Robert Allan has invested around US$700,000 in computers and software to extend its design modelling capabilities. President and chief executive Mike Fitzpatrick said investment in finite element modelling and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) had minimised the need for physical model testing.
“We have four guys working on CFD studies,” he said. “We can look at the seakeeping, motions and tug stability. We trust the CFD more than we trust model tests.” He added that CFD studies on the design hull ensure that tugs will perform as clients expect.
Robert Allan is using CD Adaptco’s CFD software. “It is good for finding solutions to problems in motion and stabilisation and it pushes the boundaries of what is possible,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.
“We can model Voith drives in CFD, which no one else has done except Voith itself. We also do finite element modelling to optimise vessel structures.” Robert Allan concentrates modelling of heavily-loaded equipment, such as seatings for winches, Z-drives and towing points.”