How does Robot Technology can have an impact on the Lifecycle of a Superyacht?

Fairing Robots - an alternative to traditional manual processes

Superyachts are often perceived to have a negative impact on sustainability due to their high carbon footprint and potential harm to marine ecosystems. However, there are efforts being made in the industry to reduce their environmental impact through more sustainable materials, technology, and practices.

At the same time Superyachts have the potential to change the world to a better since they are masterpieces of engineering and their owners have the financial possibility to drive change. 

Can the application of material during fairing can have an impact on the weight of a hull? 

When it comes to the fairing of a hull and the filler application, the traditional process is not entirely up to date in terms of efficiency and accuracy.

The same process of fairing the hull has been more or less unchanged for more than 90 years. Although tools have changed and material innovations have evolved, the process itself is more or less unchanged (
more on that here in particular).

Finally there is an alternative. With this alternative hull fairing method, many more opportunities have evolved. And they come along with some side effects that are more than welcome: 

To better understand this assumption, let us dive a little bit into the process. It starts with a 3D scan of the hull. This process can begin later than when you typically would start the fairing work on the hull. That is possible because the fairing robot can a lot faster and can reduce process time by up to 60% so far. Therefore, all deformations on the hull that arise up to that point can be taken into account. For example, caused by the installation of the engines or other heavy work inside or outside. This makes it a more accurate 3D scan than if you would carry out the 3D scan process the beginning.

Based on the 3D scan, a filler map is created to measure the amount of sprayable filler required. This brings the calculations about the material needed to the point. Oh, and just applying sprayable filler by the robot already results in higher efficiency.

Afterwards there is no need to apply a fine filler, as the result of the filler application is already perfect. Another advantage of this process is that it avoids the inclusion of bubbles, which is often the case when applying conventional filler and which leads to rework.

During the filler application the thickness can be controlled exactly. Milling and grinding with force sensors and laser trackers controlled by state of the art CIS compensation intelligence software leads to an even higher accuracy. They follow the exact coordinates from the 3D scan data. A deviation can be excluded, which leads to a reduction in material and weight. 

The perfect shape designed by the architects is respected and preserved while optimising the weight within this process. 

If you consider that for 1 mm of filler per squaremeter 1 kilogramm of material needs to be applied as a rule of thumb, higher efficiency of the application by precise robot operations can have an impact on the total amount of material. Less material can lead to less weight and less weight means less energy consumption. Every little helps, which supports the lifecycle of a superyacht in a new way.

Side-Effect Stability of a Superyacht

The higher accuracy of the above mentioned fairing process can lead to a positive impact on the stability of a yacht in the water.  
Since the application and robot fairing is carried out based on a precise 3D scan. That 3D scan considers latest deformations caused by other processes during outfitting like the installation of engines and heavy machinery. The accuracy of the fairing process is supported by laser trackers, force sensors and the Robosurf CIS compensation intelligence software. All in, highest precision leads to better results that can even support the stability of a yacht in the water. 

Side-Effect Documentation of a Superyacht Hull

The 3D scan and the filler map provide a great documentation of the hull. Via a heat map overview all details of the surface of a hull can be visualized so that the exact amount of material that needs to be applied can be calculated. Moreover, this documentation is a helpful resource for future refit processes since all areas of the hull have were made visible based on the highest accuracy. 

Conclusion for automated Fairing

The automation of the fairing process can have a positive impact on the lifecycle of a superyacht by reducing waste, minimizing the use of toxic materials, and improving efficiency. Automated and robot fairing can result in less material waste, as modern technology can optimize the amount of material used and minimize excess. Additionally, automated fairing can reduce the amount of toxic materials used in the process, such as solvents and other chemicals, as the fairing robot can apply coatings and finishes more precisely.

Automated fairing can also improve efficiency in the superyacht manufacturing process, reducing the time and energy required to complete the fairing process. This can result in a shorter overall production timeline, reducing the environmental impact of the building process.

The automation of the fairing process has the potential to improve the sustainability of superyacht production by reducing waste, minimizing toxic materials, and improving efficiency. However, it is important to ensure that the materials used in the automated fairing process are also sustainable and eco-friendly, to fully maximize the positive impact on the superyacht's lifecycle.

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