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Hwayoung Autotech’s Selection and Specialisation - Wheel Hub Bearing Parts

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Currently, many SMEs place considerable emphasis on ‘product flexibility’ which means to expand the market by processing various kinds of parts using just one machine tool. Hwayoung Autotech, as a company devoted to the production of only ‘wheel hub bearing parts’, has taken a different path to that of other SMEs. Equipped with the expertise and confidence it has accumulated through ‘selection and specialisation’ and the ability to read the paradigm shift of automotive trends, Hwayoung Autotech, named a hidden champion by the Korean government, has collaborated with Doosan Machine Tools to develop the technology and know-how required for the manufacture of wheel hub bearing parts for more than twenty years. The company has also continued to work tirelessly for a better corporate future ever since its inception.Focus on Specialization and Insight into the Future

Focus on Specialization and Insight into the Future



Established in Busan in 1993, Hwayoung Autotech (hereafter “Hwayoung”) started out by processing auto parts for engines, transmissions, and chassis. After well over twenty years, Hwayoung became specialized in the production of wheel hubs and wheel hub bearing parts to support the inside and outside of wheel bearings - power transmission components that connect the steering wheel with the wheel axle. With production facilities in Gyeongsan and Jecheon, Hwayoung is a so-called “hidden champion” that generates annual revenues of more than KRW 200 billion and has about 120 employees.
Having started producing wheel hub parts in 1998, Hwayoung rapidly accumulated expertise and technical competence in this area and emerged as a first-mover beyond the level of a fast follower in the industry. So what has enabled Hwayoung to achieve this remarkable progress? “We decided to focus on the machining field in order to produce superior products,” said Bokhee Jeong, vice president of Hwayoung. “We chose the production of wheel hub parts as our main line of expertise, which has enabled us to maintain our marketability despite the reduced production of internal combustion engine vehicles and the dawning of the era of the electric vehicle.”
Wheel hub bearing parts must be precise and display minimum dimensional variation. They also require a smooth surface finish for outstanding durability. “The most important technology in wheel hub bearing parts processing is autosizing,” said VP Bokhee Jeong. “It is a key processing technology for determining the optimal size so that the ball and its peripheral parts can be assembled precisely.” Hwayoung has secured high-precision machining technology suitable for autosizing and, by supplying high-quality parts to its customers, has been able to build trust and credibility with its domestic and overseas customers
“In precision parts processing, the final quality depends on the know-how of operators who fine-tune their processing equipment according to the physical properties and processing dimensions of workpieces,” said VP Jeong. “To improve their work environment so that they can focus entirely on the quality of their work, two years ago we carefully analyzed the level of our operators’ fatigue and realigned our manufacturing processes while introducing automatic inspection machines which integrated the inspection process into the machining process, thereby creating smart processing lines in our production facilities. In 1998, one operator was responsible for two machine tools: Now one operator runs twelve machine tools. This is largely because our production lines have become automated and smart.”


 

An Encounter with Machine Tools that Determines 80% of Processing Quality Competitiveness



In order to ensure quality uniformity, precision, and cost competitiveness, Hwayoung carries out all wheel hub parts machining processes by itself, including CNC lathe machining of forged products, hole machining, high-frequency heat treatment, broaching, polishing and bolt tightening. Hwayoung carries out the lathe turning and hole machining operations using Doosan machine tools.
Hwayoung has been using Doosan machine tools since 1998. VP Jeong said, “There are many factors that affect product quality, including machining equipment, fixtures, tools, manufacturing methods and materials, but it is the metalcutting machine tools that affect product quality most decisively.” She added that machine tools determine at least 80% of processing quality, and that for this reason, many companies place top priority on cutting capability and machine tool rigidity when purchasing machine tools, followed by the price and the after-sales service.
In addition to the PUMA QL30H and the PUMA QL300H, Hwayoung has recently installed CNC lathes including the PUMA TW2600 and the PUMA GT3100 for the turning processes of hubs and outer rings. It also uses the T3600D tapping center, to process holes for hubs and outer rings. VP Jeong praised Doosan machine tools highly, saying, “Doosan machine tools have the lowest failure rate during operation while demonstrating 3-5% superiority in productivity compared with other companies’ machine tools.” She went on to say, “Most notably, having had the experience of using the company’s machine tools on the ground, we have found out that the machine tools are superior not only in price competitiveness but also in speed, rigidity and after-sales service.”
To cope with the latest trends in automotive parts manufacturing, such as lightness, improved durability and higher precision, Hwayoung has developed technologies for the production of 3rd- and 4th-generation bearings for machining all-in-one components that incorporate wheel hub bearing balls, as part of its continuous efforts to preemptively meet its customers’ needs.
“I hope that Doosan Machine Tools will pay even more attention to the dynamics and rigidity of its machine tools so that manufacturing companies can achieve global competitiveness in a rapidly changing environment,” said Jeong. “Especially in the era of the coming “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” it is our sincere hope that Doosan Machine Tools will take the lead in the development of smart equipment, and optimize the automation and intelligence of its machine tools, so that SMEs can proactively respond to changing environments.”
On the other hand, Hwayoung is interested in material technologies capable of processing parts made of nonferrous metals and composite materials, in addition to iron and steel, as part of its efforts to find new growth engines beyond the level of just meeting the customers’ current needs. Hwayoung’s strong commitment to innovation and its continuous efforts towards attaining its goals are what set it apart from its competitors as a highly recognized specialized manufacturer of wheel hub bearing parts at home and abroad, as well as being the motors that will continue to propel the company’s growth further down the road.