Kuwait Oil Company - Oil-Drop System for Exhibition and Conference Centre

Brief: To deliver 6000-8500 litres of black-dyed water, representing real-time crude oil production in 10 seconds, into a transparent six metre polycarbonate tube akin to a massive sight glass. The system must recycle in 40 seconds and be very quiet.

Solution: A dual-charge system was developed to cycle two 8500 litre charges through the tube, a hidden charge tank on the same floor level, and up to a top tank mounted on ceiling beams above. Critical issues resolved were diffusing a substantial impact from a large body of falling water, in a near silent manner and being able to deliver and assemble the system within size-restricted building access points. Minimal vibration, movement, service and maintenance of the system for continuous opening hours running were specific requirements.

See it in action here.

2012 Olympic Torch Welding Fixture

Brief: To design and develop a holding fixture for the 2012 Olympic Torch, to be used in conjunction with an automated laser welding machine. The seam weld to form the trilobular shape of the torch needed to be as minimal as possible whilst still maintaining a high build quality. This would minimise the manual labour of grinding and polishing to the required finish.

Solution: The holding fixture employs the use of pneumatic mylars to form the aluminium casing around the central spine. The inner spine could pivot upwards to allow the casing to slide into position; this was held in the working position with location pins. In addition to the horizontal pneumatic clamps an additional set of manual vertical clamp were added to provide a downward force, to completely close the gap where the welding occurs.

See it in action here.

Automatic Inspection Fixture - Turbocharger Rings

Brief: Design and develop an inspection fixture to accept or reject a ring depending on a condition assessment.

Solution: The designed fixture uses optical sensors to check the component by comparing it to a reference image, the machine rejects the part if it detects any flaws that could affect reliability or performance when in use.

Cable deployment, control and retrieval system

Brief: To improve on the entire existing hydraulic system, reducing footprint/machinery volume and weight to enable a single-vehicle-per-site solution, and also cater for future diversity in cabling being deployed, and vehicle being fitted to - e.g. hybrid or electric/zero emission mid-size van.

Solution 1: The 'smart lay'. Dynamically recoil cable to ensure a perfect butting of coils, layer by layer. This minimises the space required, and thus weight, for the cable drum. This is achieved by utilising high accuracy measuring and monitoring equipment with a smart HMI control system.

Solution 2: Converting to electronic drive. This enables far better control of the entire system as a whole, and the various elements interaction with each other. Better control of torque prevents unwanted breakages and delivers more accurate positioning of the payload.