The new business's operations are based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and Hebron, Kentucky, and are headed by Dr. Siegfried Schmalzried in Europe/Asia and Joe Jones in the Americas.

According to Jones, the renewable energy business is off to a strong start. "In recent months, we have secured US$30 million in contracts, which represents an approximate 30% share of our targeted market, putting us on track for our goal to produce 10% of MAG's annual revenue," he says.

"While our business unit is new, MAG itself is already firmly established in the renewable energy sector, having quietly built a worldwide leadership position in automated manufacturing systems for solar panels, not to mention composites processing," Jones adds.

"MAG has supplied more than 30 automated production lines for solar panels in all regions of the world in the last five years, and our systems have reduced manufacturing costs for solar panels to record lows.”

Composite and tool automation for wind turbines

"In recent years, we have pivoted our composites and machine tool automation businesses to concentrate on wind turbine components, too, allowing us to bring to market new systems for automated lay-up of composite wind blades, finishing, and root-end drilling, all of them based on proven technologies and modules."

MAG created the original composites processing automation technology for the aerospace industry in the late 1980's, and its systems are widely used in major worldwide aircraft programs.

MAG is currently sharing in a US$7m grant from the state of Michigan to develop a revolutionary wind hub machining cell for high-volume manufacturing, and pursue development of carbon-fiber turbine blades.

"This unique hub machining cell will increase production rates from the current standard of one per day to as many as five per day, cutting machining times from 20-24 hours per part to just over four hours," Jones says.