Success in Asia – Bilstein & Siekermann® in China
China – growth market for the automotive industry
More than 24 million new cars were registered in China in 2017. This long-term upward trend continues. The strength of this largest car market in the world is shown in a direct comparison with the 15 million new registrations in the EU and the 17 million new registrations in the USA. In Germany, 3 million registrations were recorded during the same period.
German car manufacturers VW, BMW and Daimler sell almost four out of ten cars on the Chinese market. It therefore make absolute sense to manufacture locally. Suppliers have followed the manufacturers to China including Bilstein & Siekermann®.
BETEK provided the impetus
The final push to build a production facility for the Chinese market was given by our customer BETEK from Aichhalden. He was unable to find a supplier for his production facility anywhere in the Asian market. No one supplied the products that he purchased from us in Germany to the same quality. High-quality cold formed parts are still largely unknown there, and manufacturers are still using turned parts. This is where we are fully exploiting our technological lead.
Of the three locations we had to choose from, the final choice was easy. In the Sino-German Park in Taicang, an industrial site with 20 production halls was created, and we were able to have a say in the design from the shell construction stage. Our 90-ton 6-stage cold form press requires an adequate power supply and a stable foundation.
The first cold-form press in Taicang
Right from the outset, our original plan to buy all the machines needed for the factory in China regionally was a real challenge . There was only one mechanical engineering company based in Taiwan that was able to produce the $1.1 million cold-form press to the specified quality.
Then, what was already a long lead-time, was significantly delayed by a major earthquake in Taiwan. It was not until August 2016, two months after the opening ceremony, that the press was installed. Weighing in at 90 tons with the ability to exert 420 tonnes of pressure, it processes 15-30 millimetre-thick wire into high-quality cold formed parts. We are proud to announce that our production facility in China has successfully started.
Ready for the future
We found an experienced managing director in Warwezk Liu; he had completed his training in Germany and is well acquainted with the German way of thinking and working. Liu is supported by two skilled employees from the headquarters who will be teaching proven methods and procedures. The next step is to certify the facility to DIN EN ISO 9001.
Soon we aim to purchase a second six-stage cold form press for processing up to 18 millimetre-thick wires and to invest in more post-processing machines. This will ensure our customers in the Far East receive the same service and product quality that Bilstein & Siekermann® has established in Germany.