The Cylinder Service Centre has always been committed to continuous improvement. Innovation in design, manufacture and processes is hard-wired into our business.
This ongoing commitment has in recent years brought substantial benefits to our customers in terms of the products and services we deliver.
A Step Change
As part of this commitment, in early 2015 The Cylinder Service Centre began a Design and Process Innovation Exercise which was intended to introduce a major step change in design capability.
The aim was to further improve our service at the concept and design stage and make it easier and faster to transmit those designs into production.
The end result was intended to reduce overall lead time and associated cost in the whole design process. This would both improve service and overall productivity.
A New and Unique Design Concept
Over the course of 2015 the design and innovation process yielded a mix of new tools and processes which together represented a new design concept that we called Orthogenetic Cylinder and Hydraulic Rapid Engineering or OCHRE for short.
The OCHRE system allows us to very quickly construct and pre-assemble (from a wide range of design variables and variants) initial engineered solutions. These can be based on just basic technical information gathered during a customer enquiry.
This facility has now produced substantial reductions in engineering time.
In many cases it has brought the fundamental design time down from hours to minutes.
Benefits Across the Board
The OCHRE system has brought benefits in two key areas.
Firstly, the systematic approach of OCHRE towards hydraulic cylinder design makes our business a lot more efficient.
Secondly, the ultimate benefit is to our customers who can now often get pricing on a fully engineered solution over the phone in minutes, instead of having to wait hours.
The reason we can do this is that OCHRE incorporates an extensive engineering database which includes the many 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.
This means we can obtain pass/fail results on performance and certification criteria in real time as the new design is compiled.
The end result is that we can have a fully engineered solution that has been both designed well and tested and certified in a wide range of operational scenarios. All on a very short timescale.
Success Built into the Design
The built-in design testing of OCHRE covers a range of criteria from DNV (accepted by Lloyds) right up to Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This examines how stresses affect both design and materials in various performance scenarios.
Although 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 OCHRE is only the first part of a commitment that has seen us extend the reach of the design facility directly into production, qualification, testing and certification.
The further operational efficiencies gained for the business has meant further service improvements for our customers from cylinder design through manufacture and installation.
With each new design the knowledge pool is added to which builds continuous improvement into the very fabric of our design processes.