Development of Improvements to a Guiding System for Workboat Handling Systems
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Along with the development of newer and more extreme vessels, hoisting and lowering workboats and fast rescue crafts (FRC) turn increasingly demanding. The nature of hoisting boats with crew aboard poses serious risk, and as the safety of human lives is imperative to operations at sea, work must be done to develop safety systems to keep up with the ever-increasing demands. This project aims to improve the way Vestdavit s current system mechanically stabilises boats while they are hoisted over the gunwale. Focus is laid on reducing the peak acceleration from lateral impacts, improving the modus of user control and reducing wear on hoisted boats. This is thought to improve both safety of the hoisted crews, and minimise damage on davit components and workboats with sensitive equipment aboard. The product development method presented by Ulrich and Eppinger was largely used together with simulation based design(SBD) to go from analysed customer needs to developing three tangible design improvements. The improvements were a redesign of the mechanical construction using pultruded glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) beams, a set of novel, dual-density polymer dampening pads, and alterations to the hydraulic system. The new mechanical structure with GFRP beams gives a light and corrosion resistant structure that absorbs the kinetic energy of hard impacts from a swaying boat without permanent damage. It has the potential to be manufactured in Vestdavit s current manufacturing location with little need for changes in machinery and competence. The dampening pads give a soft interface between the boats and the guiding structure, and results indicate superior dampening characteristics compared to the current solution. The manufacturing method and material is chosen to be able to produce dampers for the majority of Vestdavit s product line without any tool changes. Alterations to the hydraulic system include the use of a double acting cylinder with a custom piston configuration that allows the structure to adapt to externally forced displacements without need for user interaction.