SMM Technologies: know-how in moulds for the nautical industry

A2V mold made by SMM Technologies © Briag MERLET

A renowned subcontractor in the nautical industry, SMM Technologies has recognized expertise in the production of molds for the nautical and maritime industries. Equipment, manufacturing process... Presentation of the company.

From precarious mould to finished composite part

SMM Technologies, a member of the Carboman group since September 2017, is based in Lanester, in the Lorient area. The company supplies many manufacturers with moulds and precarious shapes for the production of composite elements. It also produces finished parts for some customers. While Naval Group is an important customer, boating is also well represented. Offshore racing and yachting account for 50% of the activity, with customers such as Bénéteau, CNB, Zodiac or J Composites.

SMM Technologies currently employs about thirty people.

An XXL machining centre

One of SMM Technologies' strengths is its tools. The company has a 46-metre long machining centre, 10 metres wide and 5 metres high. Its dimensions allow it to work on large molds in a single block or to make two molds in parallel. Its accuracy is 1 mm over 20 m. Representing a very high investment, the machine is one of the few in operation in France.

Machining centre of SMM Technologies

Machining centre of SMM Technologies

A controlled and integrated process

The moulds are manufactured entirely in-house. The operation begins with the construction of a metal chassis by boilermakers - welders. Depending on the future use of the mould and the number of parts planned, two processes are then generally used. The shape is machined in polyurethane or polystyrene, on which is made a waterproof lamination and added a polyester paste crust.

Boilermaking workshop

Preparation of the breads to be machined

According to the customer's request, the model is delivered at different stages of finishing. It can be rough finish or glossy.

The manufacturing time is in the order of a few months for large molds.

Make a mould adapted to the boat and the customer

During the consultations, SMM Technologies receives the 3D file of the finished part designed by the customer. The design office then makes a technical proposal for the mould architecture. Exchanges with the customer make it possible to arrive at the most appropriate solution. "We are trying to apply the IADT matrix (Inspection, Analysis, Demonstration, Test) to identify bottlenecks and avoid surprises on delivery. We have to work on the material-process pair," explains Jean-Claude Schoepf, Managing Director of SMM Technologies. The corporate cultures of customers can lead to different solutions. 2 foil moulds were in production during our visit according to different methods. Adaptability and advice are therefore essential.