Skip to Main Content
Case Study

Technology upgrade moves turbine leader toward its goals

Metrics illustrate the wisdom of implementing an advanced PLM solution

Technology upgrade moves turbine leader toward its goals

Harbin Turbine

Harbin Turbine Co., Ltd. is a leading provider of steam turbines in China.
Harbin City, China
NX, Teamcenter


We have achieved significant benefits using product lifecycle management technology from Siemens PLM Software, including double digit improvements in design time turnaround, as well as technical planning and work efficiency.
Yao Hongwei, Vice Chief Engineer, Vice Director of the Technology Department
Harbin Turbine Co., Ltd.

China's steam turbine leader

Since the beginning of its official operation in 1958, Harbin Turbine Co., Ltd. has made an outstanding contribution to China’s energy and power industry. The company designed and manufactured the country’s first 25,000 kW, 50,000 kW, 100,000 kW, 200,000 kW and 600,000 kW thermal power steam turbines as well as its first 650,000 kW nuclear power steam turbine. Today Harbin Turbine has the capability to mass-produce 300,000 kW and 600,000 kW power steam turbine and nuclear power steam turbine sets as well as 1,000,000 kW or larger thermal power steam turbine sets. In the past 40+ years, Harbin Turbine has provided more than one-third of the total installed capacity of all thermal power turbine sets in China.

The company’s turbine sets represent complex assemblies of more than 8,000 parts. Since its foundation, Harbin Turbine has designed more than 300 products.One of its challenges over the years has been the management of product information. Because the company frequently revises existing drawings, it has been very difficult to ensure consistency between electronic drawings and printed versions. In addition, designer efficiency was not always as high as it could have been because repetitive design jobs, such as baffles and oil pipelines, were manually recalculated each time they were needed.

Advanced solution supports business goals

After determining that its traditional 2D design software was resulting in long design cycles, susceptibility to errors and an inability to align with international standards, company management decided to implement a more advanced approach to turbine design. That approach is based on product lifecycle management (PLM) technology from Siemens PLM Software, including NX™ digital product development software and Teamcenter® digital lifecyle management software. This was seen as a critical step in achieving the company’s goal of becoming a backbone enterprise with presence in subcritical, supercritical and nuclear power areas.

The product lifecycle management solutions were implemented by a team headed by the company’s deputy general manager with strong technical support from Siemens.

Today, NX is used to design turbine sets and to revise existing drawings. The software’s parametric design functionality has accelerated the design of universal parts. For example, instead of designing a turbine guide blade from scratch, this work is now done simply by entering attributes and local parameters. The blade shape is then generated automatically by NX. Baffle assemblies and 2D engineering drawings are also automatically generated. These efficiencies are helping shrink product cycles and improve the accuracy of the designs.

Teamcenter has been fully implemented within the product design department. In addition to managing product data,Teamcenter controls five workflows including engineering change, fully incorporating the design, drawing and revision processes within one system. For designers, Teamcenter has become the basic platform for automating routine tasks. Teamcenter is also used to generate and summarize bills of materials (BOMs) and to provide other management systems with uniform and accurate product information. It also facilitates technical exchanges with international industry partners.

Numerous advantages, strong metrics

Since implementing the PLM software from Siemens, Harbin Turbine has moved toward a greater level of standardization and significantly improved technical management. In addition, automatic summaries of BOMs have improved work efficiency while providing an accurate and single data source for production. By using a single repository for product data, designers have gained the ability to share and more efficiently use resources. System authority control and role management have solved the problem of data security as well as the inconsistency between electronic and printed files. Revision control ensures data accuracy, consistency, effectiveness and traceability. And the systematic mode of managing the product database effectively protects the intellectual property rights of the enterprise.

Implementation of PLM technology has produced the following benefits: digital product development has shrunk time to market by 30 percent; costs for making and revising drawings have dropped by 20 percent; technical preparation and planning efficiency have improved by 30 percent; and the ability to provide other management systems with timely BOM information has improved work efficiency by 30 percent. The company plans to implement even more PLM functionality in the future, such as online ordering and management of fixtures and tools using Teamcenter as the framework.