Development has always played a key role in the existence of FORU Solution. When a major oil spill stirred up the world in 1989, a mechanical skimmer prototype was created. However, it was never introduced into the market for a number of reasons. Twenty-one years later, in 2010, FORU’s founder decided to pick up where the former developer had left off. Taking into account the recommendations that had been made over the years, he developed a new prototype that would ultimately become FORU.
A product like FORU needs a thorough development process. From the very start, its main goal has been to achieve the highest possible capacity while cleaning up a least 70% of oil. Why?
First of all, coast guards prepare for possible oil disasters through so-called contingency plans, in which they describe the potential scope of a disaster as well as its chances of taking place. Based on such scenarios, they determine the required capacity of a mechanical skimmer. Generally speaking, the following is true: the higher the skimmer’s capacity, the better. Furthermore, the minimum of 70% is essential, because an oil spill is a tremendous problem in terms of logistics. A high percentage ensures that the oil can be removed in a quick and efficient manner.
Development of FORU: important stages
When the FORU prototype was ready, it needed to be tested. This was done in a US test facility in late 2014. The experience yielded some important insights and pointed out that the prototype needed more work to comply with certain standards. For example, the product cleaned up a mere 25% of oil. This percentage was doubled during the second test in the summer of 2015. Again, real oil was thrown on water to test the adapted prototype in a test facility in Norway. The results led to further adjustments that made the third test successful: the percentage had risen to 85 – 100%.
Although FORU is a fully-fledged standalone skimmer that currently meets the standard requirements, a next step is already being prepared: ensuring a 100% oil cleanup with a very high capacity. FORU’s development is by no means over; it is a dynamic process with continuous improvement at its core.