PHENIX CITY, Ala. – In a market as diverse as the United States marine market, Vectorply Corporation understands that each boat builder has unique goals they strive to achieve with individual projects or models. With a list of must-meet goals in hand, Scout Boats, Inc. turned to Vectorply to assist with laminate design and technical recommendations as they tackled their first epoxy-infused boat hull.
Although epoxy infusion was new to Scout, Vectorply’s Southeastern Region Sales Manager, Jordan Haar, complimented the market innovator for their willingness to try new production methods for their customers.
“Scout’s willingness to be open-minded and venture into new realms of production to achieve the cosmetics and see the added bonuses of epoxy was a worthwhile investment that their customers will value,” Haar said. “This further reinforces Scout’s commitment not only to the industry, but also to their customers by producing a top-quality product,” he added.
Vectorply’s ‘Road to Optimization’ (R2O) is a process of evaluating a company’s laminate and production process from start to finish, from the time the material is delivered until the customer’s product is complete. To achieve the goals that Scout had for the new 42’ boat, Vectorply’s R20 was put to the test.
A team consisting of Vectorply, Composites One, Magnum Venus Products (MVP), and 3A Composites was on-hand to hear the objectives that Scout Boats wanted to achieve with the 420 LXF. This team was specially chosen after much consideration, according to Scout Boats Director of Manufacturing William Ferguson.
“We made sure that we did our due diligence to choose the right team,” Ferguson said. “We chose their team because they were focused on our needs and the attention to detail was second to none.”
Weight reduction and high cosmetic appeal were two of Scout’s biggest goals for the new model. The cosmetic appeal of the new boat would need to at least equal that of a traditional open molded hull, but the ambition was to be even more aesthetically pleasing. A boat as large as the 420 LXF would also need to be light enough to maintain top-of-the-line performance on the water.
With these goals in mind, Vectorply’s proprietary laminate building software program, VectorLam, was employed to create the optimal laminate. VectorLam helped members of the design team reach a lower weight by reducing or eliminating costly or heavy products such as resin and putty. By working with VectorLam’s laminate design program the team was able to utilize higher quality laminates, which reduced the potential voids and created a better mechanical bond, resulting in peace of mind for the boat’s new owner.
The result of the hull infusion confirmed that Vectorply’s R2O solution achieved drastic savings in labor time and weight. The building of the hull saw reduced labor of 20 percent and the finishing time dropped 50-60 percent from the open molded hulls, according to Ferguson. The already lightweight hull, which was previously core-bonded, also achieved a 15 percent weight savings. As for the cosmetics, the Vectorply solution performed even better than expected to create one of the sleekest boats on the market.
An added benefit of the Vectorply solution was a cleaner production facility that meant less waste and better working conditions for employees. Employees also saw a skill that they can learn to help improve value and productivity, according to Haar.
“I have seen a spark of new interest in many of Scout’s employees that want to be involved on the closed mold team,” Haar said. “I am excited to see employees more engaged and learning new skill sets that produce a better product.” These observations were echoed by Ferguson, who said he was very pleased with the somewhat unexpected cleaner and more engaging working environment.
Scout has big plans for the future utilizing closed molding infusion. In the LXF series the 380 and 350 models are the next hulls planned to be epoxy-infused. Ferguson also said that the stringers and consoles are on the schedule to be produced through closed molding.
Vectorply’s ‘Road to Optimization’ has been a driving force for innovation across all markets. As the new Scout 420 LXF proved, the ‘Road to Optimization’ can turn ideas into real-world processes and results. With such a powerful program in place that is free to any customer, Vectorply is also proving their commitment to helping businesses create the best, most innovative products on the market.
To find out how Vectorply’s ‘Road to Optimization’ and other tools can help your business, call our customer service department today at 334-291-7704.