canadian wind energy market is growing at a rapid rate and is now the ninth largest in the world, with a current installed capacity of approximately 9,700-MW. Siemens Canada is making a significant contribution to this growth, holding a leading position in the Ontario market with over 1,600-MW of installed capacity in the province.

Globally, Siemens has five blade manufacturing facilities located in Canada, China, Iowa and Denmark.

Source: CNW

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SMTCL's COO Jerry McCarty says SMTCL, considered among the world's largest machine tool builders, will be manufacturing in the US by the end of 2015.

A manufacturing factory in North America will complement SMTCL's current manufacturing facilities in Europe (Germany) and Asia (China). "The United States was chosen because that is where our customers are and we know that we can find workers and vendors that have the dedication to quality that we need", McCarty stated in a press conference at IMTS earlier this week. "We will employ Americans and this facility will be managed by Americans. I can also tell you that although we will continue to use the world's best components in our machines, we will also use a number of local US vendors to provide contract machining, fabricating, and electronics."

The site of the new manufacturing facility has not been determined, but McCarty says SMTCL-Americas will begin manufacturing VMCs and expand with other products as the market dictates. 

SMTCL plans on purchasing or building a 100,000 square foot facility and employing between 100 to 120 employees. "We will need manufacturing engineers, machine assembly technicians, and service technicians, as well as purchasing, accounting, and general management professionals," said McCarty.

McCarty added that he hopes to be manufacturing in the US by the end of 2015. "These machines will be shipped to our customers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico and we look forward to helping our customers compete in the world economy."

SMTCL produces 80,000 machine tools each year and has revenues of $2.9 billion. The company has more than 300 products in its machine tool line-up.

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