Production of Turbine Blades at Perm Engine Company

The launch of a workshop applying thermal protective coating using the method of ceramic vapour and precipitating the ceramic on the profile of the working blade in high-pressure turbines is equipment unique in Russia, and includes the ALD SL electron-bean unit made in Germany — an important step in strengthening the technological base of production of turbines blades at Perm Engine Company. The result of using this new technology will be increasing the productive lifespan of the working turbine blades in the PD-14 and PS-90A engines and in gas turbine units of all modifications, thanks to high abrasion of the profile part of the blade and as a result, increasing the thermal efficiency of the engine as a whole.

Perm Engine Company specialists are currently working together with representatives from the supplier of the equipment to develop a coating using the ALD SL unit based on a variety of alloys. In December 2011 experimental work began to apply thermal protective coating to the blades of a phase one high-pressure engine. Throughout the first half of 2012, experiments, tests, and research will be ongoing. To provide complete-cycle blade work, a complex of additional equipment will be launched for applying metallic heat-resistant undercoating, preparing the surface of parts to receive coatings, and finishing thermal and mechanical work on the coating. The company estimates that it will launch full-scale application of thermal coatings on blades in July 2012. That way, by the second half of 2012, Perm Engine Company will be able to improve the quality of all the blades it produces by implementing this new technology.

The high quality of blade production is supported by other technological innovations at the company. To implement new, more progressive technologies for working on blades in 2012-2013, the company plans to acquire an injector press, a modern smelting kiln, a furnace to heat the forms, and a furnace for thermal treatment in foundry No. 13, as well as a machine for grinding the blade butts, two piercing centers and two grinding machines for shop No. 38. Combination of advanced equipment and progressive methods for working expensive heat treatments, such as for example the casting by means of high-speed directional crystallization, is the basis of the systematic growth in turbine blade production at PMZ. This allows the Perm Engine Company to boast that it will host the new Center of Technological Competency ‘High-pressure Engine Turbines’, which will meet the demands of all factories within United Engine Corporation.

The perm engine-builders have prepared for the creation of this center on the basis of unified production of turbine blades, organized at the Perm Engine Company in February of 2011 within the program for future development of the company, ‘Strategy 2020’. The cost of this project is 3 billion rubles. Under the plan for size of investments, sales volume of up to 300,000 blades per year, profitability of sales at 10-15%, and cost reduction of 10-15%, the payback period of the project is expected to be 9.5 years. Pending approval of all the project documentation by UEC, the new center could appear on the Perm factory site as soon as 2014.

This project envisages the construction of a new building of 13,000 square meters of production space, on Geroev Khasana Street in the city of Perm. It will enable the company to meet its planned production volumes: in 2015 the center will be producing 200,000 high-pressure engine blades per year, and in 2020 it will be making 300,000 — by 2020 it will have already produced a total of 1,200,000 blades. Its production facilities will be based on lean technology planning and equipped with modern tools with a high output, exacting standards, and high quality parts. Under the project, about 170 individual pieces of equipment will be purchased step-by-step.

Today, Perm Engine Company’s blade production amounts to foundry 13, machine shop 38, and the nozzle blade producing unit line 95. The number of personnel in automated production is 756. In 2011 the department mastered production of seven separate working and nozzle blades for the fifth-generation PD-14 engine, differ in construction from the blades in the PS-90A family of engines. In addition to mastering the production of new items, the department has fully met PMZ’s requirements for mass-produced turbine blades. Its annual amount of blades is about 70-80,000. It plans to make a similar number in 2012.

Further information:

Perm Engine Company (PMZ) is a mass producer of aviation engines for civil and military applications, as well as industrial gas turbine units for power stations and gas transportation.

PMZ is part of the United Engine Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OBORONPROM specializing in engine-building assets.

OBORONPROM is a multi-faceted machine-building group of companies, founded in 2002. It is part of the Russian Technologies group of companies. Its primary activities include helicopter building (Russian Helicopters) and engine-building (UEC).