Due to changes is environmental regulations and performance expectations the customer needed to quickly develop a new Pod propulsion system. In additional to design changes many of the existing components, including the labyrinth lip seal with support system, were not adequate. To face the challenge managing multiple variables under time constraints the customer needed a knowledgeable partner that could integrate into their team to co-develop the sealing solution as part of the complete system.
Unique design v. catalog seal
Roplan’s approach to develop a customer unique solution was welcomed, as opposed to supplying a catalog item which the customer needed to design their system around. The custom design did raise concerns as the time line was very short and cost of failure very high, and a local engineering team working with proven technology and global resources was vital for the customer to enjoy the benefits while avoiding the risk. Roplan Ningbo’s engineers met with the customer to review the project requirements and application parameters. Multiple approaches were discussed with the pros and cons of each weighed to outline the basics of the system including the sealing solution.
Using proven technology
With the system outline defined Roplan Ningbo worked this RDC to develop the concept. Approximately 90% of the concept was based on known field proven technology and 10% had not yet been proven. Maximizing the use of proven technology was key due to the time constraint and risk. Once the concept was approved Roplan’s internal and external suppliers were brought on board allowing them to provide to optimize the components in line the solution design. The customer was updated and provided new inputs multiple times during this phase of the project. With the solution design in hand Roplan Ningbo’s’ engineers met with the customer to review the design, DFMEA, test plan to prove the 10% and product validation plan. Based on inputs and changes in some interfacing components the design was modified and the test plan for the 10% was agreed. The 10% was tested with positive results, reports shared with the customer. The design signed off and sample order issued.
Time from initial meeting to design sign off was 10 months. Samples were available in 6 weeks.
Roplan was the perfect fit:
- 30 plus years for experience developing and supplying sealing systems for the world’s most demanding applications.
- Globally aligned engineering including experienced team in Ningbo that liaise between RDC in Sweden, the customers engineering team, production and supply chain.
- Core philosophy of using proven technology to develop unique optimized solutions to meet the customer’s specific requirements.
- World Class production and supplier management capabilities in Ningbo.