The new Yamaha Marine Precision Propeller (YPPI) facility in Greenfield, Ind. reached full production capacity this 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, 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 of YPPI Greenfield. “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 entire propeller casting operation while the YPPI location in Ritter, Ind. 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 in the world.
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 suffering from lead times that have doubled and tripled, 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 several new equipment advancements including a first-of-its-kind pouring system in addition to higher levels of space-efficient automation, i.e. robotic processing. The 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 expert skill development that is directly transferrable to other manufacturing industries. The manufacturer also offers world-class benefits and competitive salaries that start well above minimum wage, giving employees comfortable lifestyle options within the cost-of-living factor in Greenfield.
YPPI plans to hire more than 30 new employees through the end of 2021 for a total just over 200 employees between the two facilities.