Siemens Printing Replacement Parts For Steam Turbines

By Jack Burke10 April 2018

Siemens said it has produced the company’s first replacement parts using 3-D printing for an industrial steam turbine.

Last year, Siemens said it achieved another breakthrough by finishing its first full-load engine tests for gas turbine blades completely produced using AM technology. Now, after years of extensive research, development and testing, the company has produced a steam turbine replacement part with additive manufacturing, reducing lead time by as much as 40%.

The 3-D printed parts are two oil sealing rings used in keeping oil separated from steam inside the steam turbine using pressurized air. The rings are being installed as replacement parts on the SST-300 industrial steam turbine operating at the JSW Steel Ltd. plant in Salem, India.

Siemens engineered, designed and developed the parts as part of a collaborative project between Siemens experts in Germany and India, as well as in Sweden, where the company operates a primary additive manufacturing center of expertise. The company said additive manufacturing opened up new possibilities for making little changes with high impact in the design to further adapt the components to the client’s challenging environment and needs. Siemens said it was able to add functional enhancements that could not have been made using a traditional manufacturing process.

Siemens engineered, designed and developed the parts as part of a collaborative project between Siemens experts in Germany and India, as well as in Sweden, where the company operates a primary Additive Manufacturing center of expertise. Additive Manufacturing opened up new possibilities for making little changes with high impact in the design to further adapt the components to the client’s challenging environment and needs. Siemens was able to add functional enhancements that could not have been made using a traditional manufacturing process.

Siemens has been investing in additive manufacturing right from its inception, and is now driving the industrialization and commercialization of these processes. Additive manufacturing is a process that builds parts layer-by-layer from sliced CAD models to form solid objects. This enables highly precise solutions to be formed from powdered high-performance materials. Siemens is a pioneer in AM and also uses the technology for rapid prototyping, manufacturing and advanced repairs.

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