“Astraios”, the largest, most modern, and most powerful large-size bearing test rig in the world, is officially put into operation at Schaeffler's Schweinfurt plant (from left): Sebastian Remelé, mayor of Schweinfurt, Georg F. W. Schaeffler and Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, partners in the Schaeffler Group, Reinhold Korn, project manager responsible for the design and construction of the test rig, Dr. Juergen M. Geissinger, CEO of Schaeffler AG, Dr. Anja Weissgerber, MEP, Heiko Roß, Technical Director of Windreich AG, and Dr. Arbogast Grunau, President of Product Development at Schaeffler Group Industrial.
Shortening development times and making the design process of wind turbines more reliable: The large-size bearing test rig enables large-size bearings of up to 15 tons and measuring up to 3.5 meters such as those used in wind power applications in particular to be tested in realistic conditions using a comprehensive simulation program.
The four radial and four axial hydraulic cylinders (right-hand side of the picture), which generate the real loads and moments that occur in a wind turbine. The radial cylinders simulate the weight of a rotor hub with rotor blades while the axial cylinders generate the wind loads.
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2012-02-16 | 000-003-345 DE-EN
SCHAEFFLER AG, SCHWEINFURT
The ASTRAIOS large-size bearing test rig at Schaeffler’s FAG location in Schweinfurt is a prize winner in the competition “365 landmarks in the land of ideas” and is one of the “locations selected in 2012”. The nation-branding initiative “Germany – Land of Ideas”, an initiative of the German Federal Government and the Federation of German Industry (BDI) under the auspices of the Federal President, awards 365 outstanding projects and ideas each year, which make a significant contribution to Germany’s future viability. As one of the prize winners in 2012, Schaeffler represents Germany’s capacity to generate innovations in a special way with its new ASTRTAIOS large-size bearing test rig. The award ceremony will take place on November 7, 2012 in Schweinfurt.
“This award is another example of Schaeffler’s outstanding innovative force and shows that we are making a significant contribution to the further development of renewable energies with our investment in the new large-size bearing test rig at our development location here in Schweinfurt”, said Dr. Arbogast Grunau, President of Product Development at Schaeffler Group Industrial. In addition to winning the award as a “selected landmark”, Schaeffler is also amongst the prize winners nominated in the “Environment” category as a winner at Federal level. The jury nominates one winner at Federal level for each category from the 365 “Selected Landmarks”. These landmarks are shining examples of the quality of the ideas and projects in the competition and Germany's innovative force. 18 of the “landmarks selected in 2012” were nominated for this additional award, which will be presented in September 2012.
Investment in the further development of renewable energies
In November last year, Schaeffler put ASTRAIOS, the world’s largest, most up-to-date and most powerful large-size bearing test rig officially into operation. The test rig enables large-size bearings of up to 15 tons and measuring up to 3.5 meters such as those used in wind power applications in particular to be tested in realistic conditions using a comprehensive simulation program. This means Schaeffler is making a major contribution to shortening development times for wind turbines as well as making the design process more reliable and increasing the cost-effectiveness and safety of these turbines. At around €7 million, the Schaeffler large-size bearing test rig is a significant investment in the further development of renewable energies and the company’s development location in Schweinfurt.
The new test rig will primarily be used for testing rotor bearing supports for wind turbines in the multi-megawatt class and will result in further improvements in the understanding of systems as a whole, influencing factors and the interrelations in the drive trains of wind turbines. This will result in bearings characterized by lower friction and increased design safety. In addition, the tests will provide information about and recommendations for wind turbine operation and maintenance as well as for optimum adjacent constructions. The test rig has been named “Astraios” after a Titan in Greek mythology who was father of the four wind gods.
Innovations in all areas of society
The jury of experts comprising scientists, business managers, journalists and politicians selected ASTRAIOS for the environment category from over 2,000 entries. The other categories are education, society, culture, economics and science. The 365 competition prize winners are an indicator of Germany’s exceptional culture of innovation and a reflection of important future trends: The “selected landmarks” provide reliable answers to the pressing questions of our time in all areas of society.