Unlike its Japanese counterparts, Ryobi Die Casting ventured into the United States at the request of its “Detroit Three” American customers. The move allowed Ryobi to quickly build a reputation among U.S. original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as a trusted partner for complex aluminum die cast parts in the automotive sector. Two of the “Detroit Three” are still Ryobi’s largest customers.
“We are known in the industry to have high-quality dies that produce very high-quality parts,” said Ryobi Die Casting USA President Tom Johnson, who has been with the company since 1985 and has seen annual sales grow from $50 million to $400 million.
“We have good dedicated associates. They come from good families. It’s not unusual for a father or mother to work here, then see their son or daughter join us as well,” Johnson said.
Looking toward the future, Ryobi is diversifying from its flagship products, such as transmission cases and engine blocks. Since 2007, Ryobi Die Casting USA has worked with one of the major Japanese OEMs in developing a new generation of vehicle subframes changing from steel to die cast aluminum, which results in significantly lighter vehicles at competitive costs.
“This kind of subframe has typically been used in luxury vehicles in Europe. Now you can see this in a 400,000 unit mass production vehicle in the U.S.,” Johnson said.
By expanding its facility from 60 to 100 acres, Ryobi USA hopes to identify new automotive trends to be able to provide their solutions, including those involved in vehicle lightweighting.
“Many vehicle structural parts that were previously made from steel can be converted to aluminum die castings and still exceed all required specifications at a greatly reduced weight. With our deep experience and know-how, we look forward to helping our customers achieve these results.” Johnson said.
Ryobi is currently working on large battery cases for hybrid and electric vehicles, predicted to be a standard product for all OEMs eventually. Ryobi is clearly ahead of the game.