At Wet’n’Wild Sydney, the world’s largest waterpark with over 40 exciting waterslides, a piping system of GF ensures constant action and watery fun. Cameron Woods, Sales Manager NSW (New South Wales), convinced the customer to purchase a complete solution for the highly complex facility.
GF Piping Systems
“A refreshingly different solution”
6 800 000 liters volume of water in the largest pool
Fun in the water // Sunshine and temperatures during daytime of 30°C plus in the middle of December are totally normal in Sydney! After all, when winter rules the northern hemisphere, it’s the height of summer in the south. Except for its famous beaches like Bondi Beach, the Australian metropolis has few alternatives to offer for cooling off and feeling refreshed. In the western part of Sydney – almost 40 kilometers away from the ocean – Wet’n’Wild Sydney opened its doors in December 2013 as the world’s largest waterpark, covering more than 25 hectares with over 40 waterslides and attractions.
2 200 meters of pipes // Cameron Woods, Sales Manager NSW
at GF Piping Systems Australia, is also looking forward to a day
full of fun and relaxation at Wet’n’Wild. All the
pipes, fittings and valves that supply the park’s
swift waterslides and huge pools come from GF.
Around 2 200 meters of piping with 3 756 cemented connections and over 600 valves were installed in the massive facility in the months prior to opening. “As project manager, I supervised the construction at Wet’n’Wild Sydney from start to finish,” says Woods. Now he can finally relax a bit, the park’s grand opening on December 12, 2013 went off successfully. By 8 o’clock in the morning, hundreds of impatiently waiting Wet’n’Wild fans stormed the entrances to the waterpark to test the spectacular and breathtakingly-fast waterslides for the first time. 65 000 people visited the park in the first week alone.
Park of superlatives // Some of the highest and fastest waterslides in the world can be found among the more than 40 attractions at Wet’n‘Wild. Adrenaline junkies can get their fill on “360 Rush”. After a 12-meter long nearly vertical start, it goes into a 360° loop at speeds up to 60 km/hour. Only people who don’t mind getting dizzy should plunge into the eye of the “Tropical Cyclone” with its wild eddies. In the “Half Pipe”, after a wild ride through the darkness you feel almost weightless for a moment before you drop another 16 meters down a steep ramp.
Naturally, Wet’n’wild Sydney also has something to offer for calmer guests and families. “The Beach” is Australia’s largest pool with more than 6.8 million liters of water, waves and a large sandy beach for sunbathing and relaxing. Or you can float down “Boomerang Bay” on an inner tube, enjoying an almost 500-meter-long artificial river with a sandy shore and several different currents. The “Surf Deck” is a total novelty, a surf simulator that can generate waves in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. That is why it is safe for beginners, but also challenging for surf pros.
One-stop shopping // The operating company, Australian media group Village Roadshow Limited, invested circa CHF 96 million in Wet’n’Wild Sydney. Swimplex Aquatics construction company was responsible for building the water attractions and slides. “This project was a big challenge for us,” says Mark McLaughlin, Director of Swimplex Aquatics. GF Piping Systems was the perfect partner for his company. “We were the only provider that could deliver all the necessary components for the piping system from a single source,” explains Cameron Woods.
Metric meets imperial // PVC pipes with diameters ranging from
15 to 375 millimeters were used, in addition to ball valves and
butterfly valves of every conceivable size. But another difficulty
came with the large number of different parts: Since the waterslides
were constructed in the USA, the engineers in Sydney had to combine
imperial-sized conduits with metric fittings and pipes. “We
succeeded in finding a solution for this challenge as well and
combining the different standards safely,” reports Woods.
GF Piping Systems used piping and components from its subsidiaries all over the world at Wet’n’Wild Sydney. PVC-U pipes and fittings in imperial sizes came from GF Harvel and GF Sloane in the USA; metric PVC pipes and valves from Switzerland; ELGEF fittings from Australia and instruments for monitoring water pressure and flow rates came from GF Signet in the USA.
On-site training // “This was truly a global project,” says Cameron Woods. He and a dedicated project team ensured that the right parts were at the construction site at the right time. GF trained the Swimplex Aquatics employees on location for the proper installation of components. “In addition, we were available to the customer around the clock to answer questions,” explains Woods. This enabled them to wrap up the installation in a three months record, right on time for the opening day. “Wet’n’Wild and Swimplex Aquatics were extremely satisfied with our performance,” Woods notes with pleasure.
"Great mutual respect and trust"
To compensate for the extra weight of new truck emission control systems, the lightweight expertise of GF Automotive is in high demand. Marcus Wackermann, Market Segment Manager Commercial Vehicles, supervised solutions for the Dutch truck manufacturer DAF in close consultation with the sites of the division. Thanks to the good collaboration, new DAF XF trucks are constructed with lightweight, innovative components from GF Automotive.
70 kg weight reduction in the rear axle of the new DAF XF thanks to lightweight components made by GF
Demanding emission standards // Sometimes,
heavy-duty vehicles really are faster than passenger cars –
not necessarily in terms of their top speed but in their willingness
to adopt innovations. Right now, that is exactly what’s happening
with the introduction of new, more stringent emission standards.
Starting from the 1st of January 2014, only utility vehicles that
meet the “Euro 6” norm can be registered. By contrast, a
longer transition period is available for passenger cars,
still allowing new Euro 5 models on the roads.
But the implementation of the Euro 6 standard presents an enormous challenge for the makers of heavyduty vehicles: “Adding the new emission controls can increase a truck’s weight up to 280 kilograms, which could reduce its payload by the same amount,” says Marcus Wackermann, Market Segment Manager for utility vehicles at GF Automotive. “The added weight of Euro 6 technology would be completely unacceptable for freight forwarders.” That’s because first, every additional kilogram the vehicle weighs means higher fuel consumption, and second, the smaller payload reduces overall transport efficiency, which is the lifeblood of the industry. Accordingly, the makers of such vehicles have been feverishly looking to offset the unavoidable additional weight that comes with emission control systems by finding intelligent weight reduction in other areas.
Search for ways of saving weight // That is certainly true for the Dutch utility-vehicle maker DAF Trucks, where the conversion to Euro 6 engines was carried out even before the law required it. The top model of its new generation of vehicles, the new DAF XF, presented at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in 2012, showed transport industry customers that everything had been done to offer the Euro 6 technology without increasing the overall load. In their intensive search for ways of saving weight, DAF engineers were also able to take advantage of their long-standing partnership with GF Automotive, a company with outstanding competence in lightweight materials. “DAF got us on board early in the development of the new XF,” recalls Marcus Wackermann.
Relationship with DAF // “That gave us the chance to apply our ideas and expertise from the start in the best way possible. Exhibiting at a large-scale road show was invaluable: we actively showed customers all the things we could do – a strategy that worked for us and introduced new ideas to the customers.” Of course, it helped that the relationship with DAF had existed for many years and was “characterized by great mutual respect and trust”, Wackermann emphasizes.
Highlight rear axle design // It is no surprise that the
components found in the new XF come from a broad range of the GF
Automotive services portfolio. These include frames, cabs, chassis and
drivetrains. “We were able to help in several aspects,” Marcus
Wackermann explains. In terms of weight, the rear-axle design is a
highlight, developed jointly for DAF with the auto supplier ZF who
is nominated as rear-axle module supplier. Compared to its
predecessor, the new rear-axle model alone is almost 70 kilograms
lighter – proof of the high level of competence in lightweight
design of GF Automotive in collaboration with DAF. “Through our mold
and casting techniques, we are able to reduce wall thickness
reliably to as little as five millimeters and in this way contribute
to lighter designs.” But also in vertical manufacturing, GF
Automotive and DAF have ushered in a new era: what gets shipped out at
the end of the production line of the GF Automotive Herzogenburg plant
in Austria is no longer an unfinished component but, for the first
time, a complete exhaust manifold, ready to be installed during engine
For DAF, that means higher quality and optimal lead times – a strategy that can also be applied to other areas. But GF Automotive can be useful to DAF from another, quite different perspective as well: flexibility. When several components from another supplier had to be replaced at short notice during the development phase of the XF, GF Automotive immediately stepped in. Ensuring that these parts were of higher quality than the original ones was the stated goal of GF Automotive.
Flexibility // “DAF is an important customer,” explains Achim Schneider, Business Development & Sales Manager at GF Automotive.“ For one thing, it is an extremely innovative company, one that has long been interested in our know-how with lightweight components. Second, its brand is continually gaining market share in a highly competitive European market.” In fact, despite the difficult market conditions in the heavy semi-trailer tractor segment, which includes the new XF, DAF has risen to be number one in Europe with a 19% share of the market.
Its global growth is even stronger, not least due to the fact that DAF is part of the largest American utility vehicle maker PACCAR, which also owns the US brands Kenworth and Peterbilt. All three models make use of the MX-13 and MX-11 “world engines”, which also contain technology from GF Automotive. And according to the forecasts of the majority of logistics experts, the global utility-vehicle market will continue to grow. So it is no surprise that Achim Schneider emphasizes, “The utility vehicle segment is strategically very important for GF Automotive. It already accounts for more than one quarter of our sales. Because it is increasingly becoming more global, it represents an interesting growth potential for our high-performance components.”
GF Machining Solutions
"Our machines are up to the task"
MTU Aero Engines, a global player in the aircraft engine industry, has chosen the milling technology of GF Machining Solutions. Jürg Suter, Head of Customized Solutions in Nidau, has to supply machines that meet the very high standards of this important customer. In aero-space, absolute precision and hundred-percent quality are not an option but an obligation.
6 000 hours availability of the machines during the year,
as requested by MTU
Hidden Champion // Only a few realize that at one of the busiest autobahn sections in Munich, there’s a nerve center of global mobility: the headquarters of MTU Aero Engines, a leading player in the world’s aviation industry, is located at Munich-Karlsfeld, where day after day, thousands of commuters and truck drivers have to deal with stop-and-go traffic. Michael Eder, who as Key Account Manager for GF Machining Solutions is in charge of the MTU Aero Engines account remarks with a smile: “The slogan ‘hidden champion’ has rarely been truer.” At the next traffic lights, Eder turns his car into the visitor parking lot at the MTU plant. Eder has an appointment with Walter Sürth, Director of Blisk Production. It’s important because in the spring of 2013, MTU Aero Engines started up a new manufacturing hall, in which GF Machining Solutions milling machines create highly complex engine components.
Swiss precision // The machines of the MIKRON HPM 800U type are produced by GF Machining Solutions in Nidau. There, Jürg Suter, Head of Customized Solutions, is in charge of the processing of the MTU contract. The first milling centers were delivered in October 2012, and by 2016 there will be 20 of them installed, if the customer continues to be satisfied with their performance and service. Jürg Suter appears confident. “Naturally, their demands are high, but our machines are up to the task.” Nevertheless, visits to Karlsfeld are not taken lightly, because, as Suter knows, MTU Aero Engines is rightfully “a very exacting customer.”
Innovative technologies // MTU Aero Engines, with its 8 500 employees and close to EUR 3.4 billion annual sales, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of engine components – along with Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation, and Pratt & Whitney. These companies drive the continuing growth of the total aviation industry. Estimates by ICAO, the international civil aviation organization, suggest that world-wide, some 3 billion passengers travelled by plane in 2013, and the trend is rising. EADS and Boeing forecast passenger numbers to grow by 5% annually until 2030. This boom is being driven by innovative engine technologies, as Walter Sürth explains at the MTU production site in Munich: “The big aircraft manufacturers are racing for efficiency. For example, the new Airbus A320neo should use 15% less fuel than its predecessors. Noise levels must also be reduced. Those are the challenges the engineers of the engine makers are facing.”
Custom designed solutions // MTU has accepted this challenge and invested some EUR 65 million in building the hall, equipped with a modern manufacturing and logistics system for making high-pressure and medium-pressure compressors using blisk (blade integrated disk) design. These engine components are particularly efficient and light. Blisks are high tech products that are fully manufactured in a single piece – at MTU, this is done using GF Machining Solutions milling machines. Blisks improve aerodynamics and efficiency of the engines. The Munich firm is the worldwide leader in this domain and makes no compromises with respect to either quality or process stability. Michael Eder – Key Account Manager for GF Machining Solutions in charge of the MTU Aero Engines account – has the corresponding level of responsibility: “MTU is planning to expand its blisk production capacity from the current 600 to up to 3 500 by 2016.
To succeed, GF Machining Solutions is delivering custom designed solutions to MTU.” Actually, the machines already installed in the blisk hall have very little in common with standard milling machines. “A team of engineers around Jürg Suter has adapted the machines exactly to customer requirements. We even adapted the MIKRON HPM 800U to be able to use Siemens controls, even though this type of machine wasn’t designed for that interface at all.”
480 engines annually // Currently, the GF Machining Solutions milling machines are working on compressor stages for the fuel-efficient and especially quiet engines of the PurePower family from Pratt & Whitney. The decisive benefit for MTU: every machine can make every component, so that different blisks for different engine models can be in process when necessary.
Starting in 2014, the lion’s share of production will be dedicated to parts for the geared turbofan engines of the A320neo, 2 500 of which have been ordered, making it the bestseller for Airbus. About half the aircrafts are to take off with power units from Pratt & Whitney. For MTU, that means that, as quickly as possible, production of components for the A320neo must be ramped up from zero to as many as 480 engines annually. Once fully installed, the GF Machining Solutions machines should be able to produce up to ten blisks a day. “That is an enormous quantity and the MIKRON HPM 800U will be able to do it all,” says Michael Eder, explaining, “with MTU Aero Engines we have promised to provide machine availability of 6 000 working hours per machine per year. That corresponds to working constantly for 250 days. That’s a promise we will keep.”