Vedder meets the highest demands for luxury yachts.

Perfect finish in the key role

Ship interior construction is one of the supreme disciplines for joiners and joiners. Especially when it comes to equipping luxury yachts. A perfect finish on fine woods and materials is a must. With its high-quality sanding center, Vedder GmbH is well prepared for this and for the highest quality and design requirements.

The slogan “Finest Interior”, which Vedder GmbH uses in the subtitle, is truly no exaggeration: Fine woods, valuable precious metals, high-tech and lightweight materials, unusual surfaces, fine details for extravagant design and, last but not least, high craftsmanship characterize the image and the atmosphere in the production halls at the Lüdinghausen site.

Operations manager André Risse recalls the very fundamental character of the ship’s interior: “Basically, we work with our highly qualified staff as individually as a large carpentry shop. Of course at the very highest level. Everything is very complex, more diverse, more extravagant and very demanding. ”Vedder implements the exquisite furnishings of luxury yachts and private residences for multimillionaires all over the world. The company has highly developed know-how and is one of the few competent manufacturers who have mastered all facets of the interior design of luxury yachts. Founded in 1899 as a cabinet maker, it was Kilian Vedder who led the business in Lüdinghausen, Westphalia, into this position.

In 2008 he sold his company to DepaGroup, a globally operating interior decorator, and the company is now even more powerful: In 2013, Vedder took over significant parts of the competitor and the bankrupt Loher Raumexklusiv GmbH from Wallersdorf / Lower Bavaria.

In addition to the core segments of yachts, residences and exterior living spaces, the area of aircraft interiors for private jets is now part of the service portfolio. Today Vedder employs 350 people at both technically well-equipped locations. The production area covers around 22,000 m². Clients are specialized shipyards, with internationally renowned ship and interior designers playing a major role. The exclusive interior fittings often represent the lion’s share of the total budget of a luxury yacht, which can reach 100 million euros. Project durations of up to two years are not uncommon.

Highest standards

No two furnishings are the same, says André Risse: “Fulfilling the idiosyncratic wishes of yacht owners and designers is our guiding principle. We only work on unique items. ”

The demands are high: “As a rule, the pre-acceptance of the extremely critical clients takes place in-house. The design and quality of the surfaces is an all-important factor. Against this background, sanding and painting is a key technology. ”

The sanding tasks could hardly be more diverse: The range extends from calibrating solid wood to fine and intermediate lacquer sanding to structure brushing and rough sawn surfaces. Glossy, effects with metal powder fine veneer or artistic color compositions are commonplace. Mind you, on the most diverse and technically very demanding carrier materials such as high-tech aluminum honeycomb, mineral fire protection panels or plastic compounds of all kinds.

Hightech beats diversity

When it comes to sanding, Risse notes another tendency that the previously used automatic sanding machine was no longer able to meet: “The quality requirements for surface quality are becoming ever higher, the variety of materials and effects are becoming ever more extreme.”

It was also important to significantly reduce the amount of manual sanding required. The path to high-quality mechanical engineering was thus mapped out. The sanding machine specialist Heesemann from Bad Oeynhausen in East Westphalia was able to convince with high-tech and detailed specialist advice. The choice fell on an MFA Impression sanding machine.

André Risse looking back: “The Heesemann kit offered exactly the options that were decisive for us.” And he adds: “In the planning discussions with the Heesemann application engineers, the chemistry was right immediately.”

The automatic sanding machine at Vedder, the MFA Impression, is equipped with an aggregate sequence that is very individually configured for Vedder and looks like this:

  • Cross sanding unit
  • Longitudinal sanding unit with calibration function
  • Longitudinal sanding unit with pressure segment belt
  • Cross sanding unit
  • Structuring brush unit

With this combination of units, Vedder is able to cope with a wide variety of sanding tasks. The machine thus becomes a universal machining center for surface processing. Two cross sanding units with the tried and tested CSD magnetic pressure bar and pressure segment belt, in conjunction with the two longitudinal sanding units, ensure the finest surfaces on solid wood and veneer as well as the sensitive intermediate sanding in the cross sanding process.

The first longitudinal sanding unit in the combination version is not only used for calibration, but also generates irregular rough planing effects or wavy surfaces via a random generator.

The final, frequency-controlled brush unit enables longitudinal structuring in hard and soft variants. Rollers with steel strands or polyamide brushes are used for this. A cross belt is also used for a further haptic feeling. Vedder achieves rough-sawn effects, over the entire surface or partially according to the program, with coarse cross bands up to grain size 16.

Adjusted to a high gloss

An outstanding focus at Vedder are elaborate high-gloss surfaces with PUR or polyester paints, which are often required in yacht construction. André Risse holds a work piece under the inspection light at the machine outlet with a critical eye: “Even the smallest dent or slightest disturbance can mean a complaint and we have to start over.”

The effort is correspondingly high. From the fine sanding to the blocking base to the finish polishing: A total of twelve work steps, sometimes even more, are necessary to achieve the desired result. Here the MFA Impression does a great job with six to seven detailed, graduated sanding steps up to a grain size of 2500. This is where the second cross belt and a machine detail exclusive to Heesemann more than pay off: water-cooled servomotors enable extremely low speeds at minimum belt speeds of up to 0.1 m / s and thus consistently safe belt travel with full sanding performance without speed fluctuations.

Another trick is connected with the two cross belts: they can be turned to the left or right. “This enables us to further increase the cross-cut quality,” says Lüdinghausen.

Lasting precision

The MFA Impression represents sustainable mechanical engineering. Stable constructions in the industrial standard and high-quality aggregate technology are geared towards lasting precision. The fine-grained scanning of the work piece contours provides the exact information for controlling the sanding pressure. With the segmented Heesemann CSD magnetic pressure bar system (computer-controlled, selective pressure regulation), the sanding pressure on each element can be changed in milliseconds. In addition, work piece tolerances of 2 mm and more are compensated. For frame and narrow parts z. B. a very important detail made of light sandwich carrier materials. Machine operator Rudolf Klimke: “The edge pressure can be set very sensitively and precisely on the terminal.” The powerful industrial PC and the large touch screen with graphic user interface ensure easy operation of the machine. Rudolf Klimke benefits from around 40 stored standard, special and effect sanding programs: “Machine, control and the user interface are very convenient. The stored machining programs can be easily adapted as required. “

Quality and flexibility increased

All in all, André Risse frankly calls the investment in the MFA Impression a 100 percent solution: “We would buy the Heesemann again and again.” There are good reasons for this statement: Vedder benefits from numerous positive effects in the Lüdinghausen production facility from using the new sanding center. First and foremost, the operations manager mentions the permanently reproducible processing and finish quality, pointing out the solid mechanical engineering and the precise belt run.

No less important is the flexibility gained, with which one is optimally prepared for constantly changing sanding tasks and for any kind of finishing and effect processing. This solves the issue of haptics in the form of structured surfaces, which is also emerging in yacht interior construction.

Not just on pure wood: the structuring brushes are used in preparation for creating metal effects on solid wood and veneer.

Ultimately, the economy is out of the question. André Risse gives an example: “With high-gloss surfaces, which are still very much in demand in yachts, we save around 40% of the previous sanding and reworking.”

Risse also mentions the good cooperation with the Heesemann technicians in questions of application technology and in terms of machine service.

On the right course

Business in luxury is obviously doing well. Top craftsmanship and reliability made in Germany are in demand. The production in Lüdinghausen is currently bursting at the seams and expansion plans are already coming into focus. There is currently high demand for decks and outdoor furniture, for which Vedder has its own department. What is meant is the lounge-like furnishing of yacht decks with the appropriate, fine furniture as well as wind and weatherproof counters and bar facilities.

The “Refit” business area, which is supported by a Vedder branch in Barcelona, is also gaining in market importance: when luxury yachts in the 50 or 70 meter categories change hands, an extensive general overhaul and prestigious refurbishment are usually required. Shiny and glittering supplies seem to have been taken care of.

Author: Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Manfred Maier

Photo: Vedder

Vedder GmbH