• Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

The bridge company swam with Alphacam when it was thrown into the deep end

ByLinda W. Smith

Jun 12, 2015

As the only UK manufacturer of full depth seam teak decks for boats and yachts, Moody terrace and services, produces several thousand square meters of mainly CNC programmed terraces per year, using Alphacam Software. The first time Alphacam was used in conjunction with its state-of-the-art digital scanner, it was all about the sink or swim.

Boats priced between £ 5,000 and £ 120million use teak decks from Hampshire-based Moody Decking because its unique construction process ensures that decks last much longer than decks made with traditional rebated seams.
Martin and Scott Moody are the fifth generation in their family to work in the boating industry. The current company has been manufacturing bridges for 10 years, supplying 12 high-end shipyards with unique pieces tailor-made for individual owners. Previous family businesses date back 200 years and included wartime dinghy and landing craft construction, yacht building, repair / maintenance, yacht brokerage, and operating marinas.

Martin Moody explains the difference between conventional decks and decks made using his company’s process: “To keep the boards evenly spaced, a traditionally constructed deck will have a joint 4mm wide, 3-4mm hardwood. mm for a 6 mm deck, leaving 3 mm of teak at the bottom used to control the seam width.

“Caulk is only added to the sides of a seam, not at the base, so it can expand and contract in the sun. As the decking wears out over the years, the rebates end up with only 1mm of caulk fastener, so when people step on them the seams are torn off.

“It doesn’t happen as quickly with Moody decks, as our special manufacturing procedure creates full-depth seals, adding substantial life to the deck, potentially doubling the life of the product. Moody Decking caulked joint has no discount; the caulk corresponds to the full depth of the joint in all cases, regardless of the thickness of the deck.

“Our teak thickness varies between 6mm and 18mm, depending on the size of the boat. As an example, our 6mm bridges have full 6mm caulk, while a conventional rebate bridge only has 3-4mm.

According to him, the combination of his company’s scanning system and Alphacam CAD / CAM software cuts the average production from around 12 weeks to less than a fortnight, including drying time: “It really was a game-changer for us, us. giving the opportunity to increase our workload as our turnaround time is now much faster and more efficient, while reducing the required floor space.

Moody’s scanner scans up to 100 meters with pinpoint accuracy. He then smooths the shape to tolerance with Rhino before exporting it to Alphacam to undertake the design and styling process incorporating butt patterns, snaps, etc., creating the bridge as per attributions of each client.

CAD and digitization technician Jarrod Hulett explains that switching from CAD to CAM in Alphacam is quick and easy. “An Alphacam program contains about 10 boards wide for a 12-foot boat, reaching over 150 for a 100-foot boat. Once we have located the boards and inserted them into the jigs, the process is extremely straightforward as we only cut the boards in 2D with machining styles.

Different customers and projects require different material thickness between 6mm and 18mm. This requires varying toolpaths and number of cutting passes in the program. As an Alphacam post-processor that controls Moody’s two Pratix SCM routers and their Rye machine include the material thicknesses, then it can simply click the NC output to send whatever CNC machine tools need to start cutting teak to the correct specifications.

Martin Moody explains that using the scanner in conjunction with Alphacam for the first time several years ago was a real sink or swim situation. “It was the biggest job we did at the time… the deck of a 100-foot yacht.

“We knew we couldn’t achieve the fast turnaround time required by the customer without using this system; we had been developing the required processes in our minds for a while and had the technical support contacts in place. It was a good time to continue. Everything was then set up and we just had to trust the system – which worked perfectly for us.

“It ties together the packages of scanning, drawing and designing, and means we’ve gone from hand tooling, then scanning small individual parts, to the whole operation being done in a process of transparent design and production, increasing service speed, precision and guaranteed repeatability.

The process was then further sped up with a number of Alphacam macros. Three of them involve extrapolating the plating from their tilted positions and fully preparing it for insertion into the jig, which he says turned a two-week job on a large boat into a week. only. A fourth macro is used to perform a multiple offset from the same line.

“Another big advantage is that we don’t need to keep thousands of models. When a customer wants a replacement table in 20 years, we have the required toolpaths on an Alphacam program and can go straight to cutting.

“Of course, accidents happen on boats. Planks can be damaged by falling objects or occasionally by collisions. If we receive a photo showing where the damaged planks are in the deck, we simply cut the new individual pieces, whether as planks or panels, for the owner or crew to install.

“Alphacam has revolutionized our production process and we continue to work with Alphacam engineers to improve and refine our processes in the future,” concludes Martin Moody.


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