We have a new in-house CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) department. This department will use 3D CAD (Computer Assisted Design) and CAM (Computer Assisted Machining) software to send part geometry data directly from the LMB design office to our new CNC router a Haas GR-712 aka “Gretchen Haas”. Gretchen can cut a myriad of parts from hull molds, to bulkheads, to custom designed stainless steel and aluminum fittings with a previously unattainable accuracy and speed thus improving productivity and quality of the product.
We have utilized outside sources of CNC technology for several years. We have hired CNC shops to cut molds for our fiberglass parts, joinery panels for our interior woodwork, aluminum electrical panels, foam core kits, hull-half models, tank testing models, and many, many more parts and pieces that go into the development and production of our boats. Now all this work can come in-house. “The benefits of having this new machine and capabilities benefit all LMB employees by making the yard more competitive in the marine marketplace and expands LMB’s business into other non-marine industries,” said Drew Lyman.
CNC technology works by sending Cartesian coordinates, generated by a computer to a milling machine or router which then cuts the corresponding shapes using any number of materials. The precision attainable with these machines can be measured in thousandths of inches, and parts can be cut in a fraction of the time that is required when using manual cutting tools thus eliminating costly waste of materials and time.
Having this capability is an additional arrow in our quiver to bring not only the best boat building projects but other projects to Lyman-Morse. We will continue to supplement our primary boatbuilding and service business by offering our CNC services to other small businesses in a variety of industries. Our router will be the biggest CNC router north of Topsham and is capable of cutting heavier material than other routers in the mid-coast area.
Over the course of the next year, we will insert CNC technology directly into every possible part of our manufacturing process. Our project managers are identifying all parts and pieces on our boats that would benefit from CNC machining. Although a great deal of our construction process involves the careful craftsmanship of our carpenters, much of their time and talent is wasted making cuts that do not require the “human touch”. We plan to funnel more work into our CNC department who will oversee Gretchen and the production of numerous parts that can be cut and stored for future projects.