RhinoRush Drives Cost Reduction Partnership for Korean Company
Success Story of Auto Parts Company
Due to Right Tool at the Right Time
The world’s auto industry has taken several big hits ever since the economic crisis crashed through markets and people’s purses.
In Korea, a weak South Korean won coupled with timely releases of the country’s own luxury vehicles helped the big two South Korean automakers ride the crisis wave out, but they found that they were not completely immune to the automotive crisis and began reducing production in their plants all over the world.
For Hwasin Automotive Co., a satellite company contracted to make various parts for Hyundai Motors, the slowdown by Hyundai as well as some unfortunate mismanagement of operations and an aggressive investment that saw the addition of a bigger plant and more machines presented a challenge not experienced in its 31 year history.
“When we moved to Waegwan (next to Daegu) in 2009, I invested around $10 million worth of equipment to produce power train parts for Power Tech (a local company). It was arranged for us to produce about 150,000 parts but eventually, their orders fell to 100,000 – this put pressure on my overall operations,” said Hwasin president Kim Hyo-gun.
That was just one factor; another was the former vice president’s focus on sales at the expense of production which in turn hampered the company’s overall bottom line.
TaeguTec engineer discusses elimination of bottlenecks with Hwasin production manager
After a few years of being away from the factory floor, Mr. Kim left the boardroom for the production side of the company, the place where everything started for him. A place that he knows inside and out. A place where he is king.
What he found was that Hwasin needed to cut 20 percent off the total cost of production. One place they looked at saving money was on their 1.2 billion won a year tool consumption. At that time, about half of their cutting tools were supplied by a Japanese firm, but everything changed once TaeguTec introduced RhinoRush into the market.
The Japanese supplier’s cycle time at Hwasin was affecting Mr. Kim’s cost reduction plan. For example, the production of a plate used in Hyundai’s eight-speed transmission was bottlenecking after the first third of the production line much like a three-lane highway that turns into a one-lane road. The smooth flow of manufacturing was hampered when the machining of this plate went from a respectable 1:30 seconds at the first stage of the production line to a puzzling 3:30 seconds for each of the second and third phases thereafter.
Looking for answers from one of his cutting tool suppliers, Mr. Kim – an honest man that does not believe in hampering quality by cutting corners for the sake of saving a few dollars – contacted TaeguTec to see if they had anything in their catalogue to help him reach his target.
RhinoRush was the answer. In initial tests, TaeguTec’s new RhinoRush line was able to shave 25 percent off of Hwasin’s production cost and increase production output.
Hwashin president and TaeguTec engineer find answers to machining questions
From start to finish, the machining time of the transmission plate production line was evened out due to the elimination of bottlenecks between the first and second stage of production. Machining cutting speed went from 150 m/min to 280 m/min; all other factors being the same.
Mr. Kim was so impressed that the 60 million won a year contract for cutting tools used in the production of transmission plates went to TaeguTec due to RhinoRush’s cost benefit.
From there, Mr. Kim tested the RhinoRush’s qualifications to handle the machining of drive gears also used in Hyundai cars. Hwasin produces 250,000 drive gears a year and once again, TaeguTec was able to shave 25 percent off the cost of its production versus the same competitor.
RhinoRush is a tough and small, double-sided insert that enables improved machining time and better surface finish.
“Because of its smaller size, the insert price is lower,” Mr. Kim said. “In some cases we were able to increase the tool life by about 100 percent more.”
Meeting the manufacturing industry’s needs of reduced machining cost and competitiveness, RhinoRush’s depths of cut in rough turning are in the range of 2 to 3 millimeters and is available in 9 mm C and S type inserts or 13 mm size D and T type inserts.
Furthermore, TaeguTec widened its range of RhinoRush tools by introducing several new chip breakers for steel machining.
The FM improves chip breaking on a wide range of semi-finishing to semi-medium turning applications while the FT type’s strong, serrated cutting edge promotes excellent chip evacuation in a wider depth of cut range for both profiling and step turning.
The ML chip breaker, which generates less cutting force because of its very sharp cutting edge, extends tool life and improves surface quality due to the minimal built-up-edge during machining.
The FS and MK chip breakers were released in order to improve machinability by reducing cutting forces and the crater wear of cutting tools while operations are conducted on various alloys and cutting conditions.
Hwasin president discusses improved quality of parts since implementation of RhinoRush
The RhinoRush MK chip breaker is primarily for medium applications while machining stainless steel and heat resistant materials, while the FS chip breaker is specifically designed to enable excellent chip control on steel finish turning with superior evacuation under low feed and low depth of cut applications.
To significantly reduce cutting forces that occur during the machining of steel and stainless steel materials during medium light to medium applications, TaeguTec released the DNUX insert type for the RhinoRush family which is suitable for machining slender bars and thin-wall components.
The DNUX’s high positive, high rake and inclination angle at the cutting edge works with much less cutting forces and vibrations than the existing ISO-DNMG inserts.
Another new insert is the WNMX which is designed for stability due to its widened contact area that doubles that of the existing ISO-WNMG 06 mm series. Also, the WNMX 06mm series demonstrates enhanced reliability over the ISO version as well as increased tool life under interrupted machining conditions.
Inserts and chip breakers are only part of the equation for companies like Hwasin who are looking to improve on production while decreasing their overall cost. The other equation is the use of proper tool holders.
The T-Holder clamping system is just one of the new additions to the RhinoRush family. The T-Holder adds even greater stability for turning applications especially during high feed interrupted cutting rates.
Another is the new range of boring bars with a screw clamping function which are available to suit C, T, V and W shape RhinoRush inserts.
With the addition of the screw clamping type boring bar along with the new current hook lever, T-Holder and wedge clamp types, the RhinoRush line of boring bars meets the needs of more demanding machining applications.
“After seeing these improvements (in his manufacturing process), I am now looking to expand the TaeguTec products used throughout the factory in order to achieve more productivity at a lesser cost. In order to achieve this, I am looking towards TaeguTec to work together to achieve my target goals,” he said.