Blogpost #1 2022 - PoliTO sailing TEAM
A new year started at PoliTo Sailing Team, we are growing in multiple ways , first of all in number; this year’s recruitment bore fruit, we added new members ready to give their all for the team, secondly we are more aware of our potential thanks to last year’s expertise. This year’s SuMoth project started in October with the aim of designing and producing a great Moth in a brief time, applying all the precious things the team has learned from last year’s project “Keth”.
The feedback the sailors of the team and the sailors of Foiling Week gave were priceless; their tips combined with the malfunctions and breakdowns we had, became the starting point of the concept. The design aspect took longer than last year because we wanted to have a more rigorous and detailed schedule of the overall plan.
First of all, the key figures of the project were appointed: a Product Manager (responsible for the design and production of the boat) and a Project Manager (responsible for the GANTT, the project’s purchases and overall management and organization) were chosen in order to slim down the work and optimize efficiency.
An important management decision was taken: re-organize the structure of the team switching from a vertical structure to a Lean Integrated System (flat organization) to be able to improve quality and communication thanks to the collaboration between different areas of the team. LIS is based on the principles of Concurrent Engineering and Lean Manufacturing.
People involved in the project were divided in 4 cross-functional teams which comprehend members of different areas: Architecture, Foil, Flight Control System and Hull.
- Foil squad is the one that designs and produces the foils for the Moth, paying particular attention to structural problems and performance.
- Flight Control System (FCS) squad is divided into two sub-groups: mechanic and electronic.
- The mechanic FCS is based on the bugs cam and is focusing on designing the perfect control-curve for a stable flight.
- The electronic FCS is a very innovative feature of our boat: the height from the waterline and the position of the boat in the space are detected thanks to an IMU system and ultrasonic sensors; a servo motor changes the flap angle to stabilize the fight.
- Hull squad takes care of the Moth’s “body”: design and production of hull, deck and wings focusing on the ergonomics and preventing any structural problems.
The compartmentalization of the information is prevented thanks to fluid communication.
The keyword of this project aims to be “Reliability”; in fact, thanks to last year’s experience, the team learned that disregarding some aspects can lead to serious problems when the boat is sailing in real conditions. Great attention to details is given to every aspect trying to prevent possible failures. A particular focus is given to the structural problems we had with Keth and on the optimization of the flight control system.
The idea behind the project is to make sure that the sailor can feel confident with the moth and focus on the regatta.
We hope that the performance of both the boat and sailor can allow us to defend last year’s title and acquire the S3 stage prize.
In order to achieve it, the sailors’ help is essential in every stage.
How is the production going?
In the short term, the mold’s CNC milling is set to start: it will be in PU tooling board and it will be milled piecemeal and then assembled. This type of process has been chosen to minimize the amount of material necessary, the scraps and the working time of the milling machine.
The design of the deck is nearly done, and we are finishing the wing design.
The athletes will start training again after the exam session; we already scheduled at least two trips to Lake Garda for a full immersion training camp. We are trying to get back more prepared for the competition with specialized training for Moth sailing.
Working during the lockdown
It’s been a tough time for everyone, these restrictions have completely turned our lives upside down but now it seems we are heading back to reality.
During the lockdown period we tried to keep ourselves focused on the project and on our boat, but doing this kind of work remotely is quite different from doing it in presence and with all the team members.
Not being able to speak directly with our colleagues is difficult, especially during the first phases of the project where brainstorming and developing new ideas are the main parts.
Some of us aren’t in Turin because the classes are still recorded and there is also the possibility to follow them online, that’s why some members chose to stay in their hometown.
Apart from the distance, we always have at least one meeting a week per Squad where we discuss the future developments and update each other on the current situation.
This year the university gave us a new place to work. It’s a coworking space where other university teams like ours can focus and meet; it’s been a beautiful upgrade even though it’s never easy to leave the place where all our previously developed boats came to life.