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Offshore wind power: the challenge of quality inspections: in the factory, during the pre-assembly phase, at sea

VALEMO supports turbiniers from the industrialization phase of their nacelle to their exploitation at sea, through the quality inspections and commissionning phases.

We set up partnerships with companies located in regions sharing our interests for the offshore wind market, as well as with international companies bringing the feedback of experience acquired in particular in Northern Europe.

VALEMO has acquired the ramp up from General Electric since the factory inspections of the first Haliade 150 nacelles in the German park of Merkur, then those in the factory and at sea of the park of St-Nazaire and now in the factory on the nacelles of HAliade X (12 to 14MW) Dogger Bank (280 wind turbines for a total of 3.6GW!) and American Vineyard.

Hear from one of our service engineers:

  • What is your background and training?

I worked for about 15 years in the industry as an electro mechanic. After training in wind power, I obtained the BZ2E and I joined VALEMO in 2018 as a maintenance technician, initially to perform preventive maintenance on Senvion machines. Following the Saint Nazaire project, Valemo was commissioned to carry out quality inspections on the new GE offshore turbine, the Haliade X 12MW that will equip the Vineyard (80 machines – USA) and Doggerbank (267 machines – UK) fleets. We carry out inspections on the production lines as well as on finished machines. We are also in direct contact with end customers (SSE, Vineyard Wind, Orsted) to present them the progress of production and the various non-conformities.

  • How would you describe the specific technical expertise that VALEMO brings during the industrialization phase of the wind nacelles?

The added value provided by VALEMO on these projects relies above all on the experienced look of its employees in the wind and industry, the operators, technicians and engineers of the plant not necessarily knowing the difficulties that a wind technician can meet, especially offshore.

  • Can you share a concrete example where VALEMO’s technical expertise has made a difference in a specific project, particularly in terms of quality inspections or commissionning?

To help the plant to know the progress of the installation of the various electrical cables in the nacelle (which contains about 900) VALEMO has implemented specific inspections of the cables. Fabio Paloscia has thus created a very complete checklist, based on the cable reference lists and the various internal procedures. The general condition of the cable, its location, its routing, and the standards that may change depending on the country in which the turbine will be installed are checked.

These inspections, fully implemented and carried out by VALEMO, have significantly improved the quality of machines leaving the factory.

  • What are the specific skills needs that VALEMO is currently looking for to support the company internationally?

First of all, you have to master English a minimum, you can’t do without it. Then you have to have the basic knowledge of electricity and mechanics. A first experience of wind power is ideal, a good electromechanical experience may be sufficient. Finally, it is very important to have a true team spirit that is essential at VALEMO!

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