Yifeng Automotive Technology Group investing in additional press hardening lines from AP&T
Using equipment from AP&T, Chinese Yifeng has developed its manufacturing of press hardened vehicle parts from scratch in just four years. The company is now investing in several press hardening lines to increase its capacity. This means Yifeng will be a huge player in the industry, and AP&T’s single largest customer.
“We are naturally extremely pleased with the confidence Yifeng has shown AP&T by once again selecting us as a partner. Yifeng has ordered a large number of production lines for press hardening from us since 2012, at the same time that our cooperation has deepened each year. The most recent order also reinforces our leading position in press hardening – not only in China but globally,” says AP&T’s CEO and Managing Director Magnus Baarman.
China’s largest supplier of press hardened car parts
Yifeng is China’s largest manufacturer of press hardened vehicle parts and tooling for pressing body parts. The company delivers to most of the car manufacturers active in the Chinese market, as well as to manufacturers in Europe and the U.S. The Group has five development centers, and production plants in ten Chinese cities. The most recent order to AP&T includes press lines for Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiangtan and Guangzhou. The Ningbo plant alone has capacity for 5.4 million strokes a year for manufacturing press hardened parts, and the number will continue to increase with the new lines in place.
Growing market for lightweight solutions
Yifeng’s vigorous investment in press hardening is a good example of the quick development that is currently ongoing in the Chinese car industry. Over 20 million cars are currently being produced in the country every year, and a rising share of them has an increasing percentage of press hardened parts. As is the case in the rest of the world, the underlying driving force is the increasingly stringent demands for safer, lighter and more fuel efficient cars that have lower environmental impact.
“Our focus is on leading the development of lightweight solutions in the Chinese car industry, which is why we are vigorously investing in press hardening technology from a partner that shares our lofty ambitions. Over the years we have cooperated with AP&T, the company has proven to be professional, accountable and committed from a long-term perspective. We are very pleased with both the equipment and the service, and our continuous exchange of knowledge is rewarding for both parties,” says Su Yujun, manager of Yifeng’s plant in Ningbo.
He says demand for press hardened parts continues to be strong.
“The trend is clear. An increasing number of car manufacturers are starting to use press hardened parts, and opportunities for usage continue to grow. In the future, it will be possible to replace an increasing number of cold-formed parts with press hardened parts."
Since 2012, Yifeng has ordered a large number of complete press hardening lines from AP&T; the most recent order was delivered in 2016. The equipment is used for manufacturing body parts such as A-pillars, B-pillars and different types of reinforcements. The deliveries include line design, presses, automation, line control systems, integration, etc. AP&T’s organization in Shanghai provides service and support.