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Auto Mold Industry Breaks the Ice for Development in Financial Crisis

China auto mold industry has developped rapidly in recent years, and has made great progress. However, compared with international standard, it still falls behind in the following aspects. Firstly, the manufacturing precision is poor. Taking sealing parts for example, many people said auto seals made in China were not good because of sealing material and sealing production, and most importantly, because of molds. At present, China is carrying out " 2mm Project". All single parts have reached this standard, but not sure about hundreds of parts joined together, and the point is mold. Secondly, mold life is short. For example, aluminium punch dies life is more than 1 million, while in China, it is only 0.2 million. Lastly, mold making period is too long. In the past, auto models remain unchanged for decades of years, so mold making is also very slow. As competition goes on, auto models change rapidly, so there's huge demand for molds development.

Auto industry is one of the main industries which has huge demand in molds. According to auto industry development program, the point is to build professional mold design and manufacture center. How to improve auto mold design and manufacture ability is a question we should solve immediately.

Since the rapid development of China's auto industry, mold demand has also soared. And so did the number of factories which make molds. Auto molds factories, take their own advantages, mainly focus on auto body moulds. They invest in technique, equipments and production to solve problems in large molds like auto body molds. On the other hand, they have less efforts in medium and small auto parts. This forced them turn to other mold factories for production. Auto mold manufacture technology has made remarkable improvements. Mold cost has reduced because of shortened mold making and tryout period by using modeling of stamping and CAE analysis. In mold manufacture, most factories have large processing centers, which are almost the same with international processing center. Some large mold factories in theory can produce whole set of auto molds. For example, The Die Manufacturing Co., Ltd of FAW has in total 36 processing centers after technique revolution, Beijing BYE Mold Co., Ltd has more than 25 sets.

Manufacture period has been reduced. Because of great improvements in technique, manufacture period of whole set of auto body molds has been reduced form one year and a half to one year, and then to 8 months, which has accelerated new car models.

Large technique investments returned with less profits. Auto mold factories has relatively large investment in technique. Generally speaking, 0.1-0.3 billion RMB is needed to enlarge production scale, and mold production value can be increased from 0.15 b to 0.3 b or 0.4 b. If 10% return profit is supposed, about ten years are needed to gain back all investments under the conditions that auto industry is prosperous. Most small mold factories have much more difficulties in funds, for auto molds has larger development potential, without certain processing equipments, mold factories can't satisfy the strict demands of quantity and time.

Auto accessory exports has increased. In recent years, many oversea auto manufacturers have come to China for auto accessory parts import. In order to catch up with international price standard and satisfy exports needs, we must reduce costs , such as processing costs. Considering from mold structure, the traditional single process dies should be replaced with progressive dies which have high requirements on manufacture precision and technique. As a result, important processing equipments and large ton stamping equipments are needed.

Further improvements in technique and the use of CAD/CAM/CAE

Technique is the foundation of mold development. The using of CAD/CAM should be paid more attention, and so do advanced design and producing technique. At present, CNC control system has been used on key equipments. The point is how to use it to reduce manufacture and tryout period. The application of CAE is the weak point.

All in all, low tech molds have exceeded demands and are of less profits, while high tech molds can't meet the economy development. Precise and complex stamping dies, auto cover molds have great potential. China auto mold industry development should be guided by mold structure. China will further improve mold manufacturing technique to take up the market with complex structure mold, precision mold and high tech mold.

Until now, annual output of China auto dies factories is between 0.8b and 0.9b RMB, and the need has exceeded 20b RMB. Under present situation, China auto industry has posed much higher demands, as well as driving force, to mold industry.

Source: www.imould.com


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