GREENFIELD, Ind.—Yamaha Marine Precision Propeller, Inc. (YPPI) reported that its new manufacturing facility in Greenfield reached full production capacity in July. The advanced casting facility and foundry uses state-of-the-art robotics to significantly reduce lead times and increase production by more than 67 percent. As a result, the company delivers more than 100,000 propellers to customers annually, YPPI said in a press release.
Yamaha acquired Precision Propellers, Inc., in 2008 and broke ground on the 55,000-square-foot building in July 2019. The consolidated group is the sole manufacturer of stainless-steel propellers for Yamaha outboards in the United States.
“It’s great to finally be firing on all cylinders in the Greenfield facility,” said Batuhan Ak, plant manager of YPPI Greenfield, in the release. “Propellers are part of the integrated systems that boats need today, and the new facility gives us the opportunity to leverage more efficient manufacturing technologies that increase quality while decreasing manufacturing costs.”
Yamaha said in the release that it plans to further expand the YPPI campus in the future.
The Greenfield YPPI facility houses the entire propeller casting operation, while the YPPI location in Ritter, Indiana, will serve as the manufacturer’s post casting and finishing facility. Yamaha Marine Precision Propeller is one of only two marine propeller foundries in the United States and one of the largest stainless-steel investment casting foundries in the world, according to the release.
As a captive foundry (owned by the company that makes the product), YPPI is in a unique position to meet market demand quickly. While other manufacturers who rely on external sources are currently experiencing lead times that have doubled and tripled, YPPI’s investment in the Greenfield facility helps the company meet demand more quickly, the company said in the release.
“Yamaha built the Greenfield facility with additional capacity in mind—not only to meet today’s demand, but tomorrow’s as well,” said Ak. “As key customers of many vendors that supply U.S.-sourced products, we’ve been at the forefront of receiving the raw materials we needed to keep up the pace.”
To achieve greater levels of efficiency and increased production, the YPPI team brought in several new equipment advancements. They include a first-of-its-kind pouring system and higher levels of what the company called “space-efficient automation,” or robotic processing. The robotics created the need for new technical roles to support the equipment and technology, the company said.
Employees of YPPI receive on-the-job foundry training and expert skill development that is said to be directly transferrable to other manufacturing industries. The manufacturer said that it offers “world-class benefits and competitive salaries that start well above minimum wage,” and plans to hire more than 30 new employees through the end of 2021.