Accelerating Innovation and Sharing Information
It is up to our design office to bring to fruition all new boat projects. Since 1991, CAD and 3D modeling enabled BENETEAU to significantly reduce the building phases of prototypes.
The latest exploits of the Yard have given birth to 5 new yachts in the span of 12 months and this would not have been possible without the help of Catia and Smarteam expert software, developed for BENETEAU by Dassault Systemes. The level of investment is equal to the challenge. The design office now has an overall digital model solution, which significantly accelerates the design phase. The modeling of complex surfaces, optimization of composite parts, space management and the definition of equipment and fittings aboard are all treated simultaneously.
Moreover, from the conception phase, all in-house departments but also exterior designers and suppliers share and view the same information.
From model to mold
The great progress made in 3D modeling now makes it possible to produce a boat model that can be used directly in the making of the mold. Since 2003, the prototype workshop is equipped with a 5 axis digitally controlled robot and can handle all the parts used to make the mold at the same time. It is extremely precise and contributes to gaining precious time.
The driving force behind the development of each new boat, the design office keenly undertakes to always look for more advanced compromises between speed, comfort and habitability.
The trend is toward lighter boats and better weight distribution. The progress made in electronic equipment and the automation of many functions calls, furthermore, for the exploration of new avenues with regard to energy management aboard.
It is during the composite transformation phase that the technological advance of a yard can be measured. BENETEAU has developed unequaled know-how in this domain, enabling it to attain perfect control of the manufacturing of large laminated parts. It is now the only company in the world to control both open and close mold processes.
Wiser for their well-proven know-how on thousands of decks and hulls made by injection or resin infusion, BENETEAU developed a hybrid technology, in 2004, called “Infujection”. Perfectly consistent with the environmental protection approach of the Yard, the technique of the closed mold improves working conditions and reduces the VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions into the air.
Marine cabinet work
For more than 120 years, the succeeding BENETEAU cabinet work generations rivaled each other in know-how. Their single passion has always been to perpetuate the tradition, to offer stylishly elegant boats; always with a quality of finish beyond reproach.
Associating industrial performance with traditional talent, the Yard's cabinet work now mobilizes highly varied skills and processes, working towards continuously improving boat fittings. There are 300 cabinet workers in the workshop, based in Vendée, and this supplies all production sites, including the United States. The work of this team of men and women is very demanding as much in the choice of woods as in their transformation and treatment. They all use their talents to adapt the production to design trends and remain loyal to the BENETEAU tradition of lavish cabinet work in molded wood.
Tour of the workshop
The timber is chosen with care and this is where experience is invaluable.
The transformation of panels of marine plywood, for the making of bulkheads and fitments, is more mechanized. For this, digitally controlled machines are used, chosen for the precision and reliability. Adjustments and finishing touches are however made by hand.
Finally, the varnishing of components is carried out in a varnishing line (plywood) or with a spray gun (solid and molded wood). Rigor, precision and experience are required to offer a perfect finish, silky to the touch.