Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions opened an 88,000-square-foot facility in Mooresville, North Carolina, as part of its strategic plan for strong growth.
One certainty about Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions is this: It’s in the midst of rapid growth. Another is their ability to manage growth, as well as the compressed air systems powering their operations.
Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions’ growth is evidenced by its strategic building plans. In 2018, it moved from a 30,000-square-foot plant to a newly built 88,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the production of precision-machined parts – only to expand again this year with a new 55,00-square-foot manufacturing plant to outpace growing demand for its quality products. All three facilities are in Mooresville, North Carolina. Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions is a division of Roush Yates Engines.
Todd English, Vice President of Business Development, Roush Yates Engines, said a key component to successful growth is to maintain peak production at all times, especially given the fast-paced world in which the company operates. Toward that end, the machining company has taken the necessary steps to equip its plants with compressed air systems designed to get the job done – while importantly – operating without the slightest cause for concern.
“I’ll say this politely. At the end of the day, we shouldn’t have to worry about compressed air, right? We’ve got more important things to worry about,” English said, adding how a recent partnership with Atlas Copco Compressors and other decisions associated with compressed air have hit the mark. “Without clean, compressed air we wouldn’t be able to complete our day-to-day activities. We’re relieved it’s something we don’t need to worry about.”
A Winning History
Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions (www.roushyatesmfg.com) originally started out machining high-performance engine components to support Roush Yates Engines, which was formed in 2003. That’s when Jack Roush and Robert Yates partnered with Ford Motor Company to serve as the exclusive Ford Engine Builder for NASCAR. The partnership resulted in as many as 420 combined wins in the NASCAR, International Sports Association (IMSA) and Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Series.
Over time, Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions parlayed its passion for CNC manufacturing excellence for race car engines into machining components for the aerospace, military, medical, and automotive industries. Diversification beyond race car engines alone has been pivotal to the company’s strategic growth, said English.
Among the precision components machined by Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions are those used in Ford NASCAR engines.
“In 2018, the majority of our work was really feeding our engine shop,” English said. “But business has dramatically shifted. Now, 90% of the work is external where we’re supplying parts for other high-tech industries. The growth has been fantastic, but it’s also been manageable.”
Facility Operates 58 CNC Machines
Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions specializes in CNC machining of complex geometry parts that require precision and robust process control. Working 24 hours a day, seven days per week, the company’s 100 employees leverage an array of advanced processes and technologies including four- and five-axis mills, automation centers, waterjets, and multi-axis mill turn, as well as Swiss turn machines. The company also offers post-machine surface, secondary treatment processes, and sub-series services through a network of validated suppliers.
Advanced CNC machines are at the heart of Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions’ operations.
The high-tech operation is AS 9100 Rev D certified, which meets the aerospace industry’s quality management system requirements. Its quality management system is also appropriate and effective for the safety and efficacy of medical devices given its ISO 13485 certification. Additionally, it is registered through the Department of State as a company that adheres to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regulations.
In 2018, the new plant boasted a total of 26 CNC machines to meet production goals. Today, the same facility operates 58 CNC machines, all of which typically operate near maximum capacity to meet demand. In addition to diversification, English said dedication to quality has driven the company’s growth.
“Companies will typically send us a CAD drawing or print,” he said. “We then look at the part and determine the best way to machine it. From there, we’re responsible for all machining and the quality control, making sure we meet their expectations to print.”
Compressed Air System Sized for Growth
Originally, the 88,000-square-foot plant’s compressed air system consisted of two, 50-horsepower (hp) Atlas Copco GA 37 VSD+ FF rotary screw air compressors. Each Variable Speed Drive (VSD) air compressor is rated to deliver up to 240 scfm of air at 102 psig.
One air compressor would operate at approximately 70% to satisfy the plant’s load during normal operation and the initial years of production. The second air compressor served primarily as a backup machine, given the importance of full redundancy. As the plant began to add CNC machines, however, the second machine operated more often to meet increased demand for air. As needs for air grew, plans took shape for additional compressed air capacity.
To develop a plan for additional air – and meet the plant’s need for clean and dry air – the team at Atlas Copco Compressors (www.atlascopco.com/air-usa) conducted a full assessment of the plant’s compressed air use and analyzed how much air the facility consumes and when – with an eye toward continued increases in production and demand for air.
Armed with data, the Atlas Copco team recommended the installation of two, 100-hp Atlas Copco GA 75 VSD+ FF rotary screw air compressors to replace the smaller, 50-hp machines. The smaller machines are earmarked for use at a Roush Yates Engines facility. Each 100-hp air compressor is rated to produce up to 540 scfm of air at 110 psig, effectively meeting the plant load – and allowing the second unit to provide full redundancy. As VSD units, the air compressors automatically adjust to deliver only the air needed for optimal efficiency.
Roush Yates Engines relies on Atlas Copco Compressors to power their manufacturing and engine build facilities.
Clean, Dry Air Needs Met
Roush Yates Materials Solutions Building Supervisor Jeff Smith said the new air compressors provide an ample amount of air today and well beyond, noting his appreciation for an appropriately sized compressed air system.
“We’re not compressed air people. We’re good at machining parts and building engines,” Smith said. “Atlas Copco did a lot of legwork to help us decide what we need now and for future growth. Those guys did a really good job helping us out with that.”
As with the original air compressors, the 100-hp machines feature integrated refrigerated dryers rated to provide air at a Pressure Dew Point (PDP) of 36°F (2.2°C) The system also includes a 400-gallon dry receiver tank, as well as DD+ and PD+ oil-coalescing filters and an EWD 50 zero-loss drain. Each CNC machining center at the plant is also equipped with a dedicated refrigerated dryer to meet the individual machine’s PDP specification. An aluminum piping system routes air throughout the plant.
The compressed air system’s ability to consistently provide clean, dry air – at the proper volume and pressure – is vital to Roush Yates Materials Solutions ongoing success, said Smith.
“If there is moisture of any kind in the air, it’s going to corrode the CNC machines’ solenoid valves and measurement scales,” adding proper air pressure is equally important. “Every machine requires whatever the OEM says it needs for compressed air. If we drop below that pressure, the machine will alarm out. We’ve got to have the correct compressed air volume, psi and cleanliness at every machine.”
Bullish on the Future
In addition to designing a system capable of meeting Roush Yates Materials Solutions’ goals for compressed air, Atlas Copco Compressors also maintains the system. Yet another measure that eliminates concerns regarding compressed air, said English.
“We’ve built with Atlas Copco since 2018 and there’s a lot of trust there,” he said, noting Atlas Copco Compressors is working with the company to install a compressed air system at the newest facility.
English said the team at Roush Yates Materials Solutions is proud of the company’s growth and appreciates the ability to work with business partners on the challenges that go with it. He expects the path of ongoing success to continue.
“We’re very bullish on the future and we’re excited about the opportunities in front of us,” English said. “The future looks very bright.”
All photos courtesy of Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions.
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