Canyon Hydro has announced it completed a major expansion to its manufacturing facility, including a 7-axis CNC milling machine capable of maintaining extremely tight tolerances on Canyon’s hydroelectric turbines. Canyon Hydro is now the only turbine manufacturer in North America with the capability to deliver this level of accuracy on Pelton turbines.
Their new CNC fabrication center is located in Washington State, a few miles from Canyon Hydro’s primary fabrication plant in Deming.
The new CNC center makes it possible for Canyon Hydro to machine all surfaces of its Pelton and Francis turbines with great precision. Canyon’s Pelton runners are typically milled from a single, stainless-steel casting. Canyon Hydro also rebuilds turbine systems for existing hydroelectric projects.
The 7-axis CNC machine can accommodate components up to 36 feet long, 16 feet in diameter, and 25 tons.
“With this investment, Canyon Hydro has set the highest standard for turbine quality,”
said Richard New, vice president of manufacturing for Canyon Hydro. “Tighter tolerances translate to better turbine efficiency, which goes right to the bottom line for our customers.”
CNC machining eliminates the minor imperfections that result when turbines are hand-ground to match a series of templates. Each of those imperfections, however small, impacts the efficiency of the turbine. With CNC, every curve on the turbine precisely matches design specifications. Canyon Hydro’s new CNC fabrication center is the latest in a series of investments that has propelled the company to become a leading supplier of turbine systems under 25 megawatts.
In addition to the 7-axis machine, the new facility houses several smaller CNC machines for milling other turbine components, plus a fully-equipped computer lab for design and modeling.
Canyon’s CNC fabrication center began operating in March 2010 and is now fully integrated into the Canyon Hydro manufacturing process. It is currently undergoing certification to meet AS9100 quality management standards.