Optomec, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, reports that it has introduced a new tool that calculates the payback of automated laser cladding equipment for gas turbine maintenance and repair operations (MRO). The tool was developed for Optomec by Terry VanderWert PE, a laser processing expert in the aerospace, aviation, medical and power industries.
The company explains that the calculator is designed to help customers repairing gas turbine components gain deeper insight into the cost savings associated with moving to an automated process. It reportedly builds on research conducted for Optomec’s white paper: The Business Case for Automated Laser Cladding in Aviation Component Repair: Five Lessons Learned.
Gathering customer-specific data in key areas, the tool enables Optomec to produce a full report that calculates the cost savings of automated laser cladding versus the customer’s incumbent process, which is usually manual TIG welding. In addition to ROI, the calculator also estimates the cost per part, payback period, net present value and internal rate of return.
“Despite the fact that many MROs have moved to automated processes, the majority of turbine and compressor blade repair is still done manually today,” stated Mike Dean, Marketing Director at Optomec.
“In our work with customers, we recognised that a wide range of factors contribute to building the business case for automated laser cladding and that is why we felt the need to develop this tool.” He continued.
“With our ROI calculator, we can help more MROs understand the real value and impact automation can have. In addition to the cost savings, there are huge benefits in terms of higher repeatability and superior metallurgy from automated laser cladding.”