Wuxi Wanhua Machinery Co., Ltd
Wanhua is expanding its business with two turnkey press hardening lines from AP&T in China
Wanhua Machinery in Wuxi outside Shanghai is a rising star of press hardened parts on the Chinese market. Founded in 2000, the family company currently has about 240 employees and has long been an established supplier of cold pressed parts to many world-leading car manufacturers who operate in China, such as Volkswagen.
Recently, they decided to expand their business and invest strongly in the latest press hardening technology. Increasing customer demand for lighter, stronger parts that can contribute to lowering vehicle weight and thereby, energy consumption and emissions, is what lies behind the investment. The result is two new manufacturing facilities in Wuxi, one of which is entirely dedicated to manufacturing press hardened structural parts.
Two press hardening lines from AP&T
But who would be given the honor to deliver the equipment? In June 2018, Wanhua contacted the Swedish company AP&T, present in China for over ten years and carrying an excellent reputation as a supplier of press hardening lines. The initial discussions soon resulted in orders of not one, but two, turnkey press hardening lines. The first of the lines became operational in the new Wuxi factory in October 2019 and the second, less than a year later. The installations were done exclusively by the local AP&T organization.
“AP&T’s well-proven technology and good reputation in China were deciding factors in our choice of partner,” says General Manager Mr Wen Ren at Wanhua Machinery.
Equipped to meet the CQI-9 quality standard
Both press hardening lines are based on AP&T's modular system of highly proven standard components. In addition to presses and automation equipment, tools and a tool exchange system are included. To meet the CQI-9 quality standard for car manufacturing, the lines are also equipped with advanced measurement and analysis tools in the form of cameras and pyrometers. Monitoring, controlling and diagnosis are all managed by a stand-alone system that delivers data to the overall process data log in line control. Each line has a manufacturing capacity of approx. 1.2 million strokes per year.
“After a year of having the first line up and running in production, we feel safe in saying that it’s working really well, not only in terms of operations, but also in our collaboration with AP&T's local team who are accommodating in every possible way. It feels secure to have all expertise close at hand. It is a strong argument toward potential customers that the lines were supplied by AP&T in Sweden, world-leaders in this area of technology. We hope it will lead to new business,” says Vice General Manager Mr Qiu Qingpeng at Wanhua Machinery.
Positive future for press hardening
In spite of the corona pandemic’s impact on the outlook of the global economy, Wanhua has a positive view of the future. They have determined that there continues to be great potential for press hardened parts for car manufacturers in China. The company is accustomed to being flexible and can quickly adapt their manufacturing to meet demands. Once it gets started in earnest, they are also prepared to invest in higher manufacturing capacity and more press hardening lines from AP&T.
AP&T looks to grow in China
AP&T has been established in China since 2009 providing sales, project management, service, spare part supply and other aftermarket services. The company’s growth strategy for the Chinese market includes not only strengthening AP&T's market-leading position in press hardening, but also increasing investments in aftermarket services and automation solutions.