BÜHLER: DIE CASTING OPEN HOUSE IN CHINA
In recent years, the rise of megacasting has catalyzed the upstream and downstream businesses of the die-casting industry. At the Bühler factory in Wuxi, China, the production line was upgraded and rebuilt last year to produce the large megacasting solutions. The Carat 920, with a locking force of 92,000 kN, was one of these large machines that stemmed from this assembly line. On March 16, 2023, Bühler China held an Open Day to let key guests experience the Carat 920. The event saw Bühler’s executives, customer representatives, and association leaders share their insights into the future of megacasting.
Megacasting is a revolutionary course in the die-casting industry. With this technological development, the body-in-white of the car can be manufactured in a more efficient and sustainable way. For example, the die-casting solution for automotive structural parts has made great progress, from the mass production of structural parts such as shock towers in the initial stage to those requiring complicated processes, such as rear-side members. There is no doubt that, as the industry is driven by the aim to cut costs and increase benefits, die-casting progress will certainly bring huge benefits.
To celebrate the first Carat 920 – the largest and most powerful die-casting solution in the Bühler portfolio – an open house was held in China The event began with an exciting speech by Liu Zhiguo, Operation Director of Zonzu Technology, one of the many esteemed customers invited to the event. “The past decade has seen rapid development and intense competition in the die-casting market, and so many die-casting enterprises have poured enormous input into the global market. In just 10 years, Bühler has stood out among many overseas brands.” The same view was held by Cornel Mendler, Managing Director Die Casting, Bühler.
Cornel first expressed his great pleasure to be back in China and come together after more than three years of the pandemic. “The Chinese OEMs are pushing their way into the western automotive industry and competing with traditional OEMs. We are also developing new products. The first Carat 610 was successfully commissioned in China in 2022. In the meantime, there are more than 10 Carat 610 in operation in China. Today we are coming together to present you the newest and biggest Carat 920 with the strongest shot unit currently available on the market.”
Successful innovations thanks to dedicated teams
David Wang, President of Bühler Group Asia began his welcome speech by recognizing the efforts of Bühler Die Casting, adding that the ‘extraordinary day’ was created thanks to the resilient team and the customer-first philosophy. As David remarked, the automobile field is a great, changing world that is shaped by innovation and concentration. Billions of people benefit from Bühler technologies including die-casting solutions to cover their basic needs for mobility every day.
In his presentation, Wang elaborated on the two basic principles: “The first principle is how we help customers succeed and work with them to develop core technologies. The second is Bühler’s vision ‒ Innovations for a better world. You are all here for the Carat 920. It is an innovation, which comes fundamentally from industrial needs and development, and largely from your efforts.”
Megacasting: keeping pace with industry trends
In recent years, the automotive market has undergone ground-breaking changes. The three-year slump of the production and sales of automobiles in China that started in 2018 has ended thanks to the rapid rise of the New Energy Vehicles (NEV). Last year, NEV sales in China grew at an astonishing rate of 96.9% and the market share reached 25.6%. A higher sales volume demands a higher capacity, while range anxiety leads to higher requirements for lightweight design.
To combat these new developments and make a mark in the industry, various customers have partnered with Bühler. “While we are positive about the broad prospects of the megacasting market, we realize the technological barriers the sector is facing. Under these circumstances, we partnered with Bühler Die Casting. We have introduced the world-top die-casting solutions to break bottlenecks and enhance core competitiveness. Working with the Bühler team, we are impressed by their professional explanations, well-arranged equipment delivery, and sophisticated megacasting solutions that make a difference,” said Jiang Jianqiang, General Manager, Yancheng Duoli Auto Parts Co., Ltd.
The realization of new technologies is inseparable from customers and the support of industry organizations. Liu Hongchao, Secretary-General of the Foundry Institution of Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society extended his pride for casting practitioners in his speech. “As a world-leading die-casting solution provider, Bühler has made remarkable contributions to China’s die-casting industry over the past 20 years. The present development of the die-casting industry has benefited from world-class equipment technology and expert support. I look forward to more advanced equipment, better services, and greater opportunities from Bühler to promote the industry further.”
A fitting end
The event came to an end with the grand unveiling of the Carat 920 machine by Robin Lu, Director of Die Casting at Bühler Greater China, and General Manager of Bühler (China) Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd.