Yamaha finishes expansion of Tennessee plant

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Yamaha Motor Corporation USA completed a $6 million, 64,000-square-foot expansion and the deployment of sequenced manufacturing technologies at its boatbuilding facility in Vonore, Tenn.

“This multimillion dollar investment in our boat plant represents our commitment to deploying the latest technologies, processes and operational improvements to make a better boat for our customers,” said Mark Speaks, president of Yamaha’s Watercraft Group, in a statement.

“These are the cornerstones to our business, and they are what we’ve built our reputation on. This investment puts us in a highly advantageous position for future growth,” he added.

Highlighting the new facility is a state-of-the-art robotic gelcoat application booth, high-speed robotic CNC cutters, and a proprietary RF urethane injection system (for flotation foam) that uses technology derived from NASA. Also included are “green” technologies that improve the work environment and reduce waste product, the company said.

Other highlights of the expansion include:

  • Sequence manufacturing and consumption-based inventory, enabling the entire line to switch quickly and efficiently between models. This enables Yamaha to provide more diversity for its dealers.
  • Several important initiatives focused on environmental sustainability. These include new utilities, low-impact lighting and a 90 percent reduction in hazardous waste leaving the facility, as well as a 10-12 percent reduction in total waste.
  • New CNC routers that can cut at three times the previous efficiency.
  • Doubling the size of the assembly area and adding new tools for improved quality.

The project is the latest of several multimillion-dollar investments Yamaha has made at the Vonore plant since 1995, when Yamaha began development of its boat line. The Vonore operation builds a range of Yamaha 23-foot and 21-foot runabouts and tower boats.

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