Anwenderberichte“Quality is the basic”

About the importance of all-electric machines, when the plastics processing industry is facing an increasing cost pressure.  A conversation with Mr Cui Haibing, deputy chief of the Engineering Department of Dongguan PIOLAX Co. Ltd. PC

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    The plant in Dongguan City, Guangdon/China, was founded in 2003 and is a 100% subsidiary of Piolax Inc. Here, injection-moulded plastic latches and assemblies are manufactured for Japanese car manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc.

Mr. Cui Haibing, Piolax’s customers are car manufacturers. How do you assess the development of the automobile sector in China and the prospects for plastics parts suppliers such as Piolax?

The automobile industry in China continues to be a strongly growing market, and I think that it will remain so for the next ten years. In general, supply and demand will be relatively counterbalanced. Later, growth will abate because of restrictive factors such as the level of vehicle ownership, the situation with traffic or government policy, etc. Then we will adjust to the country’s general level of development.

Everyone knows that the car manufacturers are calling their suppliers to reduce costs. How do you deal with that?

This is true. On the one hand, year after year, our customers demand that we reduce unit costs. On the other hand, the prices for raw materials and wage costs are increasing constantly. So we have to reduce production costs in order to withstand the dual pressure and be able to present the required price reductions.

How do you achieve that, what do you do specifically?

We see the optimisation of our own resources as one of the key factors. For example, we investigate the value creation of our staff and engineers, and work continuously on optimisation measures. However, product quality has absolute priority in this. This has to be ensured, no matter what we do. Quality is the basement of any manufacturer.
As far as we know, most of your competitors in the car industry do their manufacturing using traditional hydraulic machines. By contrast, Dongguan Piolax prefers all-electrical solutions.


PIOLAX - A short profile

Piolax Global Head Office, Japan
Piolax Inc., with headquarters in Iwai-cho, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, has been manufacturing and marketing plastic products and parts since 1939. The company has 9 subsidiaries in Europe, America and Asia, one of which is Dongguan Piolax in China.

As I said, we have committed ourselves to an excellent quality product. Without any compromise. For example, we manufacture clips and fasteners just as our competitors do, but we are able to say that we have a rejection rate of less than 0.0001%.

And a complaints rate of practically zero…

Not only that. We believe that all-electrical machines yield a much better performance than traditionally hydraulic machines, in terms of precision and efficiency, and of course in matters of energy savings. Therefore, after careful consideration and holistic comparison testing, we decided in favour of all-electrical technology.

… And then immediately ordered the Venus Series?

First just a test machine, this was still in 2008. This test machine is now still working perfectly. Two years later we then climbed on board, large-scale, with the Venus Series.

What major requirements do you stipulate for a injection molding? What is important to you?

From an injection molding system we expect stability, repeat accuracy and precision. This directly influences the level of quality of our products. Production efficiency is also very important – unit costs are always an issue. Zhafir’s all-electrical injection molding machines have met these demands, fully and completely.

And do conditions play just a minor role?

No, definitely not. The overall range of performance and the price structure have to be right, this is quite clear, in the procurement phase as well as later. Our demands are high in this respect too. And compared with the competition, not only does Zhafir offer a really attractive price-performance ratio but relatively low operating and maintenance costs in production.

That would bring us to service. How satisfied are you with Zhafir?

Zhafir offers clear advantages in this respect as well, just because it is manufactured in China. Quick reaction times are always a plus in customer service.

Nevertheless, last year you performed a comparison test between the Venus Series and other machines. How did that come about?

We wanted to have machines of high capacity designed quite specifically for a particular product portfolio. So we had asked for support from the responsible engineers at our machine suppliers – among them Zhafir and another injection molding supplier as well. It was a matter of testing different makes under equal conditions, with the same specifications, tools and data, and the same output.

That sounds like a mass start at a marathon.

It was more like a process of elimination. We compared two machines each time in terms of stability, energy, consumption and operating costs. In the end, it turned out that the Venus Series served our purposes best. Once again.

Once again? How many Venus machines do you have in Dongguan City then?

So far, there are 45, but it won’t stay that way for very long. We are already making specific plans for our new plant in Wuhan…

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