Glass fibre supplier PPG will partner machine and automation specialist MAG Industrial Automation Systems to optimise materials technologies and develop glass fibre prepreg placement techniques to improve the wind turbine blade manufacturing process.

The Department of Energy (DOE) grant is one of 28 new wind energy projects made possible by funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to the 20% Wind by 2030: Overcoming the Challenges programme. The bulk of work on this project will be completed in 2010 at facilities in North Carolina and Kentucky, USA.

“Our intent is to bring to wind blade manufacturing the same advantages of automation that we developed for aerospace composites," says Daniel Allman, director, composites business unit, MAG.

MAG, based in Erlanger, Kentucky, USA, is a supplier of machine tool and manufacturing automation.

Pittsburgh, USA, based PPG (NYSE: PPG) is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, speciality materials, chemicals, glass and fibre glass.