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 developed into a sellable product. Twenty-one years later, in 2010, Foru-Solution’s founder decided to pick up where the former developer had left off. In late 2014 the first FORU prototype was tested at the Ohmsett test facility, which is managed by BSEE.
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?
Coast guards and oil spill response companies prepare for possible oil disasters through contingency plans. In these plans they describe the potential size of a disaster and the chance of it taking place. The minimum recovery efficiency is marked down at 70% because one of the challenges of an oil spill are the logistics of the recovered fluid. If the fluid contains a lot of water, the actual oil transported is less and could result in a transport problem. A high percentage therefor 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.
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