Archive | February 2019

Tailored DC motors now offered as general catalogue products.

Introducing the Ec-i 52 200W High Power DC motor.

The EC-i 52 200W High Torque DC motor was launched as a customer specific project and is now offered as a standard catalogue product. The DC motor has an extended length from 80mm to 110mm. Compared to the current offering the EC-i 52 180W High Torque DC motor, this version offers a 50% higher torque and speed/ torque gradient with a flux collector rotor providing outstanding torque performance. Suitable for a variety of industrial automation applications, extra power can be achieved at a relatively low speed range. In the maxon modular system, the EC-i 52 200W can be paired with the powerful maxon GP 52 C gearhead as well as various encoders and controllers.

For more information please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 9457 7477.

Building the base to build the boat.

Emirates Team New Zealand 23 Jan. 2019.

For the first time in the history of Emirates Team New Zealand, the team has begun construction of its own America’s Cup boat in their own purpose-built boatyard on Auckland’s North Shore.

Led by Emirates Team New Zealand Build Operations Manager Sean Regan, the facility which has been a long-term vision of the team, has been started from the ground up turning a clean factory floor into one of the most up to date, purpose-built composite boat building facilities in the country.

“As with everything in the America’s Cup, time is of the essence and in setting up the build facility we basically gave ourselves two months from the day we took over the lease of the premises to be ready to start building our first boat.” explained Regan.

The layout of the vast 1800 sqm building has been extensively considered with the view to putting together the most effective and comfortable workspace possible.  The team has sought feedback from some of the industry’s best boatbuilders as well as many of our valued team suppliers.

“We really approached this set up with an open mind along with our typical number 8 wire thinking. We looked at the clean floor plan and thought about everything in terms of the production of the most technically advanced composite race yacht. From the layout of the three ovens, the heating, extraction, air conditioning, lighting, storage, lifting, access etc.”

Just as important as bringing all of the necessary equipment together was the task of bringing the new 40 strong team onboard. All 40 people are now working as a team with enthusiasm and a mix of experience that will need to perform exceptionally as a group when the pressure is on.

“We have been able to assemble a mixed group of specialist boat building veterans – a number of whom were the key core people from Cookson’s Boats, existing Emirates Team New Zealand shore crew and a bunch of hungry young apprentices. These guys are really working well together and growing the wider experience in the industry by the day which is very satisfying for everyone.

The beauty of winning the America’s Cup and bringing it back to New Zealand is it gives us the ability to try to restimulate what has been a stagnant or declining industry over the past few years. “The real performance benefits of bringing the boat building ‘in-house’ for Emirates Team New Zealand is the ability to shift resources and schedules to suit the team’s operations which enables a more efficient link between the Emirates Team New Zealand designers at the team base in the Viaduct and the production team on the North Shore.

“As we saw in the last America’s Cup, we need to be really dynamic in our overall design approach and our production priorities day to day so now we are more in charge of our own build destiny than we ever have been before.

Typically, in with the objective of extracting every last detail of performance gain, the designers leave handing their final designs over to the production until the very last opportunity. Not only that, they continue to refine designs beyond specific deadlines so now we can make changes as the priorities shift which allows us to make design decisions a lot later but more advanced than we ever have been able to.”Integral to the set-up of the base as always with Emirates Team New Zealand has been a number of key suppliers of the team.

“We really couldn’t have achieved what we have in setting this base up without our Official Suppliers. A huge amount of the cost in setting up has been met by suppliers with products, services and expertise – which never ceases to amaze us how valuable the support of everyday kiwi companies and their generosity is to us working towards defending the America’s Cup in 2021.” “Call me biased but I think we have put together one of the best composite boat building facilities in New Zealand, and hope that it will serve the team well for AC36, but also the wider marine industry on projects outside of the America’s Cup.” concluded Regan.

The America’s Cup world now eagerly awaits the first boat to emerge from the boat build facility towards the middle of 2019.

For further information on DC motors for use in underwater and extreme environments please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

maxon Group is an Official Supplier to Emirates Team New Zealand. We follow the progress of their journey as Defender in the 36th America’s Cup campaign, March 2021.

The untold story of the birth of foiling in the America’s Cup.

In late August 2012 a grainy photo of a boat emerged online. Most hardened America’s Cup followers will clearly remember the image that was the talk of the sailing world for many weeks.

A high angle shot, looking down on a giant 72 foot red and black Emirates Team New Zealand catamaran seemingly flying above the waters of the Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

Debate raged:

“OMG photoshopped of course,”

“Can’t be foiling – anyone can see from that picture they’re simply launched off a wave.”

“On close inspection it is photoshop. You can see where the bow and stern were in the water. They have cut, lifted an pushed the boat forward 1/2 a boat length. Shame. That was cool for about 5 min”

An image that was so far outside the realms of the imagination of most people – but not those inside the base of Emirates Team New Zealand.

The cat was out of the bag, foiling had arrived. But there had been many months of secretive R&D meetings at Emirates Team New Zealand that went into developing a concept that would transform the world of America’s Cup racing forever.

Rewind to 2011, two years out from the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. A time of any campaign where teams are thinking outside the square with weird and wonderful ideas having been studying the AC72 class rule, looking for loopholes and testing or attempting to validate some of the most innovative theories. A crazy concept was continuing to circle within Emirates Team New Zealand.

“What if we could make the AC72 catamaran fly above the water?”

Was there a way to design a control system within the rules to move the daggerboards in the water to create enough lift to support the weight of five saloon cars on a surface area the size of a desk?

In 2011, simulation was not at the required level of technology that it is today, so testing and ideas had to be validated on the water.

The challenge was how to keep such a crazy concept of foiling secret.

Auckland Harbour was a goldfish bowl to tens of thousands of eyeballs which would gawk at a vessel levitating above the water and sailing faster than most engine powered boats on the harbour, so a more discreet location was required.

And so, the first testing of the concept of foiling for America’s Cup all started on a remote and narrow lake in the middle of the Waikato region – Lake Arapuni – as a covert mission with a boat affectionately nicknamed, ‘The Waka’.

Things got off to a rocky start. Early on in the ultra-covert project, while towing the Waka south, a small group of team members (who shall remain nameless) had to call the team CEO Grant Dalton to explain there was a slight curveball in the operation. The top-secret test platform was now firmly the centre of public attention because they had neglected to tie it to the trailer appropriately and it had slipped off and was causing a multi mile traffic jam on Auckland’s Southern Motorway.

The issue was swiftly resolved, and adversity overcome. The operation was back on track.

Glenn Ashby was relatively new to the team back then and quickly understood that foiling was not just a whacky fad but something that had to be kept under wraps.

We made sure we were not in branded team kit. To anyone walking the dog around the lake, we probably just appeared like a few old battlers towing a beat-up old catamaran down the lake for fun.” Said Ashby

“We just had quite a few people with cameras, computers and pelican cases in tow.”

It wasn’t an instant success, but it didn’t take long for the gigantic gains that foiling presented to emerge.

“After a couple of weeks of tuning and building new foils we got to the stage where we were able to tow the boat and pop out of the water and fly stably.

The Waka was a fantastic boat to learn all about foils, to understand what you could and couldn’t do, and potentially what the future could hold for us.”

“Some of those evenings where we would sit around the table, knowing we were pioneering absolutely new ground in the America’s Cup and in foiling multihulls and foiling boats was a pretty special feeling. Sitting there with the designers and the sailing team really knowing that you were part of such a special period of America’s Cup history in the making.” Recalled Ashby

The concept continued to grow legs and the operation eventually moved back up to Auckland and the backblocks of the Hauraki Gulf.

“Eventually we put all that technology and testing into use on our SL33 catamaran and, ultimately, we built our AC72 catamaran with fully foiling in mind. We knew we could do it, and we knew we had to push hard and push big because absolutely we could see that foiling was the future.”

AC-72 catamaran.jpg

© Emirates Team New Zealand

Ultimately the innovative foiling golden bullet from New Zealand didn’t win the 35th America’s Cup for Emirates Team New Zealand, but it did change the face of top-level yacht racing forever. And it did install the belief in the team that being different and pushing the boundaries, throwing the ball as far as we could in innovation was the secret to success which eventually came in Bermuda in 2017.

“I think back fondly of those times in 2012 and how foiling was really born on a lake in the middle of the Waikato in little old New Zealand.”

Now, two years out from AC36 in 2021, as quiet as it seems from all America’s Cup teams, you can be rest assured there are plenty of innovative ideas being tested within design offices around the world, that could be the next quantum leap forward in technology on or off the water.

Time will tell.

For further information on DC motors for use in ground breaking technology, underwater and extreme environments please contact maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

maxon Group is an Official Supplier to Emirates Team New Zealand. We follow the progress of their journey as Defender in the 36th America’s Cup campaign, March 2021.

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