A new robot facility has recently been completed at the factory, now the factory has the power of not one, but two CNC robots, some of the best high-tech equipment in the manufacturing industry today. With a second robot installed, the robots can now pump out a larger number of parts in less time. The result: There’s much more time for finicky hand-crafted tasks to be attended to by the employees in the factory. The two robots can simultaneously work on larger pieces together or work individually on separate smaller projects. Grand Banks commissioned our first robot at the factory in 2017, and very quickly realised the incredible potential afforded to the company in terms of rapid-prototyping, and repeatable high-precision machining. The original robot milling department area of the factory has now moved to a new larger location to both allow the two robots to access larger and/or multiple parts simultaneously, and to improve the factory flow of the production line.

Malcolm Kellett, GB Robotic Milling Operations, says he is currently working on parts for the upcoming GB85. Completed so far is the deck and transom sections, the current project is machining the GB85 flybridge, sky-lounge hardtop and numerous small parts. He lets us in below on the hurdles which the team has had to overcome to utilise the two robots to their full capability,

The challenges have mainly been the handling and logistics of the increased size parts which we are now able to machine with the increased working envelope of the two robots combined. With larger parts came processes that needed to be streamlined to keep both robots busy for the maximum amount of hours each day.

The robots are currently averaging around 30 hours or more combined per day in a single shift. When asking about the future of Grand Banks and the intergration of innovative equipment and processes within the factory, Malcolm says:

Opportunities now and in the future will be to integrate more multitasking robots into Grand Banks Yachts processes to enhance productivity and quality.

The new robot cell is configured with one large centre table between the robots with a working space of 10 meters long, 4 meters wide and a maximum height of 2 meters (80 cubic meters). On the outside of each robot there is the capacity to machine smaller to medium sized parts up to 30 cubic meters, with a working space of 10 x 1.5 x 2 meters. There is also a rotary table for when smaller parts need to be machined which need a full 360 degree cut mechanism.

Malcolm tells us of the benefits now having the finished new robot facility up and running in the factory,

With the new robot cell configuration as it is we can work on many jobs at once allowing for better time management of the robots to maximise the daily operational hours per day, which in turn increases output of jobs from the robot CNC department. Better process flow and increasing teamwork has all made this possible.

We’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our design and engineering teams as they continue to explore all the advantages of having our own in-house robotic milling department, stay tuned for more from the factory.

Want to see the robot at work? Click below to read more about robot milling and see video of it in action.

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