The challenge would stump many product designers…how to reinvent the best helmet in cricket to provide increased protection and safety. Luckily Visitech stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park – with some help from SOLIDWORKS Simulation.
Alan Meeks is the product designer extraordinaire. Back when he formed his design company Visitech in 1989, he had no idea that just over two decades later he would be helping to create some of the most popular helmets in cricket. But that’s exactly what would happen when cricketing equipment manufacturer Masuri, designers of the world’s finest cricket helmets, came knocking in 2011.
The world’s best batsmen are fearless. But when an in-form bowler is racing towards you, readying themselves to launch a solid 160g lump of leather-encased cork towards you at up to 80mph, let’s just say it helps if you are confident in your safety equipment. Masuri knows that better than most and since 1988 have been restlessly innovating helmet design to give legendary batsmen extra confidence behind the crease. In short, Masuri push boundaries to help top players hit boundaries. Today Masuri remains the most widely used helmet brand in international cricket.
Masuri got to where it is by innovating. In 1988 it created the now commonplace stainless steel helmet grille. After switching manufacturing from Cape Town to the UK in 2011, the brains behind Masuri realized that cricket was becoming more dangerous, with increasing head and facial injuries to batsmen. Sporting authorities both in the UK and abroad were calling for increased safety standards for helmets and visors.
Having teamed up with Vistech, Masuri doubled down on its design efforts to create helmets that were safer, more reliable and of consistently high quality. The modern helmet had to be capable of absorbing the high impact of a cricket ball making contact at 80mph. It also had to feature a visor that prevented the ball hitting the batsman’s face, without obstructing their field of vision. The top of the range helmets that Masuri created, far exceeded minimum safety regulations and became the latest successes in Masuri’s pioneering history.
And when Visitech was asked to reinvent Masuri’s internationally renowned helmet, made to exacting standards, Alan Meeks’ product design skills really came into their own with the help of SOLIDWORKS. These helmets provide batsmen with an excellent field of vision and are made with the highest quality materials and finishes. The only problem? They are expensive to produce. Eager to expand into the club-level market, Masuri asked Visitech to create a helmet that was robust enough to surpass safety regulations yet economical to produce; affordable enough for club players and hobbyists yet capable of the high performance expected from Masuri products.
SOLIDWORKS devotees since 1998, Visitech leapt at the challenge and began finding ways to optimize the Masuri blueprint for cost vs. strength vs. visibility. Using SOLIDWORKS Simulation to test the strengths and weaknesses of the helmet, Visitech was able to get the best out of the helmet moldings using the minimum amount of metal and plastic. In other words, SOLIDWORKS made it possible to test exactly how paring back the materials would affect the strength of the helmet in the real world – without the need for costly prototyping for each iteration.
The result is the recently released Legacy series of helmets which are already becoming a huge success.
Click here to read more about how Visitech uses SOLIDWORKS to continually provide innovation and increased safety to cricket helmets.
Wondering how a partnership with SOLIDWORKS can strengthen your company’s products? Click here and an expert from The SolidExperts will be happy to help you.