An engineering career might take you many places. Places that you never thought you would ever find yourself when you started. This rang true for engineers in Tokyo, who found themselves working with the Jamaican Olympic bobsledding team. Ota Ward is the company involved with the team building a model that has been designed and manufactured for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. The company hopes to engineer a bobsled that would go up against the best and achieve glory for the notorious Jamaicans.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, Ota Ward's immediate rivals in the bobsledding design arena is BMW and Ferarri. The Jamaican team has been practicing with the model in Tokyo to see if it is an acceptable model for the upcoming tournament.
The President of the Jamaican Bobsleigh Federation said what he has seen so far is positive, with the team achieving good times despite not working with the bobsled before. He applauded the engineers and said that the team will be using it in the competition.
Explaining how the bobsled is crafted, Nikkei Asian Review wrote:
They are made up of about 200 components, with the main parts consisting of a protective hull -- called a cowling -- in the front; runners, which glide over the ice ; brakes ; and handles. So for a group of skilled engineers whose bread and butter involves solving complex technical problems, making a bobsled was easy. What was challenging for these shitamachi craftsmen was making one that me the demands of a sport where the difference between victory and defeat is measured in miliseconds.
Osamu Nishimura, deputy head of the bobsled project and president of precision equipment company Ace, said: "For small factory engineers like us, it's natural to respond swiftly to clients' needs. The work spirit we have established over time served us well for this project."
The companies that assisted the project, each had their own part of the bobsled to perfect:
Kamijima Heat Treatment: responsible for process the axles
Shinsei-SP: bending technonology for creating complex shapes
Muso: produces test materials, provided its cutting technology to shape the runners to within a thousandth of a millimeter of the specifications.