Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010 - (Page 128)

COLUMN BY MELISSA KELSEY A Second Wind wind turbines suggest a new market for heavy manufacturing in the united states. the United States, more than half were announced, opened or expanded during 2009. Most of these produce sub-components of wind turbines, such as bearings, electrical components and hydraulic systems. In addition, seven new manufacturing plants for small wind turbines were opened, announced or expanded during 2009. Turbines in this category have a rated capacity of 100kW or less and are primarily used for private residences and small businesses. The Danish company Vestas, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, supported this growth by opening three new plants in Colorado. The company says it is attempting to become the largest wind power investor working within the United States. To the northeast, Minnesota has attracted a group of developers who are trying to bring international wind turbine companies to the state, Across the country, many large manufacturing facilities have not been running at full capacity in recent years. Jobs lost in the automotive, equipment and transportation industries have resulted in 13 percent unemployment in U.S. manufacturing. However, producers of large cranes and train cars may find profit in a new and growing market: U.S. manufactured wind turbines. Wind power supplied energy to 2.4 million American homes in 2009, which provided 85,000 Americans with jobs, according to an April report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “Jobs, business opportunities, clean air, energy security – wind power is delivering today on all those fronts for Americans,” AWEA CEO Denise Bode says. Out of the more than 200 wind turbine component-manufacturing facilities already up and running in 128 SUMMER 2010 according to Leon Steinberg, CEO of Minneapolis-based wind project developer National Wind LLC. He says he was attracted to Minnesota because it is home to many skilled manufacturing workers and is close to windy North and South Dakota. Also in Minnesota, WePOWER says it has the capacity to manufacture up to 500,000 of its PacWind turbines, depending on demand. Another example is American Superconductor (AMSC) and its subsidiary, Windtec, which are working to partner with U.S. manufacturing firms. AMSC Windtec provides customized designs for onshore and offshore turbines, and licenses these designs to manufacturers. It also develops wind turbine electrical and mechanical systems, and works with manufacturers from design concept through full-scale manufacturing to enable them to begin producing wind turbines in as little as 12 months. In spite of this growth throughout the country, most wind turbine manufacturing still takes place abroad. AMSC says one obstacle is the lack of local turbine design infrastructure. Additionally, AWEA says the failure of lawmakers to establish a national renewable electricity standard reduces investor confidence. The provision of more than $2.3 billion in tax credits to renewable energy investors through President Obama’s economic stimulus bill helped, but many believe more legislation is needed. “Our annual report documents an industry hard at work and on the verge of explosive growth, if the right policies – including a national renewable electricity standard – are put in place,” Bode says. “A national Renewable Electricity Standard will provide the long-term certainty that businesses need to invest tens of billions of dollars in new installations and manufacturing facilities, which would create hundreds of thousands of American jobs.” mt C ONTENTS E CONOMY N EWS illustration by brian currie

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010

Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010
Global Strategies
Continuous Improvement
Smart Pricing
Supply Chain
Business Value
Moving Forward
Westmark Products
Byrne Dairy
Ultrafryer Systems Inc.
Wil-Rich LLC & Wishek MFG LLC
American Precision Fabricators
Aqua Products Inc.
Black Diamond Equipment
Columbian Home Products
Control Devices LLC
Endustra Filter Manufacturers Inc
Heil Trailer International
Assembled Products
Order-Matic Corp.
Professional Building Systems Inc.
Smart Start Inc
Bosal International
Ausco Products Inc.
Brodart Company
Cambrex Corp.
Chapin International Inc.
Cleveland Gear Co.
Consolidated Precision Products
Control Flow Inc.
Douglas Autotech Corp.
Fetzer Architectural Products
The FNA Group
Fourslide Spring and Stamping Inc.
G.A. West & Company
Great Lakes Power Group
Grimm Brothers Plastics
Legends Furniture Inc.
National Tube Supply Co.
Optex Systems Inc.
Sunburst Electronics
V.E. Enterprises Inc
W. Soule & Company
Manufacturing Tomorrow

Manufacturing Today - Summer 2010