Manufacturing Today - July 2017 - 42

Midwest

Ryobi Die Casting

ryobi supplies parts to
clients in the united states,
canada and mexico from its
campus in indiana.

Ryobi Die Casting to expand into
machining and the company had the
capital to make it possible. What it
lacked was skilled workers with experience in secondary processes. To gain
that experience and know-how, the
company has retrained workers and
expanded its workforce to fill positions
for secondary process manufacturing.
"It's something that we've had to
learn with the heat-treat and FPI to
make sure these processes are being
done properly," Sano says.
Partnerships with universities and
colleges in Indiana and neighboring
states have played an important role
in recruiting graduates skilled in secondary processes. Ryobi Die Casting has apprenticeship programs at
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a highly regarded engineering college in Terre Haute, Ind., and Ivy Tech
Community College.
The company also participates in career fairs and has developed a pipeline
of talent from schools such as Purdue,
42

manufacturing-today.com JULY 2017

Ball State, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Ohio
State and the University of Cincinnati.
"We're so centrally located that we can
find [people] when needed," Sano says.

Growing Capacity
The purchase of the new manufacturing building and expansion of
the Indiana campus were a reaction
to the rising demand from Ryobi's
customers for secondary processes.
Likewise, the facility in Mexico is undergoing its own expansion. The focus there is on machining and capacity to supply the growing number of
Japanese and European OEMs that
have opened Mexican operations to
better service the North and South
American markets.
American manufacturers have also
made recent investments in the country, such as Ford's $2.5 billion plan to
build an engine plant in Chihuahua
and a transmission plant in Irapuato.
To accommodate the demand in

Mexico, Ryobi Die Casting has already
increased the number of die cast machines at its Mexican campus from 12
to 15 and expects to have 25 in operation by the end of next year. The number of machining lines will also double
from three to six or seven.
Between both campuses, Ryobi Die
Casting is projected to reach production of 10 million castings annually by
2021. That additional capacity will be
crucial as Ryobi Die Casting helps the
automotive industry make the transition to electric and hybrid vehicles.
Those new vehicle types are more
complex than gas-powered cars and
trucks and require new components
such as sealed battery trays.
Sano believes high-pressure die
cast aluminum will be a good fit for
many of those components as OEMs
continue to try to keep vehicle weight
down. "As those electric and hybrid
parts continue growing, there's going to be further and further need for
those parts," he says. mt


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