CUSTOMER STORIES BEST IN CLASS WITH A SMART STANDARD
Mirror Controls International’s stock-in-trade is defined by high quantities with extremely high precision and efficiency. The world market leader in mirror glass and powerfold systems delivers more than 60 million drives annually to the top 10 OEMs in the automobile industry. For manufacturing at the very highest level, they rely with absolute conviction on the all-electric Zhafir Venus II Series. And not just in Ireland.
Mirror Controls International (MCi), a company founded in 1964, currently has around 850 employees worldwide. This makes MCi the largest independent manufacturer in its industry sector – and at the same time the only system supplier with its own patents. They manage everything themselves, from design to production. By their own account, the secret to their success lies in extremely high precision and efficiency, based on 100% quality control and the high availability of their machines and assembly lines. We visited the MCi plant in Ireland and met with Plant Manager Director Vince Keehan and Technical Manager John O’Donoghue.
It is a tightly organized operation at the Manorhamilton site in the northwest of Ireland. At present some 56 injection molding machines form the nucleus of the production in an environment of strictly controlled processes and fully automated assembly. Here, 198 employees work 24/7 to process a yearly total of 2,500 tons of raw material. Week after week 12.5 million plastic components and individual parts are made and later assembled into completed systems. 17 of 18 electric injection molding machines bear the logo of the Venus II Series, working with clamping forces of between 600 and 1,200 kN. Others will follow in order to switch to strictly electric technology and to thus rely fully on the Venus. The favorable arguments are: no oil, low background noise, and – not least of all – precision. “Our plastic parts are processed in fully-automated assembly and thus minimal variation is allowed. In order to guarantee such precision, we are increasingly converting to electric machines,” Vince Keehan tells us in the production shop. Immediately before us stand the Zhafir machines in neat rows. “We want to show our customers that we value the latest technology and precision and that’s why we have placed the Venus machines at the entrance.” Just a few weeks before our visit, PMM, Haitian International’s sales partner for UK and Ireland, installed five Zhafir machines here. “The PMM team has done a great job”, John O’Donoghue enthuses. “Delivery, installation, and setup within 14 days – that was impressive. What is more, the service is excellent, and my colleagues very much appreciate PMM’s flexibility.”
When asked about the decisive factors in favor of Haitian as machine manufacturer, Keehan and O’Donoghue name some key facts that are both forward-looking and pragmatic: service on-site, high availability, short delivery times, energy-saving technologies, good value for money. “The machines have to be easy to operate in order to convince the employees of a new supplier as well. We have had good success in this regard with the Zhafir machines. Haitian International scores well in this aspect together with PMM”, Keehan says emphatically. “Moreover, as far as energy costs are concerned the injection molding department causes the lion’s share. Every bit of saving here counts. The Venus machines consume on average 50% less energy compared with the other machines in manufacturing.”
The first Venus II Series machines within the globally operating MCi group were installed by the Chinese subsidiary plant in Suzhou. That’s where Keehan and his team’s machine was tested and approved. “No question about it, the visit to Suzhou and our satisfaction there with the Zhafir machines was what convinced us initially,” says Keehan in summary. In the meantime, the plant at Suzhou now runs only Zhafir machines, he adds, and in Manorhamilton too “the Venus II Series is highly popular because it offers an excellent price-performance ratio.” In Mexico also, the conversion to Venus II Series began long ago. “Our plastic parts must meet the same standards worldwide,” O’Donoghue explains, “because we distribute them globally to all the plants based on demand. Today we can receive plastic parts from Mexico or China and assemble them – there is no difference to in-house production. By doing this, we have created a truly global network. If we have free capacity here, we can produce for our subsidiary plants. And vice versa.”
Precision and 100% quality control are the rule at MCi. The components are subjected to a series of quality tests that are both appropriately extensive and intensive, whether it’s material tests, as for example with MFI Index, or control of material drying, the sensor technology in the injection molding machines, visual monitoring centers in assembly, or any number of measurement analyses or downstream tests such as vibration tests, noise tests, temperature tests. Keehan: “All of the 12 million molded components that we produce weekly are tested, certified, and documented. All of this is done to guarantee 100% functionality of the final systems in the most varied of applications, irrespective of customers, location or application. And, as we’ve already mentioned, this is all done worldwide.”
In terms of productivity too, they leave nothing to chance. The automation has been built specifically for the individual products, and the internal product design also affects their role. If there are updates within a module, this has little influence on the injection molding machinery; you just change the mold and if necessary the material. Keehan: “We have reliable customer forecasts. This is very unusual in the moulding industry. We know the platforms of the individual automobile brands and their developments, and since we design and develop our products ourselves we influence standardization to a high degree.”
As for the question as to why manufacture in Ireland of all places – after all there’s no automobile manufacturing on the island and MCi has to export 100% – Keehan explains that the site was founded by a German at the time. “Then out of that a manufacturing plant developed that grew bigger and bigger. In addition, we have particularly good toolmakers in this region and good training centers for technicians. Moreover, for many US companies Ireland has in the past been what you might call the doorway to Europe. And in terms of taxes Ireland is certainly not unattractive either.”
• Approx. 1,000 employees
• Including 40 R&D engineers
• More than 250 years of experience
• 59 patents applied since 1997
• Global supplier to the top 10 OEMs
• Global bidder to 40 of the top 50 platforms
• Manufacturing more than 60 million actuators per year
MCi has been a subsidiary of Flextronics since July 2015
WHAT A GREAT DAY! GRAND OPENING IN GERMANY
A familiar celebration at Haitian International Germany together with 680 guests from 15 nations.
On 06.06.2016 – the number 6 means luck – the official opening ceremony took place along with Mr. Zhang Jianming, CEO of Haitian Group and Mr. Zhang Jianfeng, CEO of Haitian International. The Mayor of Ebermannsdorf, Josef Gilch, brought a special gift: The new access road to the company is now officially registered as “Haitian street”.
This event marks an important milestone for the team in Germany. Mr. Xiang Linfa, General Manager of Haitian International Germany, explains: “We want to be more responsive to the needs of our customers and meet their requirements from the relevant industries as best as possible. This has always been our company philosophy. With the second plant we have given ourselves more space to e.g. test complete production cells also with larger series. ”
Assembling of Mars and Jupiter machines
After around 9 months of construction – the official ground-breaking ceremony was on 01.09.2015 – the 8,000 square meter new building (7,500 sqm manufacturing area) was opened for the numerous guests out of the plastics industry and regional politics. Effective immediately, servo-hydraulic machines of the Mars II and Jupiter II Series will be assembled in this hall for the European market, customized for customers and tested through its paces. The production range covers clamping forces from 600 to 30,000 kN. With growing focus to the energy-saving two-platen Jupiter II Series (entire range 4,500-88,000 kN). At the Grand Opening visitors could already get an idea of the performance of the two-platen technology, since several Jupiter machines with up to 21,000 kN demonstrated their dynamics and precision live in action.
In the first hall, built in 2009, the electrical Zhafir machines Venus II Series and Zeres Series will continue to be assembled with clamping forces from 400 to 6,500 kN. The application center in the Zhafir hall offers mold tests and trainings for German and European customers.
A Haitian Jupiter II plus Series with 21,000 kN produced a pipe fitting. The machine left the plant following the Grand Opening to its new owner, the BT Bautechnik Impex GmbH & Co.KG in Aichach.
More capacity in service & support
With the commissioning of the 2nd factory, Haitian International Germany has a significantly extended production capacity. This will increase the availability of the machines “to go” as well as the speed of delivery time of spare parts.
More service strength in the fields of pre- and after-sales was the second important aspect in the investment decision of the Haitian Group for the site in Germany. “The new hall and the resulting space gives us many more opportunities to offer mold testing on production cells with larger machines,” says Philippe Porret, Deputy Manager of Haitian International Germany. “We are simultaneous growing in all areas. In assembling and system development, in sales and service structures, and in all levels of support. ”
50 years of Haitian and the official opening of the second production hall in Ebermannsdorf: These truly are good reasons to celebrate, and for you too! By developing our production and service capabilities, we can match both our fully electric series and also our servo-hydraulic machines to your very specific requirements profile, and this with pinpoint accuracy and in very short order, directly on-site.
Visualize this: At our Grand Opening 2016, we will exhibit 160 machines of all classes, some of them in live production, including the big two-platen Jupiter Series models. In addition, our technology partners will introduce themselves in the Networking Area.
So don’t miss out on this day to get information also about the latest state-of-the-art systems and components!
Monday, 6th June 2016, at 12:28
Haitian International Germany GmbH
Contact us for further information :
Fakuma 2015 – Haitian International Germany presents, ‘Technology to the Point’ – standard machines of high quality.
This is the first official Fakuma under the new corporate name and anticipation among the company management is high.
“I’m looking forward very much to this exhibition, which is preceded by its excellent reputation. My goal is to meet and get to know as many customers and interested people as possible.” Xiang Linfa, General Manager of the German subsidiary in Ebermannsdorf, said.
The efficient economy-class variant of the best-selling Haitian Mars Series is the most successful servo-hydraulic injection-moulding machine in the world with sales of more than 120,000 units. The efficiently configured equipment package is available in clamping-force categories from 600 to 5.300 kN, and for the processor it allows competitive production of simple standard parts with high energy-efficiency, repeatability and precision. At Fakuma 2015, a MAII900 machine will manufacture a salad cup made of PP, which is extracted by a Sepro Linear robot.
The lid for the cup, also made of PP, will be produced by a fully-electric 1500 kN Zhafir Venus II Series in 4 seconds. The appropriate moulds for the 2+2-cavity stack mould and also for the cup were made available to the Axmann Company.
Since its launch in 2007, the Venus Series has established itself worldwide as an attractively priced and high-performance alternative to hydraulic solutions. More than 5,000 Venus machines have been delivered to date.
The Jupiter II Series 4500 plus is Haitian’s smallest two-platen solution so far with its energy-saving servo-hydraulic “Mars technology drive”. The JUII4500 plus has been optimised again just recently to meet specific customer demands from the European automobile industry hence the addition “plus” to the name. The new, decentralised locking system brings even more dynamics in terms of clamping and achieves significantly shorter dry-cycle times.
“We already know it’s going to be a busy autumn season for us,” said Linfa. “In September we will break ground on the new production hall. Beginning in 2016, as currently planned, we will then be able to assemble a considerable part of our machines for Europe.” When the second plant is finally completed, Haitian International Germany will expand the production area by approx. 7,500 m², reaching a total of more than 12,000 m².
Hall A1 Stand 1101-1103
24/09/2015 – Northern Manufacturing Show Manchester
Come along and visit us on stand D51 at the Northern Manufacturing Show at Event City Manchester – 30th September to 1st October.
We will have exciting news about the new Zeres Hybrid Electric / Hydraulic machine, which has unbeatable performance and accuracy at Hydraulic machine prices.
Ask us about the power savings of our Mars Servo Hydraulic range of machines and we will show you energy savings of up to 70% compared to standard hydraulic machines.NMFG 2015
20/05/2015 – 10th Birthday Offer Extended