Case Studies

Company Name

Offshore Handling Systems

Business Sector

Engineering (Offshore Safety Equipment)

offshore-handling-systems

Project Description / Problem

OHS required a series of hand tools to be used in the oil and gas industry, particularly on offshore rigs. These tools would provide a “hands off” working environment reducing the risk of accidents. OHS had basic sketches of the concepts which needed full development into 3D CAD, initially for costing purposes and then to build a series of prototypes for testing once the manufacturing process had been chosen.

Project Outcome / Benefits

In total a range of 8 products were developed with an ergonomic handle and different attachments to be used in various areas and functions on offshore rigs. Due to the relatively low volume required and complex shapes, rotational moulding was chosen to build the polyethylene components combined with a light aluminium staff. The ergonomic handle was developed to be comfortable and efficient in both pushing and pulling operations. All the components were developed in conjunction with a local manufacturing company using a concurrent engineering process to ensure a quick development time and to get the products to market quickly.

tools


“AIT was fantastic” said Eugene Earley, CEO of Offshore Handling Systems, “Conor Hayes did CAD [computer-aided design] work on my designs and put prototypes together. In total a range of 8 products were developed for use in various areas and functions on offshore rigs. We are now successfully exporting these products to oil and gas platforms all over the world.”

Company Contact

Eugene Earley

Company Name

Equiniche Sciences

Business Sector

Equine (Feeding Device)

Testimonial Harmony Equiniche Sciences

Project Description / Problem

Equiniche Sciences, a participant start-up on AIT’s Enterprise Programme in 2011, was established by Dr Michelle O’Connor, a Veterinary Physiotherapist, to develop a new way of feeding horses in training. Michelle had a concept for a hay feeder that enables horses in a stabled routine to eat at ground level and throughout the day - thereby solving physiological and behavioural problems associated with intermittent feeding and eating in an unnatural position. The challenge for AIT was to design for manufacture a plastic hay container incorporating a rubber mesh, which would control the delivery of hay and allow the horse to eat in an anatomically comfortable and correct head and neck position at ground level – thereby mimicking the natural grazing position.

Project Outcome / Benefits

AIT designed and developed a prototype of the Hayfeeder. The main plastic parts were designed for the rotational moulding process and the rubber parts using the compression moulding process. 3D CAD models were built using Pro-Engineer software. A concept design was also drafted in 2D for a patent application. Work then focused on developing the rubber mesh system in terms of both material and configuration to ensure durability, safety and controlled access to the hay. The feeder unit was further developed and final assembly and fixing details defined.

Final design of the Hayfeeder by AIT enabled Equiniche Sciences to purchase tooling for the components, and initial units to be manufactured. The Hayfeeder is currently being trialled with trainers in Ireland before being brought to market by the end of 2013. Supported by the MIRC at AIT and Enterprise Ireland, a marketing strategy will involve attendance at trade shows and exhibitions to provide exposure to the broader equestrian community in Ireland and the UK. The Harmony Hayfeeder has the potential to be a global product with significant equine populations in Europe, the US, Japan and Australia.

hay-feeder


Dr Michelle O’Connor, CEO, Equiniche Sciences, “AIT brought the Harmony Hayfeeder from concept to prototype to final design for manufacture. We plan to continue to work with AIT on future projects. The AIT Enterprise Programme gave us the focus, time and facilities to get started while the MIRC at AIT and Enterprise Ireland continue to support us in building our capabilities and securing markets.

Company Contact

Dr Michelle O’Connor

Company Name

Kite Sports

Business Sector

Consumer Retail Markets (Sports Equipment)

Kite Sport

Project Description / Problem

Kite Sports had been developing a small children’s hurley which was made of a soft EVA foam with a stiff core. A basic prototype had previously been built in conjunction with a Taiwanese manufacturing company. The product however needed further refinement in terms of form and structural rigidity. The client required accurate 3D CAD Data of the range of hurley sizes and the design of a core to create a more rigid structure.

Kite Sport later developed an initial prototype of a hurling ball and had sourced a suitable supplier for the product. The ball needed certain specifications to be defined in order to bring it to manufacture including bounce, weight, material and rim height.

Project Outcome / Benefits

Existing hurley shapes were reverse engineered using 3D scanning to form a reference for development of the small hurley shapes. Complex surface models were developed in various sizes and prototypes were built using the FDM process. These prototypes and 3D CAD data were then used as a reference for the manufacturers to develop the EVA products. A core design was developed using a fibreglass composite to be fitted inside the foam component which provided the required rigidity.

Hurlog


Later, hurling ball specifications were defined through CAD design, materials analysis, performance analysis and testing to support tooling and manufacture of two ball sizes. An analysis was also carried out to determine the performance range within which the balls should fall during manufacture for quality control.

Kite Sports are now successfully selling the Hurlóg and Sliotars both on the internet and in sports retailers in the Irish market.

Company Contact

Eoin Fitzgerald

Company Name

Marmike Developments

Business Sector

Clean Technologies (Recycling Bin)

Brustibin

Project Description / Problem

Marmike had built a basic perspex bin which had specific volumes to contain green, brown and black waste in one compact unit. The concept was that these volumes would fill at the same rate in an average household meaning the whole bin would require emptying only once instead of emptying each individual compartment at different times. The client required a full design of the bin to be injection moulded with various novel features.

Project Outcome / Benefits

Initially numerous concepts were explored - flat-pack options, user options, aesthetics etc. A final concept was chosen based on ease of manufacture and a clean simple aesthetic. The bin was designed so it could be fitted into a press or on a kitchen floor. There were a total of 5 polypropylene components which were prototyped initially using the FDM process. Early on in the design process a local manufacturer was involved to provide manufacture and tooling support and costings.

brustibin-project


The product now known as the Brustibin is currently on sale online and in a number of retailers in Ireland.

Company Contact

Michael Prendergast