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David Brown joins forces with gearbox sister firm, Moventas

10 September, 2013

Finland's Moventas Group has acquired the wind gearbox business of its Huddersfield-based sister company, David Brown, along with its UK production plant, test facilities and service workshop. Both businesses are owned by the Glasgow-based Clyde Blowers group.

Moventas and David Brown are combining to form a new company, David Brown Wind UK, and Moventas says that the joint businesses will be a world-leading manufacturer of gearboxes for multi-megawatt and offshore wind turbines. DB Wind UK will continue to operate from Huddersfield.

The new organisation will also continue a collaboration with Samsung Heavy Industries, announced last year, to develop and manufacture a 7MW drivetrain for offshore wind turbines, with components being supplied from both UK and Finland.

The acquisition will also accelerate Moventas’ entry to the lucrative UK and Irish wind turbine service market with an existing business and local workshop.

“We are very excited to be able to locally cater for the growing needs of what’s expected to be the number one offshore wind market in the world within the next years,” says Moventas’ president and CEO, Mikael Laine. “The great match between our wind business and that of David Brown’s enables a fast creation of added value to our customers.”

“Moventas is an established player in the global wind gearbox market but has lacked a UK presence,” adds Jim McColl, chairman of Clyde Blowers and Moventas. “In advance of the significant growth planned in UK offshore wind business, it makes sense now for us to combine the two businesses. Doing so creates a leading global offshore wind drivetrain company with the scale and resources to serve its customers better, comments.”

The new FusionDrive integrated gearbox-generator could slash wind turbine costs

David Brown’s wind industry staff of some 20 people will work with their colleagues in Finland and globally.

Moventas produces gearboxes for both industrial and wind applications for sectors including pulp and paper, mining and marine. It has around 950 employees in 15 countries. It produces multi-megawatt wind turbine gearboxes for customers such as Areva and DSME/DeWind.

Moventas has recently collaborated with DeWind to develop a lightweight integrated gearbox and permanent magnet generator with a low drivetrain mass and an efficiency of 96.6%. The system, called FusionDrive, is designed to reduce the cost of wind energy as well as cutting maintenance costs by up to 15%. Unlike other systems, it does not need an external crane for servicing.

Clyde Blowers acquired David Brown when it bought Textron’s Fluid & Power division in 2008. It added Moventas to its portfolio three years later.

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