Each year, the boating industry recognizes a small number of companies that have changed the marketplace through innovation and technical advancement with the IBEX Innovation Award. Last week in Tampa, Florida, Protomet Corporation received that award for its development of next generation equipment in the marine industry.
Protomet, an Oak Ridge, Tennessee-based company, designs, engineers and produces high-precision parts on an OEM basis for the manufacturing process and products produced for the end user. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) honored Protomet with the 2014 IBEX Innovation Award for its new G4 Tower, an advanced tower for Malibu Boats described as “the most advanced tower ever introduced to the ski/wake industry.” More than 90 new products from around the world were submitted and evaluated for the 2014 IBEX Innovation Award ultimately awarded to Protomet.
Collaborating with Malibu Boats’ engineering group, the Protomet team invested 5,000 hours into the design of the G4 Tower. The new tower was subjected to static load testing to 2,000 lbs., vibration testing to 20 G’s and nine prototype units were built and tested for hundreds of hours on the water. The G4 Tower from Protomet effectively brings Joint Strike Fighter design and manufacturing expertise to the marine industry.
Jeff Bohanan, founder and President of Protomet, said, “Protomet is an engineering solutions and manufacturing company that partners with client teams to deliver functionally superior parts and components. With the Malibu G4 Tower, our engineering team and the combined resources of Malibu boats tackled the challenges and desired attributes of the next generation product.
“Through thousands of hours of iterative design, modeling and testing, the G4 was born. We are pleased to have been selected to develop and manufacture this revolutionary product. It’s the perfect example of Protomet leveraging its diverse background in automotive, aerospace and military work to bring innovation to the marine industry.”
Protomet specializes in high precision production design and manufacturing for clients in a variety of markets including boating, automotive, medical and homeland security. Protomet partners with company resident engineers to (re)design parts for the manufacturing process that target both innovation and the reduction of component cost.
“Protomet has a history of being a center of innovation, working to establish a culture of creative solutions and LEAN manufacturing,” Bohanan said. “We design innovation into our products and processes – and even package products in a way that better serves our customer’s needs.”
Since 2005, Protomet has experienced a 500 percent increase in sales and now has its own proprietary line of products marketed under the PTM Edge Watersports brand that makes and markets boating mirrors and wakeboard tower components for boats of all kinds.
This year, the company opened a new $6.25 million facility expansion in Oak Ridge that more than doubles the size of the company’s facilities and adds high-tech manufacturing equipment from around the world to the plant. The expansion project also created more than 30 new jobs at its headquarters.
The Protomet family of companies includes Protomet Corporation, PTM Edge and 4 Final Finish. The company is headquartered in Oak Ridge and was named one of Tennessee’s “Fast 50” (the state’s fastest growing companies).
More information is available at www.Protomet.com.