Although Östergötland is a flat region, a hill rises up from the surrounding landscape in Finspong, a half hour’s drive west of the old industrial port city of Norrköping. Because the hill is a granite block, the plateau at its summit is an ideal foundation for the production of heavy industrial equipment. In the 1980s, a production hall was built here for gas and steam turbines. Siemens acquired the factory and office building in Finspong more than ten years ago, when it bought a business unit from Alstom. Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB has been manufacturing medium-size industrial gas turbines here since 2003. The term “medium-size” is relative, however. The heaviest model produced here, the SGT 800, weighs 290 metric tons and generates up to 54 megawatts of electricity – enough for a large industrial facility.
During a tour of the factory, one can see assembly workers opening the covers of an SGT 800 turbine to install the 30 gas burners that drive its turbine blades. The matt gray burners are stored on carriages, where they are ready for installation. Despite their complex design, they have almost no visible welding seams. “3D printers will soon produce the complete upper half of these burners,” says Andreas Graichen, who heads a team of additive manufacturing experts at Siemens in Finspong.