rEvo III Standard and rEvo III Mini
The first step in the production process is to cut and fold the steel or titanium chassis (the case). If we take the stainless steel unit as a standard then the raw material is laser cut. It’s not just a matter of placing stainless steel on a machine as there are two different types of stainless steel used in the manufacture. A hardened stainless steel is used for the feet and for the other parts that are subject to stress. The chassis are made from 316 Stainless steel in production runs of 10 to 20 at a time.
When the cutting has taken place with lasers there are no burs on the steel , just to give the edges a more smooth feel however, the large pieces are all hand finished and polished and the smaller ones are tumbled in a machine with a substance that smoothes and polishes the components.
The chassis are then folded with a CNC folding machine and this guarantees the accuracy. Each case is precision folded to ensure a perfect fit on assembly. Before the polished pieces can be folded they are protected to ensure that there are no marks from the folding process.
The other metal parts required are all machined and all the plastic parts are machined from solid Delrin.
The counterlungs are computer laser cut from bio compatible polyurethane, and then manually high frequency welded in a 3D box shape which utilises all of the free space within the chassis.
The rEvodreams and HUDs are milled from solid Delrin and the circuit boards and displays are all assembled in house. All of the wiring is undertaken in house. The Molex connectors are assembled and soldered according to rEvo specifications. First the bare cables are coated with liquid solder (tinned), then they are crimped using an Exact tool, finally they are soldered to make a permanent connection between cable and Molex pin. All of the entry and exit points of cables are potted to ensure no water ingress.
At first glance the first stages appear to be Apex DS4s however on closer inspection the reveal that they are in fact specifically manufactured by Apex for rEvo (DS4-rEvo) with two high pressure ports and different orientation of the ports to ensure smooth hose routing.
Shearwater computers are bought in from Shearwater Research but the solenoid controllers and battery compartments are all manufactured in house and machined from Delrin to the same exacting tolerance. All of the components are pressure tested.
The manual addition buttons all have double springs on them which helps to prevent them from sticking.
Oxygen cells are not made in house but bought in from specialist manufacturers. These cells however, are not just taken and fitted into the units. Each cell is taken out of the sealed bag which is carefully opened and is subjected to 5 dives where the performance of each cell is measured and only when it has passed all of the tests does it get placed back into the original bag and is then hermetically sealed ready for installation. The cells that are rejected are returned to the manufacturer.
On assembly the counterlungs are connected to the scrubbers and then placed in a protective liner before being fixed inside the chassis. The gas system and electronics are then fitted. All throughout the production process there are checks to ensure the quality and the whole breathing loop is put under negative pressure. This test is done by closing all of the ports then vacuuming out the gas with a small machine to minus 120mb. Pressure is then increased to minus 40mb where a split time stop watch comparison is carried out on a digital device.