Brevini Wind USA’s Jacopo Tozzi Speech at IndustryWeek’s Best Plants 2012 Opening Reception
Posted by Machines Italia | 30 Apr 2012
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Brevini is a worldwide specialist in planetary technology. After 50 years of experience we developed a product range of gearboxes which goes from very small applications to >2,5 million N/m.
We needed a new manufacturing location for the upper range (above 1 million N/M) where we could deploy the best possible technology. We focused on the wind market because it is one of the biggest for planetary applications. The US was, until two years ago, the biggest wind market in the world and there were plans for expanding the renewable sources ten folds by 2025. What a great chance for Brevini!!! We carefully selected the right equipment for the manufacturing of large gears up to 8 feet in diameter, in house heat treatment and the largest test rig for wind applications in USA with 6,4 MW of rated power. We also enjoyed the strong support of the local community: both the State of Indiana and Delaware County helped us in funding the project and in selecting the right people with the right education and training.
The initial conditions were excellent but we also encountered a number of significant challanges. The problems originated from the deep financial crisis which erupted in October 2008, few weeks after the project start. All credit lines had to be renegotiated, a long process which took more than 18 months. Following execution of the financial agreements the project was started in April 2010, . The factory was ready to begin manufacturing in the last quarter 2011. The plant consists of 130,000 sq.ft. on 20 acres with many possibilities for expansion, when and as the market requires. However, no expansion is planned at this time as the renewable markets are depressed requiring us to find alternative planetary applications to fill the plant.
As the CFO of United Technologies recently said "there is not a renewable energy mandate in this country". I put it in other words: no national Renewable Portfolio Standards, no plan to improve the transmission lines and grid, no further Production Tax Credits (PTC). Some other contingent developments have added to the difficult market for renewable: shale gas and presidential elections in 2012.
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