Torquer Ltd, an offshoot of AJC Research, are developing a family of innovative lifting devices known as the HALO (Hands-free Autonomous Load Orientation), aimed at the construction and offshore sectors. These use the movement of water to orientate a crane load without the use of tag lines, improving safety for operators.
4cE designed and produced a small working model of the Torquer HALO unit for use at conferences and trade shows. Producing a working model at this size threw up almost as many engineering challenges as designing at full scale, particularly around component interfaces and sealing. Our 3D printing expertise enabled us to produce the complex fluid channel geometry far more cost-effectively than traditional machining. Using a remotely controlled model bow thruster for propulsion, the model worked beautifully to demonstrate the working principles of the device in a tangible manner – everyone who sees it immediately wants a turn!
Torquer Ltd had carried out proof-of-concept tests of the device (see videos at torquer.com) and were looking to develop the product for market. There was therefore a need to understand the key drivers behind the performance of the device in order to reach an optimal configuration within the constraints of space, weight, interfaces with surrounding systems, and production methods.
4c Engineering have been involved at various points along the development of the device:
4cE’s modelling work has helped narrow down the options from the proof of concept stage and home in on an optimised configuration. The small demonstration unit provides a very tangible method of explaining the method of operation to investors or potential customers.
Torquer Ltd have continued with the development of the product, and we are looking forward to seeing the HALO unit being put into production in 2019 – see www.torquer.com.