Tornos helps automotive fortunes

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Identifying a business opportunity is one thing but turning an opportunity into a profit centre is quite another. When the founder of Wuxi Fortune Technology Co., Ltd. decided to pursue manufacturing certification with one of the world’s largest automotive technology powerhouses, he chose Tornos as his partner for turning machines and the respective application and process support.

Established in 2002 with just one horizontal machining centre and a few vertical machining centres, Wuxi Fortune today has 350 employ­ees that includes 38 process engineers and 35 quality engineers. The company’s two production sites, both in the Wuxi New District industrial centre 120km west of Shanghai boasts production space totalling more than 35,000sq/m.

It’s only natural that Managing Director Jian Wang set his sights on securing a place among Tier 2 suppliers to China’s automotive industry. The country has the world’s larg­est automotive market producing 27.81 million cars in 2018. At the same time, it is notoriously difficult; often taking up to three years for a new player to carve out a place in the Chinese automotive supply chain.

“The newly implemented National Emission Standard VI requires qualified long-term development partners, and there are quite a few in China in terms of technology, ideas and strategy. For large-scale suppliers with diverse business models, it is often difficult to meet the rapidly developing require­ments,” Jian Wang says. “But Wuxi Fortune has auto­motive industry experience in the production of parts for the diesel injector market. We also have a strong will to further expand our market.”

On top of Wuxi Fortune’s automotive industry know-how, Jian Wang identified a gap in the market. “We saw there was a place for high-end turned auto part production and we understood the great potential it represented,” he says. “We needed high-end, reliable and effective turning machines that would guarantee our ability to serve automotive customers. We knew that using advanced production equipment and technologies would help identify us as an excellent supplier, allowing us to deliver parts earlier than expected and even become an exclusive supplier of some specific parts.”

Jian Wang knew he wanted mul­ti-spindle turning machines to gain higher efficiency, greater product consistency and lower manpower and production costs. “At the time, multi-spindle turning machines were quite new in the Chinese market, but we are committed­ to being at the forefront of technology,” says Jian Wang, who visited and compared several turning machine manufacturers before purchasing from Tornos. Now there are two MultiSwiss 6×14, one MultiSwiss 8×26, an SAS 16.6 and a MultiSigma 8×28 for small size precision parts. “Our Tornos machines are reliable and efficient. Tornos provides completely integrated services, application knowledge, machine main­tenance, training and spare parts to the Chinese market. The Tornos machines and services enable us to serve our high-end customers and maintain our competitiveness.”

The collaboration with Tornos helped pave the way for Wuxi Fortune to become the exclusive, worldwide supplier of a diesel injector pin shaft to a leading automotive technology player with 2018 sales totalling approaching 80bn Euros. The 23mm long part has a maximum outer diameter of 9mm and a mini­mum groove diameter of 1.3mm and requires a toler­ance of +/-0.03mm on the outer diameter.  “Tornos wouldn’t let us face a brand-new machine and all of its challenges alone,” says Jian Wang. “They quickly delivered the machines and helped us produce the sample part. Also, Tornos sup­ported us by finishing the required quality inspections and smoothly passing our customer’s evaluation. From the first contact between Tornos and Wuxi Fortune to confirmation of the processing solution at the early stage, it only took about two months.”

It isn’t easy for a new supplier to become a certified part manufacturer for a leading supplier to the automotive industry. That process can normally take up to two years, but we were able to help Wuxi Fortune cement a relationship with just such a customer within one year. “This is impressive,” says Jian Wang. ”Our partnership with Tornos has built a solid foundation for our development and expansion in the future.”