TPI Composites has filed a patent for a method to design and fabricate wind turbine blades using a projection system. The method involves creating a digital model of the blade, extracting optical projection files, and using reflective targets to ensure precision during fabrication. The patent also includes a calibration method for aligning the projection system. The method aims to improve the accuracy and efficiency of wind turbine blade production. GlobalData’s report on TPI Composites gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData s company profile on TPI Composites, turbine components 3D Printing was a key innovation area identified from patents. TPI Composites's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

The patent is filed for a method of fabricating composite structures

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: TPI Composites Inc

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230142673A1) describes a method for fabricating composite structures, such as wind turbine blades, using optical projection technology. The method involves receiving a design specification for the composite structure and generating a manufacturing model that includes multiple core panels. From this model, optical projection files are extracted, which contain coordinates for projecting markings within a mold. A calibration file is also extracted.

The process then involves placing the core panels within the mold and identifying reference features associated with a core panel. Markings are projected to depict the edges of the core panels, and these markings are compared to the reference features. This allows for a quality check of the projected markings and the placement of the core panels within the mold. If the comparison reveals any discrepancies, adjustments can be made to either the placement of the core panels or the manufacturing model.

The optical projection is performed using multiple lasers, which can be configured for relative movement with respect to the mold or each other. The optical projection files include the edges of the core panels, and the core panel geometry can be projected simultaneously or in a serial fashion. Reflective targets embedded within the mold aid in the projection process.

This method offers a precise and efficient way to fabricate composite structures by ensuring accurate placement of core panels and alignment with the manufacturing model. The use of optical projection technology allows for real-time quality checks and adjustments, reducing the likelihood of errors and improving overall manufacturing accuracy. The application of this method to wind turbine blade production could lead to more reliable and efficient wind turbines.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies