The new Yamaha Marine Precision Propeller (YPPI) facility in Greenfield, IN has reached full production capacity, said the brand. The advanced casting facility and foundry use robotics to reduce lead times and increase production by “more than 67 percent” allowing YPPI to deliver “more than 100,000 propellers” to customers annually.
“It’s great to finally be firing on all cylinders in the Greenfield facility,” said Batuhan Ak, plant manager, YPPI Greenfield, IN. “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 acquired Precision Propellers, Inc. in 2008. The group, which is the sole manufacturer of stainless-steel propellers for Yamaha outboards in the U.S., broke ground on the 55,000-square-foot building on five of 28 acres in July of 2019. Yamaha plans to further expand the YPPI campus in the future.
The Greenfield YPPI facility now houses the propeller casting operation while the YPPI location in Ritter, IN will serve as the manufacturer’s post-casting and finishing facility.
YPPI is one of only two marine propeller foundries in the U.S., and one of the largest stainless-steel investment casting foundries worldwide. As a captive foundry (owned by the company that makes the product), YPPI is in a position to meet market demand quickly. YPPI’s investment in the Greenfield facility helps the company meet demand in a more timely manner.
“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 new equipment advancements including a pouring system in addition to higher levels of space-efficient automation, i.e. robotic processing. Robotics created the need for new technical roles to support the equipment and technology.
YPPI employees have the advantage of on-the-job foundry training and skill development that is directly transferrable to other manufacturing industries. It plans to hire more than 30 new employees through the end of 2021 for a total of over 200 employees between the two facilities.
Yamaha Marine’s U.S. business unit, based in Kennesaw, GA, supports its 2,400 U.S. dealers and boat builders.