Grainger & Worrall (G&W) used advanced casting technology to help NZ firm HamiltonJet Global develop the next generation of marine waterjet propulsion systems.
The new HTX30 waterjet is the result of intense hydrodynamic research, design, and product testing to deliver class-leading waterjet thrust and efficiency for use in patrol and commercial workboats with engines of up to 570kW power.
To reduce time-to-market, meet customer delivery commitments, and shorten overall product introduction timelines, HamiltonJet partnered with G&W on the production of the first set of (six) production waterjets that were used to launch the new product at the two largest maritime industry trade shows (Seawork and Workboat), and were also installed in the first vessels to use the new product.
The partnership, which spanned from HamiltonJet’s design office in Christchurch, New Zealand, to G&W’s manufacturing facility in Bridgnorth, UK, saw the development of 24 large structural aluminium sand castings comprising an integral part of the propulsion unit. Working closely with HamiltonJet, G&W used cutting edge Magma simulation technology to ascertain casting feasibility and risk. G&W produced mould packs by additive manufacture using its S-max cold cure sand printing system. The result is the development of large structural components cast in marine-grade high silicon alloy in just an eight-week period, since order enquiry.
In addition to challenges associated with producing unusually large structural castings, G&W also had to ensure its specification and production process matched that of HamiltonJet’s in New Zealand (NZ). This meant matching, as closely as possible, all outputs from the standard production process, including mechanical, thermal and dimensional performance to ensure that the rapid-prototyped product met customer requirements and was fully compatible with future components manufactured in NZ. Key to achieving this was close collaboration at the design for manufacture stage to guarantee right-first-time prototypes.
Richard Reynolds, New Product Introduction Manager at HamiltonJet said, “Our CEO had worked with G&W in a previous role at another company, and with his recommendation we contacted them. G&W’s project and process control met and exceeded our expectations, allowing us to work an extremely compressed schedule and meet all our deliverables. Central to this was great project management and ongoing clear communication between both teams separated by 12 time zones and 12,000 miles. Both teams put in the extra effort holding multiple late night / early morning phone conferences to ensure project success.”
Edward Grainger, director of Grainger & Worrall, commented: “With over 250 new product introductions coming through our business each year, we are familiar with delivering the art of the possible in the shortest lead times. This project was no exception, there were obvious challenges around scale; moulds exceeded 2 tonnes of printing, and casting required an inventive solution to avoid defects with this slow freezing hypereutectic alloy. Nonetheless, we prospered to deliver fully machined parts in time for hugely positive show launches and sea trials.
“It is a real privilege to work with a market leading innovative business. It is especially rewarding to know we have contributed to bringing another product line and hopefully becoming part of the continued successful legacy that is HamiltonJet.”