|RANGER RETOOLS FOR BETTER WORK CONDITIONS, IMPROVED PRODUCT
Custom JetTool® water jet improves fit, finish of industry-leading
FLIPPIN, Ark. (January 15, 2009) ? In its first 41 years, innovation
and technological advancements have been a staple of Ranger Boats?
legendary reputation. In an increasingly competitive industry,
Ranger has set the bar once again, this time through an efficient
and resource-conscious manufacturing process made possible with
the addition of a custom JetTool® water jet.
Much in the same way that the RoadArmor® system revolutionized
the RangerTrail division of the boat company and pultruded fiberglass
changed the way transoms were built and components reinforced,
the new robotic water jet will fulfill one of the factory?s least-popular
jobs: cutting holes and lids into the fiberglass, interior deck
components of the more than 40 different Ranger models.
?In the past, these interior deck compartments were trimmed by
some of the hardest-working men and women in the factory ? each
dressed head-to-toe in protective gear ? working with a variety
of jigs and making the cuts with routers, saws and drills,? said
Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. ?It was a difficult job that
generated a lot of fiberglass dust. With the new robotic water
jet everyone benefits: fellow employees get a cleaner work environment
and the cost savings from improved efficiency help offset the
rising cost of raw materials and the initial equipmen t investment.?
The process begins once the boats are wheeled into the robotic
water jet?s booth. Following an introductory calibration process
where the machine uses lasers to measure the precise placement
of the cutouts, the robotic water jet forces water at 60,000 psi
through a near-microscopic nozzle opening, resulting in clean,
uniform cuts. The jet trims the interior deck on each Ranger model,
including all hatch and storage openings, precisely locating and
drilling for deck hardware. Confined within its 675 square-foot
booth housed inside the 364,000 square-foot production facility,
this advancement in boat building results in a cleaner work environment
for employees and an improved product for the consumer.
The difference in results between robotic water jet trimming and
conventional boat-building methods are vast. For the consumer,
the edges of compartments underneath the deck that house batteries,
breakers and pumps are smoother and offer a level of quality not
seen with conventional methods. When removing mounting plates
on the front deck to install electronics, the cutouts are uniform
and do not impede wiring. For the manufacturer, water jet cutting
means improved production times ? as well as a significant savings
in energy, maintenance and tool-making costs.
?There will be substantial annual savings each year in perishable
tooling,? said Lance Newton, Ranger Boats? Engineering Project
Manager. ?As our process becomes leaner, not only with the robotic
trimming system but with other processes as well, it results in
decreased manufacturing costs for Ranger, which can ultimately
result in a more stable cost to our dealers and customers from
year to year.?
About Ranger Boats
Ranger Boats, headquartered in Flippin, Ark., is the nation's
largest manufacturer of premium fiberglass fishing boats, including
a series of bass, multi-species, fish 'n play and saltwater boats.
Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its
commitment t o building the highest quality, strongest performing
boats on the water.
Genmar, with approximately 3,500 employees and five manufacturing
centers, is the builder of 14 premier brands of recreational boats
which include Carver®, Champion®, Four Winns®, Glastron®,
Hydra-Sports®, Larson®, Marquis®, Ranger®, Scarab®,
Seaswirl®, Stratos®, Triumph®, Windsor Craft®
and Wellcraft®. Genmar boats are sold worldwide through its
approximately 1,100 dealers. Additionally, Genmar utilizes its
proprietary VEC® Technology and the Roplene® process in
both the manufacture of certain of its recreational boats and
for third-party manufacturing