In manufacturing iAQUA products, we wanted to use the same processes, techniques and software that we have perfected for our automotive components. Duo (our Lead Designer) started sketching initial ideas for a sea scooter, after a few weeks of styling and packaging design in CAD, Stingray was conceptualised in a full-size physical 3D clay. The highly skilled process of carving a clay is usually the realm of automotive design studios, but we wanted to ensure the form and lines were perfect.
The clay surfaces were digitized using a 3D laser scanner with any imperfections solved in a-class surfacing software. Vital design considerations such as the hydrodynamics, buoyancy and ergonomics were manipulated in solid-3D modelling software before committing the parts into tooling.
Unlike smaller design firms we have large-scale tooling facilities available in-house, so were able to tune the design and parts in real time. In developing our own tools we could many solve the technical, performance and manufacturing challenges whilst ensuring the final bodywork and hull was as Duo originally conceived.
ENGINEERING & DEVELOPMENT
Having cut our teeth supplying some of the most demanding automotive companies in the world, we have adopted the same stringent manufacturing and testing practices at iAQUA. Each of the components within our products have been tested far beyond normal operating ranges. Cycling through extreme temperature and pressure cycles and subjected to simulated depths and salinity to ensure our components are always well within their comfort zones, whenever you are on the edge of yours.
By setting our standards high we have created ourselves a huge engineering challenge. Each component in an iAQUA product is pressure tested way beyond its real world parameters. This is done to ensure maximum safety and durability throughout every journey – the pressure at that depth is 73 psi, or the equivalent of parking a medium size car on a small lunch-box.
Each iAQUA product is built to order in our factory in Shenzhen – all the components are tested individually before going into the assembly and each product is tested physically and diagnostically before leaving the factory.
The twin battery packs are not just the heaviest components within iAQUA products, they are also the most critical for performance; power output, longevity and recharge time are all determined by the cell design. Rather than taking on a proprietary system, we developed our own; from the casing to the battery management software, it has been optimized for iAQUA and developed with the leading cell manufacturers in the world.
Within each of the aluminum canisters are 108 individual Lithium-Ion cells, providing each battery with a nominal voltage of 48V. Critical to the battery design is the management hardware and software which controls the discharge and recharge of the cells and ensures they operate within normal conditions, providing the motors with a consistent supply of power.
The anodized aluminum alloy canisters have been pressure tested way beyond their usage specification and subjected to extremes of temperature and salinity to ensure that they provide reliable power for the waterjets in any conditions. As an added safety measure we wrap and seal each battery in an IV bag.
However, as with any rechargeable device, the batteries have a finite number of discharge/recharge cycles before they begin to lose their charge – bad charging habits and extreme temperatures will further decrease the life. So we have made the battery units easily replaceable; using basic tools and a plug and play system the batteries can be changed within a few minutes at any of our licensed service centers.
Keeping things simple takes a lot of effort. Anyone who has attempted to fix a broken gadget will agree, they are rarely designed to be repaired and even the act of taking them apart can render them completely unusable. We have engineered our products so that components can easily be serviced or replaced at our licensed service centers within a matter of hours.
The iAQUA SeaDart is effectively built from three main moldings; hull, chassis, and bodywork with five internal plug-and-play components; batteries, electronic control module, control grips, display, and propulsion unit. Each of the components is pressure sealed and designed to be easily replaced by way of waterproof electrical connections and stainless steel fixings.
If a component becomes worn or breaks, rather than sending your iAQUA product back to the factory you can contact your local distributor, they will have spare parts in stock and can fix your device on-site. This means that your iAQUA product will never be out of the water for too long.