Bespoke Cylinder Design When OEM Product Falls Short

An OEM disappointment

A multinational company specialising in offshore and subsea renewable energy required a large series of cylinders for a new pile gripping tool. They ordered the entire hydraulic system from a global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), and then started the design of the pile gripper fabrication. However, when they received the hydraulic cylinder designs from the OEM, it emerged that the cylinders would not fit the envelope, due to their proposed bolted-type construction. When the client asked if the cylinder design could be altered to a more slimline version, the OEM declined. At that point, the company turned to Apex Hydraulics to ask whether they could do a redesign and manufacture at short notice.

Apex redesign

Apex accepted the commission and designed the series of cylinders to suit the fabrication envelope. Rather than using the International Standards Organisation (ISO) design, Apex were able to offer a bespoke solution that fit the customer’s requirements perfectly. One issue was that due to the setback of the unusable OEM design offering and a looming delivery date, an extremely quick turnaround was required. The client needed 21 cylinders, over a total of 6 different designs, built within eight weeks. Apex designed and manufactured them all within the required eight-week window.

A happy customer

The company were delighted with the bespoke designs and swift manufacture. As with all Apex projects, top quality materials were selected, with specialised seals and valves and offshore paint. For most of the cylinders, the rod material was a standard 431S29T (EN57T) steel with chrome plating. However, for the designs where the rod coatings were going to be exposed for long periods of time (in the advanced position), the rod material was changed to a duplex stainless with chrome plating.

The customer went on to request an additional 27 cylinders over two designs for a fender system to go around the pile gripper. They gave Apex all the parameters, including the space constraints and the loads, forces and speeds that were required. Apex hydraulics took all the information to make another series of customised designs. 21 of the cylinders had a double rod design. For this design, the smaller second rod was acting as a position indicating rod. This rod was required to trigger a proximity sensor, which works when something magnetic is passed underneath. As stainless steel is not magnetic, these indicating rods were manufactured from a high strength steel, with a nickel and chrome plating. All 21 cylinders were manufactured within the required ten-week turnaround.

Customised designs

Apex are familiar with taking flawed or inefficient hydraulic system designs and remodelling them to create custom-built cylinders that are fully optimised to the application. These can be completed to any specification, with any certification that is required. For more information or to discuss your requirement, contact Apex Hydraulics today on 01924 456788.

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Bespoke Cylinder Design When OEM Product Falls Short