Inha Works

– The world’s best aluminum boat manufacturing.

Buster, Yamarin, and Cross are widely recognized brands in the boating industry. However, understanding the connection between these brands requires a closer look into the narrative of Inha Works. In this article, we explore this story through insightful interviews with Kalle Kanerva and Juuso Hyrkkö.

While the Inha Works factory is currently renowned for its premium boat manufacturing, the company’s origins are rooted outside the maritime domain. The factory’s metalworking tradition dates back to 1841, and it wasn’t until the 1970s when Inha Works started boat production and is now part of the Yamaha Motor Group

Presently, Inha Works boasts have an extensive portfolio featuring over forty distinct boat models. Among their flagship offerings are the Buster, featuring an aluminum hull, and the Yamarin, boasting a reinforced plastic hull. Enhancing the variety is the Yamarin Cross, a hybrid model which has an aluminum hull with a reinforced plastic deck, solidifying the brand’s commitment to innovation and versatility.

Noteworthy properties of aluminum boats

Buster aluminum boats gain popularity for their durability and easy maintenance. The boats can withstand shocks, scratches and minor groundings without structural damage. When scratched, aluminum does not absorb moisture like fiberglass and is therefore resistant to different weather conditions. This allows boating from early spring to late autumn. These properties collectively ensure the long-lasting performance of the boats.

Buster’s innovative hull solutions and continuous testing in sea conditions ensure safe handling and high performance of the boats. “Our solutions for stiffening the hull make the boat durable and stable to drive, while keeping it lightweight at the same time,” says Kalle Kanerva, who himself works as a Product Development Manager at Inha Works.

Product sustainability continues to drive design

Both Buster and Yamarin boats are designed here in Finland by both in-house and external designers. In Raisio office, the design has been done for more than 10 years and the office is located right on the seafront. Kalle emphasizes that the location is optimal for testing the boats.

Official testing of boats is carried out by experienced test mechanics, but general testing is also carried out by other staff. “Basic engineering work can seem boring, but here in R&D everyone gets to be part of the design process, and that makes the work meaningful,” Kalle says. This hands-on approach also ensures that every finished boat meets the highest quality standards and can withstand the most demanding conditions.

Inha Works outsources PDM database maintenance to PLM Group

In 2016, Fiskars Group, the former owner, sold Inha Works to the Yamaha Motor Group. As the company’s operations and database servers gradually transitioned under Yamaha, considering alternative options became natural. They chose to outsource the maintenance of the PDM Professional and in-house servers – Inha Works switched to use the HostPLM cloud service provided by PLM Group.

“For us, the transition to HostPLM was straightforward. When the PDM Professional environment was moved to the HostPLM cloud, it didn’t require any adjustment on our end, and it didn’t affect our own work in any way – it was an easy transition,” says Juuso Hyrkkö who works as a Product Development Engineer at Inha Works.

Benefits of using HostPLM

Juuso says that collaboration inside the design team has continued as before: “Using PDM does not require a separate VPN connection, which makes it faster to retrieve and share information. Our external designers also use the same PDM and store all their documents there.”

“HostPLM has proven to be a very effective solution for us. Surprisingly, it works even faster than our previous local server solution. The most significant benefit, however, has been the outsourcing of database and server maintenance. These have been the key benefits we have received from the service, and naturally, cloud solutions are becoming the new norm these days,” summarizes Juuso.

The PDM solution can be tailored to suit each company, and for Inha Works it has also been developed and updated over the years to meet their needs.

An enthusiastic team at the heart of product development

Traditionally, in the boat industry a single designer has been responsible for almost the entire product. “However, this has now changed. We design as a team,” emphasises Kanerva.

In Kalle’s team, work and hobbies are intertwined, as boats are part of almost every employee’s leisure time and interests in some way. The opportunity to develop cutting-edge products yourself brings a unique and exciting element to the job.

Kalle says: “At Inha Works we see the whole product development process: conceptualisation, basic design, prototyping, testing and production ramp-up.” Juuso is also happy about this. He recalls his previous job as a mechanical designer in an engineering firm, where he had to be a bystander and never got to see his own design work in the finished product.

“What motivates me the most in my job is when I can delve deeper into interesting products. And when I’m out on the water, it’s great to see boats on the waves that I’ve been involved in designing. The best thing about this job is that I get to develop products for famous brands,” says Hyrkkö, summing up the best parts of his job.

Changing markets require innovative solutions

Inha Works is targeting markets outside Europe and in the future Juuso and Kalle will design boats to serve not only Nordic customers but also boaters from the Mediterranean, North America and Australia. “To meet the challenges and needs of the new market, we have recently launched a new model, the Yamarin 80 DC, which stands out from the most traditional Nordic boats and also from Yamarin’s other models, especially in the design of the bow deck, which allows access to the boat from the side through a separate passage. This latest model has already received good reviews in Scandinavia and around the world,” says Kalle Kanerva happily.

What is HostPLM?

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Inha Works

"HostPLM has been a very effective solution for us. We were pleasantly surprised to find that HostPLM works even faster than our previous local server solution. However, the most significant benefit has been the outsourcing of database and server maintenance. These have been the key benefits we have received from the service, and naturally cloud solutions are becoming the new norm these days."

Juuso Hyrkkö