Interview with Marco Finotti of Azimut Yachts
Cutting composite materials in the luxury boat industry: bespoke solutions to support the excellence of made-in-Italy
Thanks to the meeting between Azimut Yachts‘ and FKgroup, a dialogue has developed that has since led the shipyard to choose Tecno Freccia, the automatic fabric cutting solution specifically for composite materials, to work on carbon and fibreglass.
Customised solutions and specific blades help Azimut Yachts keep pace with an increase in production, keeping a partner capable of quickly dealing with unforeseen events and needs at its side.
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This is the case with Azimut Yachts, a historic company founded in 1969 in Avigliana, Turin, as a boat rental business and today a leader in the production of luxury yachts in Italy and around the world.
This market leadership position has also been maintained thanks to numerous commercial successes and an investment policy that aims to expand the company’s technological and production capacity. This is also thanks to the factories and research and development centres in Livorno, Viareggio and Varazze, as well as in Brazil.
When it went looking for a partner capable of listening and producing highly-customised machinery for cutting composite materials such as fibreglass and carbon, it turned to FKgroup.
Could you comment on which materials the FKgroup composite cutting machine is specifically used, and with what results?
The difference was undoubtedly made by the excellent dialogue between the two companies, one which began during the purchase and production of a cutting machine for composite materials and continues to this day.
Technically speaking, FKgroup had a writing system used on the templates which was necessary to speed up and facilitate the recognition of parts during assembly as well as improve the vacuum system during cutting. One of the most important elements, however, is the blades.
The composite cutting machine we purchased was equipped with blades developed and tested specifically for cutting composite materials. These blades gave us up to 20% faster and longer-lasting performance compared to the ones used previously. The combination of all these features has allowed us to increase our production and keep up with a significant increase in demand.
How has FKgroup been able to improve Azimut Yachts' production capacity?
We use the FKgroup composite cutting machine to cut both fibreglass and carbon fibre fabrics. In particular, we are now able to cut up to 4 layers of fibre on top of each other, even those with heavier weights.
The dry fabrics used by Azimut Yachts are of the 45° multi-axial and 90° bidirectional type and range from 400g to 1800g/m2 for fibreglass, and from 400g to 800g/m2 for carbon fibre. With two shifts six days a week, our investment in this machinery has allowed us to reduce the time spent on placement compared to manual cutting, as the manual processes of cutting and positioning the templates is no longer necessary.
In addition, this means less impact on our workshop, but also guarantees the repeatability and time frames of the process.
Finally, how would you define the after-sales relationship between Azimut Yachts and FKgroup?
In a word, excellent.
Just as in the development and manufacturing phase of the machine for cutting composite materials, FKgroup has proven to be more than just a supplier in the after-sales phase, but a true partner. Their willingness to meet all of our company’s needs, to resolve any problems in the shortest possible time (including those caused by incorrect use of the machinery) and to develop bespoke solutions for our specific needs are a constant reminder that we have made the right choice.