Sail Drive | Industrial Friction Materials LTD

An example of an innovation carried out by Industrial friction was to re-engineer the transmission for an inboard Sail Drive fitted to many ocean going yachts which was made by a well known engine manufacturer but was lasting only a few hundred hours in use.

Our client, a prominent international lawyer was convinced this was not fit for purpose and though the parts failed under warranty, the replacements also soon failed. The cost and inconvenience of them regularly failing drove him to successfully sue the manufacturer.

In addition, to engaging us for consultation for his court case, he commissioned us to re-engineer the transmission for his own yacht using our expertise and knowledge to make improvements.

Our solution involved subtle design changes, substituting better materials and improving the quality of friction material used and some aspects of the surface finish of the parts, in all we made improvements in 3 parts of the assembly.

Our client was so pleased with the results he started spreading the word around the yachting community.

To date, we have had no notification of any failures of our replacement parts in service, we regularly receive glowing praise from yacht owners who have gone over 3000 hours on our parts and are spreading the word around the yachting community worldwide. So far we have had unsolicited orders from yacht owners from Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Germany, Argentina and the Seychelles among many others. The benefit of a potentially tenfold increase in service life, limiting potentially dangerous failure in use, costly removal of the Sail Drive (often with boat out of water) has driven them to contact us directly purely from word of mouth.

We take pride in understanding friction and where improvements can be made and this is a good recent example of our application of knowledge.

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