Advanced Bolting Solutions: The Industrial Bolting Experts

Interview with Mr. L Balasubramanian, Managing Director, ABS group, India (Sponsored)

What are your product offerings in the wind O&M space? 

Advanced Bolting Solutions (ABS) with a two decade strong partnership with HYTORC, USA offers a variety of products and services to the wind power industry primarily in the area of bolting technology and fasteners. HYTORC Bolting tool line include hydraulic torque wrenches, battery operated torque guns, pneumatic torque guns, hydraulic pumps and a variety of accessories to support our products.  Besides, HYTORC offers patented reaction free technology and anti-vibration, anti-bolt loosening fasteners that could improve productivity in the Wind turbine sector. ABS also offers bolt tensioners, bolt elongation measurement tools and transducerised electric tools to complete the basket offering. Our tools are robust and built for heavy usage demands of the wind industry.

What are the technology-related issues in this space? How does your product address those issues?

There is a major campaign for making wind turbines more cost efficient with an increase in demand for high quality products at the same time.  Especially when the turbines are getting bigger in terms of MW capacity and the sizes of Bolts and bolt load values keep increasing. To improve efficiency and to optimise design, wind turbine bolts are designed to load at higher yield strengths. There are host of new tightening methods like Torque and angle, Yield point tightening, etc. apart from conventional Torquing and tensioning. There is more focus on traceability and repeatability to eliminate human error in bolting. Our products cater to all types of tightening methods with provision for data capture. Our products can easily achieve high torques required for the HTS bolts. With today’s industry expectations, a reliable supplier of state-of-the-art bolting equipment, isn’t only a tool supplier but a partner in creating bolting systems and concepts.

What has been the company’s operational experience till date in this segment? 

ABS has been a partner with HYTORC , USA since 1998. Since HYTORC has always been an established international company, we were part of the wind industry as early as the 90’s.  HYTORC tools are being used for some of the largest wind turbine installations and O&M in the country and we continue to offer several support services to ensure maximum tool uptime and minimum turbine downtime. We are proud to be part of all installations of  prototypes and  maintenance of all Indian major manufacturers like Suzlon, Vestas, GE Wind, Gamesa, Inox, Enercon, ReGen, and others. Our tools are also extensively used by installation &maintenance contractors and wind equipment manufacturers for Gearbox, blades, towers, etc. The renewable energy segment has shown us its ups and downs in the market structures, but this has also made us stronger to become the well-known source we are today.

We have our mobile van services for onsite service and calibration of all brands of bolting tools, ASME approved training faculty for training programs and also a rental program for tools when customer decides against a Capex procurement.

What is the company’s scale and size in this space and which are the geographical locations that it works in?

HYTORC is located on every Continent, and covers vast areas around the world.  This gives us the advantage to act quickly and provide the expertise the renewable energy market requires. With over 200 employees in India, ABS is strategically located close to all wind producing states through 9 offices with 5 service stations. Equipped with skilled manpower and quality resources, we also offer remote tool repair and calibration through our mobile service van. To ensure the maintenance runs as scheduled, our service van has been making trips to Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan on regular basis even during this pandemic.

What is your future outlook regarding the wind O&M market in India?

India has currently exploited only 35-40% of its total wind energy potential. To mitigate the tough challenge of ever reducing tariffs, all global wind companies are moving towards manufacturing more efficient turbines and more effective ways of operating and maintaining the current power plants. Turbines are becoming taller with higher rotor diameters and tower lengths. These result in bigger bolting challenges requiring reliable technology and tools. HYTORC being the technological leader for bolting, are aligned in the right direction to serve their needs. ABS-HYTORC is a one stop shop for all requirements pertaining to bolting operations in a wind farm. From having sufficient product inventory to suffice immediate needs, developing kits specific to individual turbine models, and repairing or calibrating the tools on site, we are best equipped to handle these O&M challenges. Moreover, we see the O&M activities gradually and steadily moving from OEMs to renowned contractors. With programs like Rent to Own, Flexi payment, Rental services, and HY CARE Extended Warranty, we can provide these new buyers and operators maximum confidence in partnering with HYTORC. We also offer various training programs for first time users or skilled operators to fine tune their skills and contribute to the overall safety and procedural improvement.


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