Severe storms, hurricanes, ice and a constantly moving workplace. Commuting to work each day is something most of us do with minimal risk and baring the odd traffic jam, relatively trouble free. Founded in 1992, Reflex Marine now have over twenty years’ experience in helping offshore workers return home safely from their place of work, managing risks and improving safety standards across the global offshore industry.
Introducing the WAVE-4
Widely recognised as the global leader in offshore access, Reflex Marine is best known for the FROG transfer device which is now an industry benchmark. There are now over eight hundred of Reflex Marine’s crane transfer devices operating all over the world, involved in over a million safe transfers each year.
This week I was able to catch up with Jonathan Oxley, Lead Project Engineer, as Reflex Marine look to release their latest product to the market this June, the WAVE-4. The first crane transfer device for standing passengers of its kind, I wanted to know the kind of challenges they faced as designers, engineers and manufactures of products subjected to harsh and testing environments and how the SolidWorks solutions they have implemented have helped to meet and exceed these.
So what was the project brief?
The overall project brief was to create a personnel carrier for standing passengers which offers greater safety to users and addresses the 4 key risks associated with crane transfer.
We want to provide clients with the option of standing during transfer, rather than sitting, as some users prefer this position. As standing transfers are prevalent in regions with more benign sea conditions, we have designed WAVE-4 to offer a safer alternative to current methods.
In addition, we want to offer clients a durable, high quality product that has a long life span and is easy to maintain. WAVE-4 will help operators raise safety standards as well as improve the cost efficiency of their operations.
What are the industries you cater for?
- Offshore Oil and Gas
- Offshore Wind
- Shipping and Marine
- Coastguard and Navy
To create a safe environment for passengers that is also comfortable and allows for easy entry and exit. We are also striving to find balance between driving the value engineering and time to market.
Testing and compliance are inherently linked; the testing must be completed in order to make sure that the unit complies with the quality and safety standards set by the relevant governing body. The challenge unique to this product type is finding relevant standards to comply with, as there is no set single standard for personnel transfer baskets.
How many designers and engineers do you have working on this project and across how many countries?
We have 5 engineers and 3 designers working across 2 countries, the UK and Spain.
How has SolidWorks helped?
We have seen massive time saving associated with using SolidWorks thanks to tools like;
- Custom properties
- Drawing templates
- Custom materials and general evaluation tools
Using FEA gives greater confidence in the components and assemblies prior to prototyping, saving time and money. The time it takes to generate an engineering drawing with SolidWorks (due to all of the previously mentioned tools), is considerably less than other CAD packages that we have used. Being able to communicate SolidWorks data with engineering teams at our sites in the UK and Spain has also been invaluable.
Where is SolidWorks used?
RML (Reflex Marine Ltd) engineering use SolidWorks 3D CAD as the main method of component creation. The ability to quickly model components in the context of a larger assembly is invaluable for engineering concept generation.
SolidWorks Simulation was also the primary FEA software that was used for this product. The ability to apply accurate masses to components feeds into the verification calculations for the new product, and theoretical stability calculations were made a lot easier by using the built in centre of gravity information.
As we go further into the user documentation, we will be using SolidWorks Composer to generate the inspection and maintenance manuals, and any other technical images. This speeds up the generation of these documents due to it feeding directly into the pre-existing SolidWorks models.
What did you use before?
The previous CAD software used was AutoCAD 2D before introducing SolidWorks back in 2011.
Testing of the WAVE-4 in Barcelona this March
What countries do you serve?
Reflex Marine serve a global client base. Our key markets for WAVE-4 are the Middle East, Asia and the Americas, due to more benign sea states. Our FROG-XT range is designed for the more challenging and harsher weather conditions in other regions.
When is the WAVE-4 due to be released?
Following recent successful product testing and trials in Barcelona we expect to be ready to launch June 2016.
Find Out More
For more on the WAVE-4 and the full Reflex Marine product line and services, visit their website here.
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