Design simulation experts Romax Technology have produced a new research report which stresses the need for a “Right first time” approach during the early design and analysis phases of offshore wind turbine production, in which gearbox and driveline performance, efficiency, reliability and robustness are key issues. This is not a novel approach but organisations can often find it challenging when it comes to implementation. For this reason, the new research paper outlines six key steps which need to be considered when firms are following a “right first time” policy during the design and development process.
“Right first time” aims to update designs at the right time, particularly at the point in the process when it is far less costly to do so with changes made with comparative ease as opposed to later down the line within the production process. It is an approach recognised by renewable certification body Germanischer Lloyd (GL), yet according to Software & Services Director at Romax, Jonathan Airey, companies find it challenging when it comes to implementing the process.
“The right first time concept provides an opportunity to iron-out basic design issues very early on” Mr Airey said. “Looking particularly at the offshore wind industry, it’s a market which is seen to be very much in its infancy and therefore organisations operating within the sector are continually looking at ways to drive efficiency and innovation. “Right first time” within the earliest stages of design and development are an obvious place where savings can be made but how does a firm ensure this process is completed effectively.
In order to address this we at Romax have identified six key steps which need to be considered to ensure “right first time” is implemented effectively.”
These six steps are as follows:
Educate & Evangelise: Senior management up to the highest levels need to understand the benefits provided by early analysis and its strategic importance in design and development
Assess: Firms must complete a full audit of your design and development process – to understand the scale of the challenge, and better target activity.
Identify: It’s important to find the “quick win” areas where analysis can add immediate value
Implement: Organisations must deploy appropriate analysis tools in the area(s) identified – and do so with commitment based on senior management buy-in and sponsorship
Focus: You must ensure you have effective analysis tools at the concept design stage that are able to consider layout, centre distance, gear and bearing sizing, loads, packaging, NVH
Improve: Firms must be prepared to continuously monitor, update and develop your processes – continuous improvement will consolidate and extend the gains being made
Mr Airey added that the focus of the paper provides a resource for firms looking to implement a more open and flexible platform when it comes to design and development. More focused analysis in the planning stage enables easier comparisons to be made with previous designs and with competitive products. It helps inform more realistic target setting as well as pointing designs in the right direction at a time when effective changes can be made with minimal long term impact.
Romax Technology was founded in 1989 and specialises in the provision of software and services for the design, analysis and optimization of transmissions and drivelines for the automotive, bearings, wind energy, off road, rail, marine and aerospace sectors. The company has over 220 customers worldwide, including the majority of OEMs across the transport and wind industries. It has won a number of industry awards, including two Queens Awards for Enterprise in International Trade and the British Engineering Excellence Award for Consultancy of the Year 2014, and holds the record for the most gearbox design certifications within the wind industry with 33 DNV GL Statement of Compliance (A-Design Assessment Certification) certificates. The company is headquartered in Nottingham, United Kingdom and operates through 12 offices worldwide.
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