Frontpage News & Events News An excited industry attended the APQP4Wind Kick-Off

An excited industry attended the APQP4Wind Kick-Off

1 February 2017

The many benefits of the APQP4Wind project for the entire value chain in the wind industry was underlined by both speakers and participants at the Kick-Off Event on January 25 hosted by Vestas Wind Systems in Aarhus. The project, which is facilitated by the Danish Wind Industry Association and supported by the Danish Industry Foundation, has developed a new framework for quality management in the wind industry that will pave the way for further reduction in the cost of energy (COE).

Nearly 200 quality specialists and managers were gathered at the APQP4Wind Kick-off event at Vestas Wind Systems in Aarhus to get at first look into the newly developed standards for quality assurance in the production of wind turbines. The sheer number of participants at the event reflects the industry’s view on both the urgency and potential for further standardization as a means to reduce costs and strengthen the competitiveness of wind energy over other energy technologies.

The APQP4Wind manual together with a supporting website, www.apqp4wind.org, was launched at the event, where the participants were presented with the APQP4Wind project as a whole. The project is supported by the Danish Industry Foundation, facilitated by the Danish Wind Industry Association and developed by Vestas Wind Systems, Siemens Wind Power, KK Wind Solutions and LM Wind Power.

“It has been a great journey that started back in 2008, and now we have a product that can benefit the entire wind industry - initially the Danish value chain and hopefully in the future on a more global scale. I’m very proud of the project and I look very much forward to 2017 where we have more pilot projects so we can fine-tune both the manual and the workbook, which is the more hands on tool for the companies,” says Kim Nedergaard Jakobsen, Senior Project manager at Danish Wind Industry Association.

Related article: Wind turbine manufacturers unveil new quality standards

Jean-Marc Lechêne, Executive Vice President for Manufacturing and Global Procurement at Vestas Wind System and one of the keynote speakers at the event, expressed his commitment and support to the project as the new quality standards will support and strengthen the entire wind industry. He also stressed the urgency in the deployment of the new standards, as competition levels will rise and demands increase.

“In the last five years, a lot has happened and the industry has matured greatly. We have been successful in lowering the cost of energy, which is especially evident in the recent prices on onshore wind, but there is still a huge potential for further cost reductions. It is important that we as an industry tap into this potential and continue to strengthen our competitiveness. We have not yet exhausted the optimization potentials in neither the value chain or the technical solutions, and this will become even more critical as competition picks up and wind no longer will be dependent on subsidies.”

Related article: Introducing the APQP4Wind manual and website

Lowering risk and increasing reliability
One of the prominent themes discussed at the event was the potential for lowering risk factors and thereby securing an increase in production reliability. A standardization of quality assurance processes across the value chain will help secure this and thereby benefit the entire industry, both customers, manufacturers and sub suppliers. Lower risks and increased production reliability in wind energy will strengthen the competitiveness of wind over other energy technologies.

“There are many risks involved with the production of wind energy, and these risks are reflected in the cost of capital, which account for around 20% of the cost of energy. If we can lower the risk by keeping on improving quality, we can change the perception of the industry and further reduce the cost of energy.”

Related article: New training concept for simpler and more consistent quality assurance

Collaboration is the keyword

In 2008, 14 suppliers and the Danish Wind Industry Association decided to start a network named MidtVind. In 2014, the MidtVind project was transformed into a Quality Assurance networking group with participation from both Siemens Wind Power, Vestas Wind Systems together with several of their suppliers and utilities too. Other suppliers started to participate in the network. The APQP project, a great idea but lacking funds, was the start-up of the steering committee APQP4Wind consisting of KK Wind Solutions, LM Wind Power, Siemens Wind Power and Vestas Wind Systems.

With the help and support from the Danish Wind Industry Association and funding from the Danish Industry Foundation, the APQP4Wind project will run from 2015 to 2018.

The simple and transparent structure of the resulting APQP4Wind framework offers a common platform for the entire wind industry, which with the accompanying training concept also enables the users to minimize the cost of training and education. Therefore, the project will also contribute to maturing the entire sub supplier base in the Danish wind industry through training in methods and processes that create more efficient workflows. Many of the sub suppliers present at the kick-off event agreed that the framework represents a great potential if it is deployed across the value chain:

“The biggest advantage of this project is that it offers alignment in the way we act towards our customers. It will give us a more aligned language when we communicate with different customer and make for a better matching of expectations between the sub suppliers,“ said Lars Lilleheden, CTO of Fiberline Composites A/S. His views were shared by Kristian Sigaard, Quality Manager at Hydra-Grene A/S:

“I believe the most crucial part of this project is that it paves the way for a common understanding of quality assurance with a platform of tools that focus on both customers and our internal organization. Another very important benefit I the industry will gain from the APQP4Wind framework is a reduction in the number of audits and assessments. With an audit referring to these new standards, we will be able to document that we comply with the quality demands and we will also be able to use this documentation in regards to customers going forward.”

 

Contact

Kim Nedergaard Jacobsen

Kim Nedergaard Jacobsen

APQP4Wind
Vodroffsvej 59
DK- 1900 Frederiksberg

Senior Project Manager

Email:

Video from kick-off day

Highlights from the event

Steering Comittee

 

Supported by

 

Facilitated by

 

APQP4Wind

The APQP4Wind project is facilitated by the Danish Wind Industry Association and supported by the Danish Industry Foundation with DKK 5.4 million over the years 2015-2018.

The project consists of a steering committee with representatives from Siemens Wind Power, Vestas Wind Systems, LM Wind Power and KK Wind Solutions. The work is being coordinated with roughly 30 suppliers in a reference group and Vattenfall and DONG in the advisory board.



APQP4Wind

Vodroffsvej 59
DK-1900 Frederiksberg

Tel: +45 3373 0330
E-mail:

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