Renishaw supports INEOS TEAM UK in America’s Cup bid


The challenge here is to build the fastest America’s Cup boat for the competition in 2021 in Auckland. Here in Britain, we’ve never won the Cup, despite the fact it started here with a trophy that was made by the Royal Yacht Squadron. So we are still trying to win it back. INEOS Team UK is the latest challenge to try and do that. Renishaw has given us access to a wide range of world class engineering solutions. In particular, additive manufacturing where we had no resource available to us and now we build a lot of material with them. We also use their encoder solutions to measure the boat’s performance. We’ve used their resource on HMI, human machine interface, to develop really ergonomic solutions for controlling the boat and we’ve also used materials science resources as well so its spectroscopy and other research. INEOS and America’s Cup and the extreme challenges that they are facing means that their measurement requirements are much higher. So we’ve got a much better fit with the type of encoders that we do with the requirements for the boat. This boat is going at 50 knots. You don’t need to move too much of a control surface before you have very significant effects happening. So it’s very important to have that level of accuracy. So AM works really well, it complements INEOS. Everything that they do is to design the best and the lightest yacht. So by using advanced materials, so the vast majority of the boat is made up of carbon fibre composite. It’s very high modulus, it’s very strong and it’s a very good material for boat design. Occasionally though there are instances where you need compressive loads to be transferred, you need bearing surfaces and carbon composite can’t compete against titanium in that respect. Titanium is one of the best materials in terms of strength to weight, but it’s quite a hard material to manufacture to forge or machine. So that’s where additive comes in really, we can build these components in titanium exactly in the shapes that are needed to transmit the loads. It’s that there’s a real joy to work to work with a team that have a real desire and passion to get things done, and it reflects on us as well, so we feel the same. In the next two years, the guys are designing the second test race boat and we will be more heavily involved in that. Our aim is to get as many additive components on there as is sensible. At the end of the day, it’s a race won and lost on the water, but actually it’s probably that four year development cycle, that makes the boat and makes the race. So you win the race, at the draftsman’s board really. I think the longer we worked with the team there, the more we realised the facilities and resources and the engineers that they had, and the other technologies, the new technologies, that we could have available to us, so we’ve been able to deepen and to widen the relationship in the areas in which we’ve worked together and that’s really been fantastic for this addition of the Cup. It’s amazing when I look back when I started sailing, 30 odd years ago and how the sport has developed and even 10 years ago to think a scale of a monohull, a 75 foot monohull. Lifting up foiling out of the water going close to 60 miles an hour boat speed. You wouldn’t really have dreamt that that was possible. So it’s hugely exciting to have been involved with the sport as it’s going through this transition into foiling boats. I’m really excited about the future of the America’s Cup. I love the technology behind the America’s Cup and that’s where Renishaw really plays a huge part in our team and we’re incredibly lucky to have that support frankly and it’s going to make a big difference to the success of the team.

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