CLIENT: Air Liquide
THE EXISTING EXPERIENCE
Gas bundles are traditionally thought of as a steel box or cage, engineered to withstand the demanding conditions of offshore environments. Their design and manufacture reflects this perception, bearing little or no concern for everyday human interaction with the gas cylinders themselves.
HOW HAS IT CHANGED?
The QUAD+ reforms the way we perceive and interact with gas bundle equipment. It is clearly intentioned for everyday used by people. Its controls are intuitive and easily accessed, with integrated safety features and simple instructions. Its primary function of storing and distributing gas mixes is now communicated clearly through its form and choice of materials.
The gas bundle market is saturated with products that are all essentially the same. The QUAD+ gives Air Liquide a clear differentiator, fulfilling previously undefined industry needs, and confirming their position as innovation leaders.
Air Liquide received a manufacturing proposal, including materials, processes and assembly. These formed the basis for a test unit and initial safety testing. The QUAD+ is forklift friendly and compliant with DNV and IMDG standards.
A complete game changer for the offshore industries.
Gas bundles are used to store and distribute gas mixes in a variety of offshore industries and contexts. One of their principle functions is to protect high pressure gas cylinders against impact damage in extreme conditions. Until now, this purpose has been the overriding focus of their design and manufacture, and they are generally perceived as a robust steel cage, spec'd to a standard size. Their appearance and human interaction are a byproduct of this perception and purpose, rather than an intentional result of design.
The QUAD+ challenges these conventions and introduces the idea that gas bundles should - as with any other product - be designed to enhance the everyday interaction of those who are using them. And that their appearance should communicate their functionality, which in this case is both the protection of the cylinders and the distribution of gas mixes.
Working with a team from Air Liquide, the design of the QUAD+ began with a series of site visits; allowing Fearsome to chart the everyday life of existing gas bundles and analyse the behaviours, motivations and work-flows of the people using them.
These studies led to a defined set of marketable benefits and the practical design goals required to produce them. Included in these goals was the requirement for a clear set of visual cues and for all controls to be brought closer to eye level. This was borne out in the QUAD+ by creating a well defined interface, with easily accessed inputs and clearly labelled instructions, coupled with integrated safety features that minimise the potential for misuse.
This interface, and indeed the whole concept of the QUAD+, elevates the gas bundle from a steel box to a product intentioned for everyday use by people. And the safety of a robust structure is now twinned with the safety of interaction.
Working in collaboration with a local manufacturer, Fearsome explored materials and processes that would enable the QUAD+'s unique visual identity, whilst still being robust enough to withstand demanding offshore conditions.
This led to the development of a manufacturing proposal and the fabrication of an initial test unit. The unit was shown to be forklift compatible, and compliant with all necessary offshore standards, including DNV and IMDG.
Despite Air Liquide being a global giant, their gas bundles previously sat in a overcrowded market, full of like-for-like products, which made it difficult to achieve any differentiation through the product itself.
The QUAD+ has redefined how we perceive and interact with this type of equipment. In doing so it gives Air Liquide something unique to offer the offshore industries and confirms their position as a pioneer in market-led innovation.