Recently, WINDSOURCING.COM GmbH and Sika Deutschland GmbH offered a free product training seminar for wind-industry customers that covered the use of SikaCor® SW-1000 RepaCor for the professional repair of corrosion protection of onshore and offshore wind turbines and hydraulic steel structures. Wind Systems talked with Stefan Weber, WINDSOURCING.COM’s founder and managing director, about the benefits of training seminars such as this one.
What is your background in the wind industry?
My background in the wind industry is that I previously worked for a very ambitious renewable energy company here in Germany that was involved in all aspects of renewable energies such as PV, wind, bio-gas, and solar thermal power plants. And I was responsible for different purchasing activities in these fields, particularly wind-purchasing activities.
What is SikaCor® SW-1000 RepaCor, and why is it important to the wind industry?
When you need to do a corrosion repair job offshore or, let’s say, at the turbine, the normal procedure in the past was that you needed to apply all three layers separately from which the corrosion protection was made of. With SikaCor SW-1000 RepaCor, you have to go to the area that you want to repair only once, and apply it to the surface, and then you are done. And that is a very big improvement for the wind industry, because, especially in the offshore business, it can be a real nightmare to go three times to the same turbine, to the same area, to apply a different layer of corrosion material. That is very cost-intensive even though you just have to wait four or five hours for the first layer or the second layer to dry.
You need to go back and forth, back and forth. And with this material, you only need to go there once, prepare the surface according to the Sika repair standards, then you apply the material, and then it’s done. You have the corrosion protection again at this area.
So that is really a no-brainer for many of our customers here in Europe and the offshore business because it really saves a lot of time — and of course, money — doing smaller repairs onsite.
WINDSOURCING.COM sponsored the recent training seminar using SikaCor SW-1000 RepaCor. Who benefited from the training course?
Anybody who was using the material in the field can benefit. And for somebody who didn’t know the product well, everybody who is doing repair jobs in the corrosion area of wind turbines or fundaments or offshore parks could try this material and really use it during our training and get familiar with it. And the Sika experts were there as well, so if somebody wanted to discuss very deep technical questions, it wasn’t a problem because the colleagues were there to answer all the questions that came up.
What else made this training course unique?
You had a concentrated theoretical part for one and a half hours where a technician who was involved in the development of this new product gave insights of the development of the materials along with some background information about the technical application and what the product really can do. And after this theoretical part, you could really start using the material during the training and get familiar with it. I think this was a very good combination.
So, it had a hands-on element to it?
Yeah. Of course, the hands-on element was very important. This was the third year we have done this training. The most interesting part for most of the participants was the usage of the material.
Why do you think product training like this is important?
I think it’s important because there are so many new developments in every aspect of the market, and it’s very important for the guys who really use the product at the end of the day, onsite, that they have a safe environment where they can really use the material and get familiar with it. That makes life onsite much easier for everybody if he or she has already used the material and was able to talk to people who have developed it. I think, especially with this exchange of information and getting familiar with the application, it can make things much easier onsite, and that is a reason why trainings like this are so important.
Why should special product training courses like this one be made available to the industry on a regular basis?
The wind after-sales market and the service market are growing so fast, and there are so many new guys constantly coming into the market, so many new employees, that it is necessary to offer this regularly in order to give newcomers and new people the possibility to get familiar with the products that are available.
Are you planning on doing more seminars like this one?
We are planning other training courses. We just had a training course in January with 3M. That is also one of our supply partners. We are planning at least one or two other training courses with other suppliers this year, but nothing is finalized yet. With Sika, although we won’t be doing another one this year, there will be another date at the beginning of next year.
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