Tag Archives: turbine engine industry

The Growing Commercial Aircraft Turbine Engine Market

The commercial aircraft turbine engine market has shown recent exponential growth, which is poised to continue well into the future. A recent study by Technavio revealed that the market will continue to expand through 2020, with an estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.85% over that period.

The projected increase in the market is based mostly on the expected continued rise of new aircraft needed as fleets replace older models and grow their existing fleets. New designs offer advantages over older models, helping airlines increase passenger capacity and decrease fuel usage, factors that drive buying forward. Technavio also cites strict regulations concerning noise and carbon dioxide emissions as being additional driving factors.

Another factor for the increased growth is the development and introduction of new materials. Aimed at making the blades more durable and efficient, industry leaders predict these new components will be sought to retrofit older aircraft. New engines such as the LEAP and GE9X reduce the weight of the aircraft through utilizing composites, allowing for the increase of weight elsewhere or, more often, allowing the plane to be more fuel efficient.

In addition to utilizing lighter weight materials, new designs in the HGP (hot gas path) section of the engines have increased the efficiency of the cooling of the special alloy components, contributing to overall increased engine efficiencies. The use of special heat resistant coatings and intricate cooling film designs has raised the technical requirements for the production of these parts.

At Hi-Tek Manufacturing, we have been one of the leading manufacturers serving the aviation and land-based turbine market for over 30 years. This predicted growth gives us even more hope for the upcoming years, but it also means that we will need to rise to meet the demands of the growing market. The key areas that need to be addressed are capabilities and capacity.

Capabilities relates to what we can handle, such as new materials and new designs. We plan on taking these technical changes head-on by keeping abreast of the latest technology, and making the necessary equipment and employee development changes needed to work with the most advanced materials on the market.

Capacity, on the other hand, relates to just now much we can produce. Through capital investments in new machines, along with increasing the training of our staff, we can increase our capacity to produce HPT Blades and Vanes, heat shields, fairings, and other parts. We are excited to see how the turbine blade market grows, and to see how it benefits us at Hi-Tek as well as the world of travel overall.

Delivery of First New Generation GE Power HA.02 Gas Turbine

General Electric Power and Water have recently delivered the first HA.02 unit to the Exelon Wolf Hollow site in Granbury, Texas.   Groundbreaking for the new power generating station was held on July 9, 2015.  The new CCGT (combined-cycle gas turbine) will provide an additional 1,000 megawatts to the existing 704 megawatt natural gas power plant.  The new unit is to be one of the most environmentally friendly and efficient CCGTs in the state and nation. It utilizes GE Power’s most advanced gas turbine technology and an air cooling system, which eliminates the use of water to cool the unit.

HA.02 unit

The HA.02 unit is seen being positioned at the facility.

Hi-Tek Manufacturing, Inc. worked to develop the manufacturing of several critical components for the HA.02 hot gas path engine section.  The components include stage 1 and stage 2 vanes, baffles, and near flow path seals, and were developed with an extremely fast track New Product Introduction (NPI).  Hi-Tek Manufacturing’s engineering, quality, and manufacturing team developed the processing of these critical hot gas path components in the shortest time frame in the company’s history.  Utilizing the latest developed technology in laser, CBN grinding, fast hole EDM machining, and in-house braze and heat treat was the key to Hi-Tek’s success.

“It was a collaborative effort,” stated Barry Nehls, Sales and Marketing Manager.  “The General Electric Power and Water need dates for qualified, finished components was critical to the engine assembly and test schedules. Working with the GE team from engineering, sourcing, quality, and production required constant detailed communication in order to achieve our common goals.”

The HA.02 gas turbine power generation turbine is the first of two to be installed at the Wolf Hollow facility.  An additional 1,000 megawatt CCGT is being constructed at Exelon’s existing Colorado Bend Generating Station in Wharton, Texas, approximately 60 miles outside of Houston.  Both sites are expected to achieve commercial operation in 2017.  Hi-Tek Manufacturing, Inc. is pleased to be a GE Power and Water global supply chain partner to provide manufactured components for this exciting new HA.02 engine program.

Introducing the LASERDYNE 795XL: Making Advanced Manufacturing Even Better

Laserdyne 795 XL Hi-TekFor over 30 years, we at Hi-Tek Manufacturing have been providing our clients with the most precisely and expertly engineered complex components and assemblies in the industry. While we achieve this through our years of expertise and history of quality, it is also with an eye toward the future of technology and innovation. With that in mind, we’re excited to announce our latest capability; through the acquisition of the high accuracy LASERDYNE 795XL laser system, we can now expand our offerings with higher productivity and lower operating costs.

Called a “value creator” by Mark Barry of Laserdyne, this fiber laser system expands our capabilities and allows us to add capacity for hole drilling at very low angles to the surface in uncoated and thermal barrier coated heat resistant materials, which is immensely valuable in the turbine engine industry. In addition to the advanced drilling it will provide, the system is designed to cut and weld medium to large 3D parts with its unique moving beam design—the first and only standard built multi-axis laser system to guarantee volumetric accuracy in high-speed operation.

Specifically, the system integrates a 12kW fiber laser, significantly improving drilling and cutting applications over earlier systems, while adding energy efficiency. Its BeamDirector®3 features a contouring head design with C (rotary) axis motion of 900 degrees, and D (tilt) axis motion of 300 degrees. It also includes a new design of encoder for improved accuracy and repeatability, higher assist gas air-flow, adjustable mirrors for easy and accurate beam alignment, and cassette mounted lens and cover slides for fast and accurate changeover.

According to Scott Stang, our Manufacturing Technology Manager, “This acquisition is the result of our never ending effort to procure the best manufacturing solutions for our customers.” We are confident that utilizing this technology will make our work for our clients that much more significant.