A breath of fresh air: Digitalization will reinvigorate the wind power industry

Monday, 12 February 2018

Industry 4.0 and digitalization will open the door to new possibilities for information-sharing and creative collaboration that can reignite and revitalize the wind energy industry. At a recent conference on the future of wind power, Danfoss shared a bold vision of the digitalized future and what that means for all stakeholders.

Like many other industries, the wind power community is exploring exciting new opportunities in Industry 4.0 and digitalization. However, the challenge of how to embrace them in order to innovate and improve productivity remains, creating positive opportunities for all partners in the value chain.

Danfoss Industrial Automation is a leading supplier for the wind industry, and we have several initiatives underway to leverage these opportunities for the customers. Industrial Automation Segment Director Per Sønderriis elaborated at a recent conference:

"Our digital transformation can be divided into three areas. First, we want to offer our customers connected products and services delivered through state-of-the-art digital collaboration and support platforms. For example, our broad sensor program boosts the industry's ability to collect high-quality data. Secondly, we see great potential in using industry 4.0 and digitalization to speed up our innovation capabilities that will bring new innovative solutions to the market faster. Thirdly, we will use new technologies to bind our company together into one common IT architecture and ERP system to deliver a seamless customer experience."

One example of these advanced tools is simulation software that will play an important role in product development to help speed up time to market. Another is the recently inaugurated 3D print center in Nordborg, which enables us to innovate and test prototypes at greater speed. Similar centers are soon to follow in the US and Asia.

Digital transformation has been at the top of our strategic agenda for a long time., and is an integrated part of the overall company strategy; we encourage all our business units to experiment and learn. Our Berlin-based digital incubation hub opened in 2016 and is one of the more radical initiatives in our quest to drive digital innovation.

"To accelerate our digital transformation, we have established a digital incubation hub in Berlin. Employees from every corner of the organization spend a period in Berlin so they can brainstorm, develop, and test new digital products and viable business models. This takes place in the same workspace as other digital entrepreneurs so we can collaborate and share ideas, and focus on a variety of industries, including wind power", continued Per.

Industry 4.0 and digitalization will not only transform products and companies, but have a profound impact on complete value chains where new collaboration models emerge to leverage the full potential of the new opportunities.

"Within the wind power industry, we need to continuously learn from each other and from other industries. I see a lot of valuable information and solutions coming out of both Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers of turbine OEMs. If we work together across traditional territories, we can come a long way in providing solutions that we cannot even imagine today", concluded Per.

We are ready to come together with our partners in the wind energy community to share information, explore digitalization possibilities, and discover the creative solutions that will move our industry forward.

Danfoss Industrial Automation provides sensors, transmitters, and switches for nearly all applications in the nacelles of wind turbines, including the cooling system, gear box, and hydraulic systems.

Danfoss secures optimum uptime on the wind turbines by offering a complete product program for temperature and pressure monitoring and control: 

Pitch system / Hydraulic units / Yaw system:

  • MBT 3270 / 5250
  • MBS 8200 / 8250
  • MBS 3000 / 3050·          

Filter unit for gearbox / Lubrication oil pressure:

  • MBS 8200 / 3000
  • MBT 3270 / 5250 

Cooling systems:

  • MBS 8200 / 3000
  • MBT 3270 / 5250

Main bearing temperature:

  • MBT 5310