Automatically extending and retracting Sun Awnings
slideSHADE sun awning systems are automatically extending and retracting awnings. We separate them into 2 groups:
Both types of awning are controlled fully-automatically by PLC systems and also stretch out the awning fully automatically, without requiring the crew's assistance. Both systems were created based on the aspect of maximum automation so that the awnings in the owner's area can be operated without needing the crew.
We typically integrate an activation function in the ship's command centre/bridge to ensure that the awnings are only used at suitable times – or we equip them with suitable safety sensors to ensure that they automatically retract when the wind and weather get "unpleasant".
The extending system-supporting structures of the slideSHADE S are built into the hull and cannot be seen when the system is closed. In this example, we have two one-piece square-section aluminium supports, the entire length of which retracts into the ship when the awning is stowed.
Depending on the length and the space available, telescopic systems may be used here, which reduce the installation depth.
Depending on the design, the system is covered in its stowed state, for instance using a composite or metal "cap", which integrates water drainage to keep the inside of the awning system dry.
When the awning is completely retracted, the system is virtually invisible. The cap closes flush with the structure and remains concealed until the system is next used.
With the slideSHADE T shown here, the cap extends along with the awning structure. Alternatively, it is possible to extend/turn the cap upwards so that the extended awning almost completely conceals the cap from anyone looking at the awning.
Unlike the slideSHADE T, the basic principle of the slideSHADE S is not an extending structure, but a drive system which is housed entirely within the ship's superstructure and remains there permanently. The awning typically runs inside a groove and covers the area to be shaded COMPLETELY.
The slideSHADE S design is therefore always a potential option for covering a concave area of the ship's superstructure. In this case, "outhauls" are linearly integrated into the right and left of the awning, which extend the awning and automatically stretch it.
Both type S and type T slideSHADE systems are controlled by a specifically programmed PLC unit. The individual drive elements are driven by servo motors – on which zero-maintenance gear mechanisms installed – that are automatically positioned using sensors.
The integrated sensors measure the current position of a master and copy it to several slaves, which therefore always move exactly in parallel with the master. In addition, the motors use sensors to permanently measure the forces acting on them, which we use for the load-dependent control of the awning tensioning. This "incidentally" also takes wind and weather aspects into consideration.
The user controls the system using two buttons – IN and OUT – which are placed on a wired main control console. These buttons can also be incorporated into radio or WiFi remote control units if desired.
We furthermore offer remote maintenance for the system, which – when approved by the customer – enables us to remotely control the system from our head office over the Internet. This makes servicing the system extremely easy and cost-effective, regardless of where the yacht is located.
Depending on the system design, the awning can be stored using various methods. The most widely used design is a mechanism to roll up the awning, which rolls up the entire awning on a composite roller of a suitable size with no creasing. Operation of this roller is integrated into the PLC control system which ensures that the awning is always correctly stretched and remains optimally tensioned.
Depending on the available space – and provided it is the technically preferred option – the awning can also be stored using folding or reefing mechanisms. Our design department is highly flexible and the possibilities are almost endless. For us, this flexibility is imperative considering our customers' highly specific requirements – and is certainly one of our strengths.
The awning is maintained at the optimum tension at all times thanks to the PLC which controls the system’s tension. The controller offers individual pre-tensioned settings for various system states:
PLC controllers are regarded as extremely reliable. They are also used in aeroplane construction as well as for precision manufacturing systems of all kinds. Failures are therefore extremely unlikely in this regard.
Despite this, we equip slideSHADE systems with manual emergency drives which enable the awning to be retracted by hand in the event of a failure on-board, for instance a power outage.
We design slideSHADE systems as a systems solution, which are individually designed, manufactured, supplied and installed on board. We assume systems responsibility and provide a worldwide service for our systems.
Nowadays there is a wide range of technical textiles from all over the world, many of which are suitable for use as awnings. Depending on the application and customer requirements, we use different textiles for sunFLIP awnings and the customer can choose his awning’s style, colour, texture, porosity, weight, etc. Initially, we make a distinction between porous and non-porous materials. There are classic product lines, more modern looking ones, and pure high-tech fabrics as well.
One special feature with Reckmann awnings is that we have acquired a great deal of knowledge in the area of textile engineering over 15 years of product developments in the area of awnings.
Textile engineering is the design of three-dimensional pre-tensioned large surface structures using the latest computer technology. This science delves far deeper into the shape and stability behaviour of three-dimensional tensioned awnings, exceeding the knowledge of classic sail makers.
At Reckmann, each awning system is designed and constructed with the aid of such technology. As a result, we produce perfectly executed overall system solutions which offer particularly high capabilities in terms of optimal stability, durability and performance.
In contrast to how competitors often work, we don’t just use any old awning manufacturer when it comes to configuring our awning membranes. We have developed a long-standing partnership with specialists whose knowledge is a deciding factor in the awning configuration. The art is all in the detail. Just take a good look at our awnings. You’ll discover a lot:
The belt straps have been incorporated in such a way that from above, i. e. more or less the reverse side, an observer wouldn’t see them. The corner fittings are incorporated with handcrafted premium quality. The orientation of the corner fittings is always precisely matching. This is because, unusually, this direction is dependent not on the awning manufacturer’s whim, but is a result of our textile engineering process.
And, incidentally, you will discover masterfully handcrafted workmanship: smooth, perfectly straight seams, UV-resistant thread, elegantly introduced corner reinforcements, truly invisible and integrated tensioning elements, hand-polished sheet rings, pinRINGs – a Reckmann invention, clewBOARDs milled from solid blanks with edges rounded off neatly by machine (if made from metal) or prepregs that are also milled by machine (if made from carbon), protective pockets for clewBOARDS and much more.
Depending on the light transmittance of the selected material the area under an open membrane presents itself in a particularly pleasant light.
Precontraint textiles as a closed materials, however, are available in higher weights and thus extremely high tensile strength, dimensionally stable and waterproof.
Both groups have an excellent resistance to ultraviolet radiation and dirt particles in the air.
Precontraint® membranes exhibit comparable stretching in warp and weft and deliver a minimal creep factor over time. The balanced design of the material makes its final installation on board much easier; re-tensioning the membrane is only required in extreme circumstances.