WE HAVE DEVElOPED WAYS
TO USE MATERIALS
Recently, we caught up with Operations Manager Adri Wolf who supervises a team of 40 to 50 people who keep production humming. Wolf has been with Rondal for nine years and is part of the company’s strategic planning team. “The basics of the materials we use haven’t changed during the last decade, but we have developed ways to use them more efficiently. We are innovating how to use materials in the best way,” Wolf says. “For example, we have developed our efficiency with prepreg carbon fiber to the point carbon parts can be price competitive with fiberglass.”
Speaking of efficiency, he notes that partnering with universities provides Rondal with an ad-hoc intern work force to study and test new materials. Current interest areas are bio resins and bio fibers as the industry moves toward sustainability. In addition, Rondal has replaced its diesel-powered forklift with an electric model to create a cleaner work environment.
In 2020, management invested in a new JET system to upgrade its large curing oven. Similar to the fan in a convection oven, the JET system keeps superheated air in the curing oven moving across all part surfaces. A brand new autoclave is on order for curing large component parts such as hatches, doors, spreaders, cosmetic parts etc. And while it may not seem sexy, a state-of-the-art ultrasonic cleaning tank measuring a cubic meters makes sure there is no construction debris in tighttolerance winch parts as they are prepared for finishing. Not only is it thorough, but the ultrasonic cleaning tank is much faster than a human.
As yachts seem to be getting bigger all the time, so too, must Rondal’s ability to test the gear it develops. Having recently delivered captive winches capable of pulling loads of 24 tons, Rondal needed to keep pace by upgrading the testing area where gear is pushed beyond design limits to its breaking point. Wolf says a new and heavier test bench fitted with powerful hydraulic rams can exert 50 metric tons of force or up to 150 tons in a pinch, which is good news since Rondal has 32-ton captive winches on order