EWI Issues Special Report on Offshore Wind Energy in the USA

EWI has released an in-depth report on the state of the U.S. offshore wind (OSW) industry. Published earlier this month, Offshore Wind Energy in the United States: Emerging Industrial Activity and Heavy Fabrication Opportunities, predicts an imminent tipping point that will create a new, hundred-billion-dollar industry involving heavy fabrication as its core activity.

To date, the U.S. has only seven operating OSW turbines, compared to thousands currently in Europe and Asia. However, offshore wind industry is poised to boom on a national scale in the next few years. The EWI report discusses how previous barriers such as government permitting, high development costs, and resistance from stakeholders (fisheries, environmental groups, etc.) are waning, and why. Today, the U.S. OSW industry has the potential to create tens-of-thousands of jobs in industrial activities such as steel manufacturing, heavy fabrication, and ship building.

Offshore Wind Energy in the United States is unique from other industry reports in that it focuses on the challenges facing the companies that will build the necessary infrastructure — specifically, substructures (monopiles, jackets, gravity base), nacelle towers, and marine vessels. With decades of expertise in materials, welding engineering, nondestructive examination, and structural design analysis to back its findings, the EWI report details the complications involved when fabricating large structures with thick (100-150mm) steel that will need to withstand 20+ years of harsh, offshore service. Topics covered include:

  • Offshore wind structure design
  • The Jones Act and implications for the U.S. marine vessel industry
  • Levelized cost of energy and capital expenditures for OSW heavy fabrication
  • Heavy fabrication cost reduction opportunities
  • Forming/rolling equipment for thick plate applications and the effect on welding productivity
  • Robotic welding and allied technologies (e.g., computerized coordination with positioning equipment)
  • Narrow groove welding technologies (e.g., high heat input submerged arc welding)
  • Optimization of interacting variables: structural design, steel type, forming/rolling equipment, weld bevel design and machining, weld fixturing, preheat requirements and equipment, weld consumables and storage/handling protocols, welding process selection and equipment, and non-destructive examination technology

The report offers critical information and insight to fabricators that involved in designing and/or equipping fabrication facilities for OSW equipment manufacturers and suppliers. It is a valuable resource that can help fabricators learn from known successes and failures within the sector, optimize facility design, and make informed investment choices regarding advanced fabrication technologies.

Offshore Wind Energy in the United States: Emerging Industrial Activity and Heavy Fabrication Opportunities can be downloaded from EWI – at no charge – by completing the form below:

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EWI Hosts Ohio Teachers as Part of STEM Externship Program

Text Box: Mary Tugend (right) welds sheet plastic with assistance from EWI engineer Miranda Marcus.
Rosie Matthies examines her welding
handiwork in the EW microjoining lab

EWI recently hosted two secondary school teachers as part of the Ohio STEM Learning Network’s Manufacturing & Engineering Externship Program (MEEP). Mary Tugend of Metro Early College Middle School (Columbus) and Rosie Matthies of Shawnee High School (Springfield) spent two days shadowing engineers and technicians in EWI’s Columbus facility. They had the experience of learning first-hand – and in many cases, hands-on – about engineering research and how advanced technology can be applied to manufacturing processes and operations.

Mary Tugend (right) welds sheet plastic with
assistance from EWI engineer Miranda Marcus

The teachers toured several labs, discussed how technical solutions to industrial challenges are developed, and got the chance to try out some of the technology themselves. With assistance from EWI staffers, they welded materials using different joining techniques, operated robots, and tested a remote “tele-manufacturing” system. “The engineers were so engaging,” said Rosie, a math and engineering technology teacher. “Their explanations helped us see how all of the technology pieces fit together to solve existing problems. We got a real sense of what EWI does and the services it provides.”

The educators were also introduced to a unique work environment for students who want to go into STEM careers. “We met so many different types of people with a wide mix of backgrounds and skills,” said Mary, a sixth-grade social studies teacher. “Everyone at EWI seems passionate about what they do and eager to collaborate together.”

Teachers Mary Tugend and Rosie Matthies

The goal of the MEEP initiative, which is sponsored nationally by the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Defense, is to provide teachers with fresh resources for STEM education and to help them introduce students to industrial skills and career opportunities. Mary left EWI with plans to incorporate what she learned into her social studies classes. “EWI’s work deals with real problems. I already have an idea for discussing supply chain issues from a manufacturing perspective into my economics unit.”

Rosie was inspired by many aspects of her externship. “STEM ideas are applied in so many creative ways at EWI – from validating materials before they are used in a product to helping disabled people perform jobs in manufacturing. I have a lot to bring back to my classroom.”

“We were delighted to host two MEEP participants at our facility,” said Kelly Jenkins, EWI Chief Operating Officer. “Experiential programs for educators are key to introducing manufacturing careers to the next generation of workers. Based on their enthusiastic participation in the activities we planned, we know Mary and Rosie will be sharing a lot of positive and exciting information with their students.”

Since 1984, EWI’s comprehensive engineering services have helped companies identify, develop, and implement the best options for their specific applications. Our customers include but are not limited to aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, medical devices, consumer electronics, industrial products, and heavy equipment. By matching our expertise in materials joining, forming, testing, and modeling to the needs of forward-thinking manufacturers, we successfully create practical, efficient, and effective solutions in product design, fabrication, and production. To learn more about EWI, visit ewi.org or call 614.688.5152.

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A Reliable Tool for Predicting Springback in Advanced High-strength Sheet Metals

How can you control or compensate for springback in stamped parts when using new, advanced high-strength sheet metals?

EWI has recently developed a specialized tool that is capable of assessing springback behavior without any wrinkling or necking on the tested part. The work is described in S-rail Test Tool for Evaluating Springback with High-strength Aluminum Alloys and GEN3 Steel, written by EWI Forming Center Director Hyunok Kim.

You are invited to download this paper – for free – by completing the form on this page.

If you would like to discuss this work and its potential application in your manufacturing operation, contact [email protected].

Complete this form to download the paper:

To view the paper, please submit the form above.

Want to contact an EWI expert about a project? Call 614.688.5152 or click here.

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