The training center is part of Suzlon's 64,000 square-foot Elgin, Ill.-based central distribution center, which opened in October 2010, according to the company.
According to Andy Cukurs, the company's North American CEO, the training facility features a powered nacelle atop of a seven-foot tower, which he maintains will help technicians simulate experiences in the field.
‘Suzlon's training facility will not only feature classroom and bench test training, but also be equipped with a fully operational nacelle installed on a seven-foot tower section with three truncated blades,’ he says. ‘All levels of certification and nearly every aspect of low- and high-voltage electrical, technical and safety training can occur under one roof.’
The 8,000 square-foot wind turbine training center will be co-located in another section of the building and replace Suzlon's former Pipestone, Minn.-based training facility.
Other features of the new facility include a 4,000 square-foot lab, a powered independent hub and pitch system, and a working-at-height training area. The wind turbine training facility will also feature a full-length Suzlon blade just outside the building.
Meanwhile, the central distribution side of the facility, located near Suzlon's North American headquarters in Chicago, has reduced the original equipment manufacturer's transportation costs while providing shorter transit times for turbines and related equipment.
According to Cukurs, Suzlon has already saved $1 million by employing a ‘milk run’ model that includes shipping on regularly scheduled dates using preplanned outbound and returning freight lines.