|SURVITECZODIAC PRODUCTS APPROVED BY RUSSIAN RIVER SHIPPING REGISTER
|The inland waterways of Russia can now benefit form a new standard of safety equipment,
following the approval granted to Survitec Group’s SurvitecZodiac brand, by the Russian River Register.
The approval was granted after inspectors from the Register completed a detailed study of the liferafts,
escape slides and rescue boats manufactured by Survitec Group under the SurvitecZodiac brand. This included
verifying their reliability, manufacturing processes and quality control methods employed at the company’s
facility in Chevanceaux, France. The approval will now open the Russian River and inland waterway markets for
these products, where it is expected that they will be welcomed by the 18,000 vessels on the Register.
Factory Gluing Floor
|By visiting the Chevanceaux factory, the Russian River Register’s inspectors were able to examine one of the most technically
sophisticated manufacturing sites within the Survitec Group portfolio. Located among the vineyards of the Bordeaux
region of France, the centre is acclaimed for using some of most advanced manufacturing techniques in the marine
life saving appliance industry. All processes are governed by the need to ensure quality, and the company has developed
a number of engineering techniques that support this objective.
|The most immediate of these arises from the hot summers and high humidity of central western France, which could have
a profound effect on productivity. Climate controlled workshops consequently ensure the gluing of liferaft and escape
slide fabrics can be performed with consistent dependability, regardless of the exterior temperature. This creates a
production output that is predictable and benefits the customer by ensuring that delivery dates are honoured and unaffected
by manufacturing difficulties.Cylinder testing
|Although summer temperatures in the Bordeaux region can be very hot, they are unlikely to reach the extremes needed to
determine the operational performance of a liferaft and container. The Survitec facility is consequently equipped with
an oven, which can maintain a temperature of more than 65 deg C for many hours, in order to verify and demonstrate that
its products can be relied upon to function perfectly in tropical climates. The Russian inspectors were, however, probably
more interested in the testing conducted, to ensure that SurvitecZodiac products can perform reliably at the opposite climatic
extreme. This is achieved by a giant freezer that can chill liferafts and escape slides down to minus 30 deg C, to ensure that
customers using them in polar-regions, are reassured they will function flawlessly despite temperatures that could paralyse
|The innovation built into new SurvitecZodiac products, is also reflected in the innovation applied to the manufacturing process
itself. The factory is home to exclusive fabric welding machines designed and fabricated to meet the specific requirements of
the SurvitecZodiac engineering process. The facility also boasts a unique, hydraulically lowered floor, which gives personnel
access to the life-saving appliance being assembled and packed, without recourse to the arduous and potentially injurious bending
that would otherwise be required. This boosts output and enables repetitive tasks to be conducted quicker, while reducing the
likelihood of defects caused by operative discomfort or fatigue.
|As the facility is also a service centre for SurvitecZodiac products, the refilling and leak testing of gas cylinders was one
of the first operations to benefit from the ethos of innovation at Chevanceaux. The facility is believed to have been the first
in the world to place refilled gas cylinders inside a vacuum chamber, where a mass spectrometer is used to quickly and reliably,
verify whether any of the nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas mixture is escaping. With a skilled workforce, room for expansion and
easy access to France’s transport infrastructure, the facility is today regarded as a jewel in the Survitec Group’s crown.
Approval of the company and its products by the Russian River Register is now being seen as a welcome endorsement of these characteristics
that will open an important new market for the company’s products.