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YMC's Boat Operations begins large-structure mold production business

September 25, 2003

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (YMC) announces that, beginning in October 2003, its Boat operations will apply its advanced 3-dimensional form shaping technologies to a new business of producing and selling molds for the manufacture of large-structure products and parts.

At YMC’s Boat operations we have been using NC (Numerically Controlled) processing machinery for the production of molds for building FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) boats since 1989. The use of this machinery has been very effective, not only in increasing the design freedom and accuracy of the forms use in our boat building but has also contributing greatly to reducing the time required to produce molds for manufacturing. In the new mold production business, the technologies and expertise gained over the years 3-D form creation will be applied to the production of manufacturing-use molds and prototypes for large-structure pieces other than FRP boats, such as building materials and industrial-facility parts, as well as transportation vehicle uses such as automobile body parts.

The NC processing machinery to be used in this mold-making business is custom made gantry type high-speed 5-axis NC processing machinery that is capable of more shaping more complex parts than the conventional 3-axis type NC processors and has a work range of 12m in length, 5m in width and 3m in height, the largest in Japan. The processing accuracy is + 0.1mm, which is also the highest class in Japan. What’s more, this machinery has a processing speed of 10m/min., or about three times the speed of conventional machines until now.

The material used for the carved surface that becomes the mold is primarily a spray core (mixture of polyester resin and micro-balloons) with good spraying qualities and excellent carving characteristics that make it well suited for efficient carving of complex 3-dimensional surfaces. At the same time the cost is far less than the epoxy resin conventionally used as the carving material.

The services to be offered in the new business include not only the production of male (convex) molds but also 3-D CAD-based engineering services like production of 3-D plans from 2-D blueprints and filleting (giving curved surfaces to corners), as well as production of female (concave) molds by the direct NC processing method. The business plan for the first year of operations in this new mold business calls for target sales of 150 million yen.

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