Collaboration helps BGB Innovation Improve Design Flexibility

BGB Innovation has made improvements to their design, production and manufacturing processes thanks to their collaboration with engineering design specialists from Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) Limited.

The improvements provide greater flexibility for their customers, whilst also leveraging supply chain opportunities, and enabling BGB’s specialist engineers to focus on increased value engineering.

An early example of the companies’ new approach is the design improvements made to a key member of their Slip Ring product family. A Slip Ring is an electromechanical device that allows electrical, optical and hydraulic connections to be made through rotating components. This includes the transmission of power and electrical signals, hydraulic circuits, and fibre-optic communications.

The Mk10D Slipring Hub Assembly first went into production in 2016. The Slip Ring locates onto a wind turbine gearbox shaft and passes electrical power and signals through the rotating shaft that is attached to the blade.

Firstly, an analysis of the product and its manufacturing process was undertaken, and critical changes incorporated into the revised design and production. Previous designs of Slip Ring were produced via a resin moulding process which required large amounts of energy in production. The new design has replaced these with injection moulded components which are more cost effective to manufacture at volume. Another benefit is that the injection moulded components can now be more readily recycled at the end of the slip ring’s operational life.

As the assemblies are now modular, the components of the assembly can be shipped and built anywhere in the world. The modular design also provides greater flexibility and allows the slip ring to be built to the customer’s specific requirements. The new layout also makes it easier to strip the assemblies back to their base components for maintenance or repairs.

Dave Gilbert, Group Technical Director at BGB said; “Our key focus was to have a more sustainable and innovative approach. We aimed to deliver a sustainable solution that provided cost saving for our clients, from onsite assembly, tailored build solutions and improved repair and maintenance driving downstream savings. Also, we believe there is a carbon off-set benefit, with the modular design, through reduced wastage and increased recyclability.

“The inclusion of PES as a valued Business Partner, enabled BGB to initiate the project, providing valuable expert resources to the design and prototyping team. The project has helped to support and accelerate the introduction of a new approach to BGB’s design solutions. In addition, their expertise provided much needed learning together with scoping and project planning skills to the team.

“The assistance from PES has also increased the capability of BGB by introducing a flexible and supportive collaborative working solution to our company, at times when internal resources are stretched. As an example, utilising this approach has increased the flexibility of the BGB Design Team.”

Dean Gardner, Engineering Director at Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) added;  “Working with BGB on this project has yielded significant benefits and opportunities to both parties. BGB’s facilities, skills and openminded attitude has meant that our integrated project team delivered successfully against the original schedule.

“Having significant manufacturing, prototyping and full environmental test facilities was instrumental in our delivery. Being given access to BGB’s customer to collaborate in solving the project’s challenges was a testament to the strength of our partnership.

“Our unique approach to design and delivery fitted into BGB’s process extremely well and through effective collaboration, we have built an extremely strong relationship that we hope will last long into the future.”

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