Tuesday, October 26, 2010

May I introduce myself? I make wind turbines.

And you?

The Wind Lift 1, the service and installation vessel of Bard Engineering Group, has a lot to do.

Alone the foundation of a commercial installation in an offshore park weighs more than 1000 tons. In addition, the piles with a length of approx. 70 metres weigh about 210 tons each. Therefore suitable transport and assembly must be ensured. For this, Bard Engineering Group has an appropriate answer. With the Wind Lift 1 the company in Bremen developed a vessel which meets the requirements for offshore installations.

Plenty of tests and simulations were done. Using models on a scale of 1:40 the new foundation structure and the vessel were exposed to much stress in the wave tunnel of the Technische Universität Berlin - and found to be good.

Even wave heights are no problem any more. The Wind Lift 1 can lift itself with its legs of 72 metres. Despite its high balance point and a draught of only 3.5 metres the 103.8 metre long ship, which is relatively wide with its 36 metres, can travel at up to 10.1 knots even with a wind force of 11.

Image source: Bard Engineering Group

More information:


The magazine Wirtschaftswoche writes on the company Bard Engineering GmbH: "Hardly anybody believed that the company Bard in Bremen, newly founded in the wind business area in 2003, could pioneer in wind farms. All the more so that nobody could assess the entrepreneurial abilities of the then 68 year old founder Arngolt Bekker."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

part 2: The new rail link

Within minutes through the Alps

The Gotthard axis consists of a new rail link from Arth Goldau to the Lugano area and includes a new Gotthard Base Tunnel. This is the heart of the flat rail link for travel through the Alps. The north portal of the Gotthard Base Tunnel is north of Erstfeld, the south portal at Bodio.

Image Source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

The length of the Base Tunnel is approx. 57 km. Intermediate points of attacks are planned in Amsteg, Sedrun and Faido. The tunnel is scheduled to be completed in 2015. For a total length of 57 km and a planned train speed of 200 km/h the advance rate per day is 20 to 40 metres in shift operation. 2000 miners and engineers are working here. This is a major logistical challenge for the material transport.

Image Source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

The equipment
At the construction site a diesel-hydraulic monorail transports concrete skips, all materials for rock protection and the tunnel boring machine (TBM), girders, big bags, machine parts, rails and sand containers.

The hydraulic monorail is a universal means of transport. It enables transport without handling and a mains independent transport system thanks to the diesel engine.

Because of the high demands a PLC, a CAN communication bus as well as the CANopen protocol are used.

  • Mechanical stability in case of extreme shocks
  • Use over low and high temperature ranges
  • Direct influence of dirt and water
  • High fluctuations of the supply voltage
  • High electromagnetic compatibility
  • E1 approval from the German Federal Office for Motor Traffic

Image Source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

Here the technical data:
  • Application: ARGE Amsteg (CH)
  • Machine type: diesel-powered monorail locomotive
  • Transport task: concrete skips and goods
  • Drive: diesel-hydraulic
  • Power: 110 KW
  • Tractive force: 40 kN
  • Speed: 2 m/s
  • Inclination: 1%
  • Max. load: 19 t
  • Total weight: 32 t
  • Control: radio remote control
  • Particularities: transponder system, remote diagnosis

Gotthard tunnel breakthrough!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Within minutes through the Alps

Part 1: The project

As of 2015 high-speed trains will race through the Alps. Milelong jams in incredibly long tunnels will belong to the past once the Gotthard Base Tunnel project has been completed.

Image source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

Preliminary work on the project started in Sedrun in 1996. Since then colossal boring machines have been making their way through the age-old rocks of the Alps.

Image source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

In the main mountain range of the Alps drilling is done at five locations in three different cantons (Uri, Ticino, Graub√ľnden). The 153 km long tunnel and shaft system will cost approx. 10 billion Swiss francs. The huge project is a challenge for engineers: sliding soft rocks, tunnel boring machine standing in water or enormous pressure forcing down steel girders. A great deal is, of course, required of technology. Actually, conditions can hardly be any harsher: extremely rough environment, much dust caused by blasting, moisture because of mountain water, high vibrations and temperature fluctuations. Sensors and controllers must be able to take a lot.

Image source: Alp Transit Gotthard AG

More information about the project:

»»» http://www.alptransit.ch/en/

Part 2 provides information about the construction of the new rail link from Arth Goldau to the Lugano area and the technology used.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Who am I?

She is the daughter of a poet even though she could not see him for the first time on a portrait photo before she was 20 years old. Her mother played her part in this as well as in her natural-scientific interest - she was one of the few women who had studied geometry and astronomy. This mathematically interested mother brought her up befitting her social status in a conventional way; however, she ensured that she got a natural-scientific education - her tutor was a former Cambridge professor and the usual private tuition included the subjects mathematics and astronomy which was highly unusual for girls.

She developed an interest for machines when she was 18 years old. She visited technical exhibitions and attended scientific lectures. In the early 1830s she met the reputed mathematician Mary Somerville. Mary Somerville encouraged her to study mathematics and technology and introduced her to the scientific circles in London. Here she heard about Charles Babbage's idea of a new calculating machine, the difference engine, for the first time in 1834.

She got married at 19. Her husband wrote for her; nevertheless her marriage was quite unhappy - as she said herself - since there was only little time left for her two passions mathematics and music besides her motherly duties. To complicate matters further, access to libraries was forbidden for women. In 1840 she started correspondence with Augustus De Morgan, the first professor for mathematics at the University of London, so that she could at least continue her studies in this way.

After she translated an Italian article about Babbage's second big calculator project, the analytical engine, in 1842 and sent the text to Babbage, the latter encouraged her to study the engine in more detail and to add her own explanations. The comments tripled the length of the original article. Together they further worked out the programming basics of the analytical engine. Ada's suggestion to calculate the Bernouil figures is today considered to be first computer program.

'The analytical engine', she said, 'weaves algorithmic patterns just like the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.' Her mathematic brain was distinguished by her extraordinary imagination.

This cooperation found Babbage's interest but he declined any further cooperation.

Neither was it possible then to implement the theoretical findings into technology since at that time it was not possible to manufacture precision instruments such as today's EDP systems. However, her findings ensure that today's computer systems work: In 1979, more than 100 years after her death, a programming language was named after her.

Solution will be given in the next entry...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

From sketch to scale prototype

The steps that lead from a handmade sketch to a scale model created using Rapid Prototyping technologies.

For more info visit:

»»» www.carbodydesign.com

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Concept of BMW-like vehicle

Engineering-based Transformer, ready to rapid prototyping and/or manufacturing ...

Transforming Parts and bodies, assembly, motors ...

3D Animation and rendering ...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fraunhofer alliance generative manufacture

Fraunhofer Institut is also involved in the research of rapid prototyping.

The Fraunhofer alliance generative manufacture draws up consulting concepts and holistic research and development offers in the fields of materials, technology, engineering and methods. This includes feasibility analysis, strategic initial research, product development and process development.

Social, economic and ecological consequences are considered in the development of this generative method.

Image source: Fraunhofer ILT

Further information, only in German:

»»» www.rapidprototyping.fraunhofer.de

Monday, October 4, 2010

Simply print out your bicycle

3D printing becoming a real thing?

In the spring of 2010 the future of the IT world was pre-outlined at the SolidWorksWorld 2010 in Anaheim, California. A process of particular interest was Rapid Prototyping. It is a process for fast manufacture of sample components on the basis of design data.

Image source: Wikimedia

Rapid prototyping processes are manufacturing processes with the aim of transforming existing CAD data rapidly and directly without any detours into workpieces. The data interface relevant for this process is the STL format. The processes known as rapid prototyping since the 1980s are usually primary forming methods building up the workpiece layer by layer from formless material by using physical and/or chemical effects.

Image source: Wikimedia

An interesting article on this topic by Hod Lipson:

»»» http://spectrum.ieee.org/