Diving to new depths to reach new highs

Diving to new depths to reach new highs: This year has been a record one for Frewer Engineering’s Design and Analysis business since the company was first established in 2003, despite the challenges of the global pandemic and the adoption of remote working for most of the staff. It is due to natural growth in each of the recently developed divisions that now form: Advanced Composites; Advanced Engineering and CFD & Advanced Analysis.

The recent move to divisional working within the company has highlighted to some customers that there are business strengths outside the envelope than were perhaps previously perceived. “Increasingly, it’s becoming apparent that customers are recognising Frewer’s strength in combining expertise from across its divisions and skill sets,” says Matthew Jeffreys, Divisional Head of Advanced Composites. “Customers with composite structural design requirements may well also require, for example, CFD analysis, whether that’s through air or water. Our approach of working seamlessly across divisions enables us to offer our customers combined expertise and capabilities all under one roof.”

Diving to New Depths – Marine Defence Projects

For Frewer its marine defence projects have continued unabated. As Matthew Jeffreys explains: “Submarine MRE (Mast Raising Equipment) structures require lightweight carbon and glass composites for the periscope and other vessel protrusions. At Frewer, for projects that typically utilize composites, FEA structural analysis and also CFD evaluation, we can combine skills sets from across the divisions. Projects teams, combining many years’ experience, are drawn from the three divisions via the divisional heads. Depending on the demands we can pick and choose resources to match the exact requirements.” Projects for Frewer tend to be focused beyond the horizon, on ‘next generation’ components and systems. So, the immediate impact of the global pandemic on its customers business has been minimal. The longer-term goals for most of its industrial customers, such as the aerospace sector, has remained largely unaffected due to the undiminished need to satisfy control of emissions.

Reaching New Highs – Aerospace Projects

The Advanced Engineering division is designing a new larger engine combustion test facility for future aircraft engines to make them cleaner and more efficient for a German customer. “We are also working with another renowned aero engine manufacturer to develop new wing pylons for propulsion integration for future engine testing,” states Managing Director, Peter Frewer. “The pylon will allow new engines to be correctly tested by simulating everything the actual wing would do in operation.

“The customer is keen to test the engine accurately, so the structure holding it is vital to the overall function. It supplies all the services to the engine and simulates the stiffness of the wing allowing each element to be tested to ensure it behaves as intended. Special interest for us will be the performance of new Frewer-designed complex seals which have to operate correctly under severe loading conditions and deflections.”

Meeting the Design Intent

For important projects such as these, Frewer is trusted to develop a concept, undertake complex analysis, design a structure and then progress it to design for manufacture. “One key point for us is that we will partner with the customer’s chosen manufacturing supplier to form an essential ‘hand-in-glove’ relationship. In turning our composite designs into a physical reality, a manufacturer needs to appreciate the design intent behind the parts, not just adopt the easiest path to make them,” Matthew Jeffreys says.

Frewer capability in composite design extends to manufacturing methods do’s and don’ts – which, if ignored, can undo all the great design and analysis work put into the project. A shift in emphasis can result in a structurally compromised product and a part not fit for purpose. Geometrically it might be the same, but the performance and function may not be and that is the danger.

Matthew Jeffreys concludes: “Being structural analysts we appreciate that the subtle nuances of the design can easily be overlooked at the manufacturing stage. It is vitally important to respect the design intent so, in addition to offering a fully-managed, low-risk, turnkey, analysis and design service – to the benefit of our customers in many industry sectors – we also offer advice on manufacturing considerations. This, we believe, really sets us apart from our competitors.”

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