The Cylinder service centre has always been committed to continuous improvement and innovation in design, manufacture and processes. This ongoing commitment has in recent years brought substantial benefits to our customers, the products and services we deliver and to the business itself.
As part of this commitment, The Cylinder Service Centre has recently undertaken a Design and Process Innovation Exercise. The implementation of the first stage of this new Design process brings a substantial, step change, improvement to the service we provide to our customers.
These new tools and processes - OCHRE (Orthogenetic Cylinder and Hydraulic Rapid Engineering) - are based around a suite of design tools with highly specialised configurations to meet our customers service needs. Working in a virtual environment, the new system allows us to construct and pre-assemble, from a wide range of design variables and variants, initial engineered solutions based on technical information we gather during a customer enquiry. This facility alone has produced substantial reductions in engineering time and, in many cases, has brought the fundamental design time down from hours to minutes.
Whilst the systematic approach of OCHRE towards hydraulic cylinder design makes our business a lot more efficient, the real benefit is to our customers who can often get an engineered solution to a technical issue - along with indicative cost and delivery time - over the phone, instead of having to wait hours for lengthy and detailed calculations to be completed. This has proven to be particularly useful when dealing with critical component failures and maintenance solutions.
The reason we can do this is that OCHRE not only incorporates an extensive engineering database, but includes the years of design, manufacturing and maintenance experience of the Cylinder Service Centre team. Additionally, the OCHRE system has been specifically developed so that all design solutions are tested against stringent international design and performance standards. So, as we develop the engineered solution, we obtain pass/fail results on performance and certification criteria, in real time, as the new design is compiled. This means that, in an extraordinarily short period of time, we can have a fully engineered solution that has not only been designed well, but has also been tested and certified in a wide range of operational scenarios
This testing covers a range of criteria from DNV (accepted by Lloyds) right up to Finite Element Analysis (FEA) that examines how stresses affect both design and materials in various performance scenarios. Whilst FEA is not in itself unique, the speed with which we can explore alternative scenarios is. We can now very quickly look at material alternatives as well as the overall design to arrive at a cost-effective solution.
The development of these elements of OCHRE is only the first part of a commitment that will see us extend the reach of the design facility directly into production, qualification, testing and certification. Thus, obtaining further operational efficiencies for the business and service improvements for our customers.