Huizhong, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shanghai Huizhong Automotive Manufacturing Co. Ltd, specializes in producing chassis and other parts for the major automakers in China. Currently Huizhong’s customers include Volkswagen, Audi, Hyundai, Ford, General Motors, Fiat, Honda and Toyota.
Robots manufacture to global standards
“To reinforce our competencies, we partnered with ABB Robotics and the strategy is working very well,” said Wang Jianhang, an engineer with Huizhong who has participated in many major projects for the company. “Although China’s producers may have certain advantages in terms of labor costs, companies competing on the international stage need to meet the global standards,” said Wang.
Huizhong started off by using ABB welding robots and now has more than 60 robots in production, including IRB 2400L and IRB 1410.
Wang explains that it usually takes 10 to 12 months to develop a product such as a automotive subframe, but he and his team were required to finish the job in five months. After searching for suppliers for the project, it chose ABB for the welding work and received a total of seven robots. When Ford expanded its production, Huizhong commissioned a total of 14 robots at seven workstations. “Different workstations have different welding tasks, and now we can produce a total of 110 subframes per shift,” said Zhou Hui, supervisor for the Ford subframe line.
Having worked for Huizhong for 10 years, Zhou has operated a number of different welding robots. What impresses him most about the ABB robots is their user-friendliness. “We installed more robots last year,” he says, “and the updated operation panel is equipped with a touch screen that can display Chinese characters, which is really convenient for our workers.
Successful cooperation between Huizhong, ABB and local supplier
"The robots are fantastic, but to make the welding work perfectly, we still needed high-quality clamps to help with accurate positioning. ABB solved the problem by cooperating with its local supplier,” said Wang. With the success of the Ford project, Huizhong won the H-Car project from General Motors. In this project, Huizhong produces the rear axle and subframe and now has more than 40 ABB robots working on the project.
Huizhong employees more than 6,500 people around the world and has 12 plants in China, as well as offices in the United States, Germany and Australia.
ABB (abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 175,000 people.
About ABB Robotics
ABB Robotics (abb.com/robotics) is a leading supplier of industrial robots – also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. Key markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. A strong customer focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. ABB has installed more than 175,000 robots worldwide.