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Product development: engineering for manufacturing with Siemens Energy

What are the benefits of an integrated approach to product development, engineering, and production? Working with Siemens Energy, Antonius manufacturing for engineering know-how and experience was instrumental in creating an exhaust collector for a gasturbine package used at Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels. This article looks at all phases of this process right up to prototype production and is based on an interview with Antonius engineer and projectmanager, Haico van der Goot.

Many people know Antonius as the premier manufacturer of (large) vessel heads and complex shapes but are often unaware of our other credentials. For select customers, Antonius provides a wide range of services that include concept application development, prototyping and engineering for manufacturing. Our unique knowledge of, experience with and ability to work with and shape large metal products have been deciding factors for several large multinational companies in Oil and Gas, Energy, Food and Shipbuilding. One of these companies is Siemens Energy who asked us to engineer and manufacture a new exhaust collector for use on FPSO vessels.


Engineering and manufacturing of a complex gas turbine exhaust collector for Siemens Energy

Siemens Energy contacted Antonius because of our work for a very well-known UK and US-based ship and aerospace systems builder. We have been developing and manufacturing exhausts with them for a great number of years and Siemens was looking to benefit from that experience:

“We simply got a phone call to invite us to present ourselves. Sometimes it’s just that simple” says Haico van der Goot. “We presented our proven track record and unique strengths:

  • focus on cost efficiency
  • manufacturing flexibility
  • a wide range of production techniques (including unique techniques such as the English wheel)
  • ability to work with large metal workpieces (>10 meters)
  • proven ability to work within the required tolerances

Already during that first meeting we were talking about the specifics of the project. Which turned out to be a good sign, in short time we signed an agreement.”

Engineering for manufacturing

Siemens was well-prepared. They provided us with a 3D model they had been working on for over a year and asked, “Can you make this?” I had to explain that from a manufacturability standpoint, it would cost millions to produce. The model was visually appealing and well-designed, but it required automotive-level sheet metal work, which Siemens couldn’t afford. This marked the beginning of the process. Our task was to develop a ‘fit for purpose’ model that closely resembled theirs while staying within budget, which we successfully achieved.

Haico maintained close communication with Siemens’ lead engineer throughout an iterative process. Antonius offered input for flow analysis models, creating new models based on established production methods or existing elements to ensure practicality and cost-effectiveness.

Innovating something new tends to be more costly. Reusing existing elements or known constructions is more efficient. Surprisingly, a traditional production method (English wheel) proved to be more cost-effective than modern techniques in this project. Our expertise with this technique allowed us to assess if the required tolerances could be met. This approach significantly enhanced cost-efficiency and moved us closer to an efficient model.

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    Managing supply chain risk

    “The initial design used materials that immediately made me think about supply chain risk. For example, steel with a high percentage of nickel is much more dependent on the global flow of goods than more common steel. Recent events have shown how correct we were.

    Therefore, an important aspect of the collaboration is to review the use of materials, create an inventory of opportunities for mitigating risks, and simplify the supply chain. This involves examining available suppliers and material options that would still allow us to meet the specifications. This thread also runs through the iterative engineering process.”

    Final model


    Antonius worked closely with Siemens Energy during the design and engineering phases to arrive at the optimal model for the marine exhaust. Optimal means the iteration of the product that checked the most boxes, such as balancing production cost, material availability and risks, assembly and installation cost, and weight.

    “Every iteration would go back and forth; we would propose changes to the model – including a list of consequences for, for example, material and production costs – that they could run through their CFD analyses. The provided feedback would be discussed and incorporated before moving to a different aspect of the product. Once we had found the right balance, we had what we call the ‘final model’, and we started making the technical drawings that would finalize the product design for this phase.

    This is an intense process that makes full use of Antonius’ engineering and manufacturing know-how. For our customers, working with Antonius has the additional advantage that we have all manufacturing capabilities and a wide range of production techniques in-house. Once the model is finalized, we can immediately schedule prototype production, knowing that the production process is well within our capabilities. Often, we have informed clients of delivery times already.”

    Would you like to know more about Antonius engineering for manufacturing approach and our added value during product design and development? Contact us via Rob Derix on rderix@antonius.nl or +31 (0)475 439 000 and we are happy to tell you everything you would like to know.


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