The carriage is powered by a Four-Track-Drive system from Bosch Rextroth to deliver the exceptional traction for negotiating steep gradients and rough shingle. The new concept is for a `non-powered carriage` variant and the project is being driven by the opportunity to make considerable savings for lifeboat stations with more benign conditions. Subject to successful trials, the implementation of the new variant will substantially reduce the costs of components, production processes and in-service costs.
SC Innovation will perform the detailed design to modify the carriage to non-powered with the work and drawing package due for completion in January 2017. SC Innovation engineers will support the RNLI who will conduct trials of the new variant as well as Bosch Rexroth on the software trials. All tractors must be compatible for operation with both powered and non-powered carriages and future builds will be for both variants according to the RNLI’s assessment of the station’s ground conditions.
Under the contract SC Innovation will also upgrade the tractor unit of the first pre-production SL&RS, SC-T01, which it delivered to the RNLI in 2011, to production standard for use in-service as a relief vehicle.
Joe Wilcox, Head of SC Innovation said, “We are proud to be collaborating again with the RNLI on the further development of the SL&RS, which we have been supporting throughout the project since we started designing a pre-prototype 14 years ago. It is an essential piece of equipment that has proved itself in service and has also become a showcase for our engineering capabilities in developing bespoke equipment for hostile environments”.
SC Innovation’s engineering capabilities are in mechanical and electrical engineering, structural analysis, structural optimisation, fluid structural simulation and test and validation, including full system prototype build. The business has an established production capability carrying out low rate, high quality builds. Together with the in-house project management team these capabilities have combined to deliver projects for energy and marine customers, often in partnership with academic and industrial partners.
SC Innovation is exhibiting at Advanced Engineering UK, 2-3 November at the NEC, Birmingham (Stand K32).
The order, from an undisclosed customer, has a total value of £1.2 Million and will see Blackhill fabricating components throughout 2017. Workshop preparations are well under way including significant investment in new weld booths, extraction systems and welding plant. Each booth has been kitted out with all the equipment required to manufacture the complex assemblies, including bespoke specialist jig frames.
Paul Fishwick, General Manager of Blackhill Engineering said: “This order is significant for Blackhill Engineering and it has allowed us to invest further and create jobs. We’re delighted to be placing Blackhill in a higher volume and more production biased position that will open up wider opportunities for us in the future”.
Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group said: “I’m particularly pleased to see Blackhill making this key step towards higher volume, production fabrication. Having recently been granted Fit for Nuclear status and with the recent announcements regarding Hinkley Point, I see Blackhill as being ideally placed, both in terms of capability and geography, to provide the South West based fabrication services required by elements of that major project’s supply chain”.