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In The Electric Vehicle Age, Taiwan’s Plastic & Rubber Machines Are Crucial Drivers

Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 16 November 2021

In tackling climate change problems caused by traditional automobiles, the electric vehicle industry has already become a key battleground, one where plastic parts play an essential role. The compound growth rate for plastic materials used in electric vehicles is set to increase to about 27% by 2025. Plastic materials offer lightweight, safety and aesthetic advantages that make them well suited for use in the EV industry. Taiwan’s plastic molding equipment gets better all the time, bringing the advantages of high flexibility, high customization, and high efficiency. Chen Hsong, FCS and Victor Taichung are all important international suppliers of plastic parts and are at the forefront in the EV industrial chain.

Mr. Wang, CEO, FCS: Lightness and better batteries are key to electric vehicles
 
With the climate crisis continuing to unfold and the EU setting a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 40%, the prospects for electric vehicles look excellent with charging facilities becoming more widespread and consumer enthusiasm increasing year on year. The majority of carmakers are looking to upgrade their software and hardware and even though Covid-19 has hit global trade, only electric vehicles have bucked the trend in the midst of an economic depression. The first big trend for the use of plastics in EVs is making the vehicles lighter.

Mr. Wang, CEO, FCS: To take the sunroof as an example: if you can replace a traditional glass sunroof with plastic, you can save 50% on weight. FCS has developed a large horizontal multi-component injection machine. This makes us the first injection machine manufacturer in Asia with the PC Glazing Technology to replace glass windows with PC windows. In the world there are only two European manufacturers that are leading the introduction of similar technology. Many well-known carmakers are customers of FCS. It is estimated that sales of horizontal multi-component injection machines for the whole of 2021 may see double-digit growth or greater, an amazing sales volume.

For FCS as a leader in injection molding technology, everything starts from listening to the customers’ requirements. FCS has led the way to develop machines with a tie-bar puller that automatically removes a tie bar from the side of the machine. This means the customer doesn’t need to be limited by the height of the factory space as the mold can be installed horizontally from the side. This does away with the limitations of having to lift and install the mold on top as per standard practice. For carmaker customers’ different products and demands, FCS can quickly and expertly provide customized services, creating more advantages.


Manager of Victor Taichung: Plastic is a superb insulating material, tailored for electric vehicles
 
Victor Taichung’s all-electric injection molding machines have the advantages of being clean, precise and energy-saving compared to traditional hydraulic presses. All-electric machines save over 60% of power and 90% of water use compared to traditional hydraulic presses. These features have made them highly favored in the 3C electronics industry before now. Now that key parts are more localized and costs have gone down, sectors including automobiles, medicine, electrical appliances, and biomedicine parts have all joined in. Plastic is a superb insulating material. It can be used to make a case for the battery to make sure it operates safely and is not affected by changes in outside temperature. It also protects against wear and rust. Thus, it’s very suitable for use in electric vehicles.

Victor Taichung has developed and mass produced all-electric injection machines for more than 20 years. By using high-end servo motors and ball-screw technology transplanted from machine tools, the company is able to continue introducing high-quality all-electric injection machines of different tonnages. Victor Taichung also has a self-developed remote networking system and cloud technology platform to implement smart management, to strengthen machine efficiency and raise productivity, and to meet customers’ requirements.

Mr. Wang, General Manager, Chen Hsong: Workability of plastics means more possibilities for vehicle exteriors
 
Mr. Wang, General Manager, Chen Hsong: Multiple color injection molding technology and equipment gets better all the time. The metal moldings of some cars have gradually been replaced by injection molded parts like two-color or multicolored rubber and plastic materials, carbon fiber, MIM powdered metallic materials and so on. Chen Hsong is always seeking innovation and change, and continues to develop high precision, high performance plastic injection machines. From Asian carmakers’ Tier-1 suppliers, as well as the car parts manufacturing industry, all use Chen Hsong machines.
Given that vehicle manufacturing is a highly automated industry, and in response to the move towards Industry 4.0, Chen Hsong began doing research into cloud connections and big data analytics. In addition, the company is also developing injection machines with an integrated smart control system so manufacturers can carry out remote monitoring at any time, with error warnings and smart production scheduling to ensure production line stability. Built-in specialized parameters also allow even a novice operator to make products that meet requirements. Chen Hsong holds the values of being high tech and innovative and tailoring to the customer’s needs.

Huge changes are expected for the global automotive industry, and sales of electric vehicles are expected to grow more than 10 times over. Plastics play an essential role in the high demands for lightness, composite material molding and exteriors. Taiwan’s plastics machinery makers are ready to lead the way into the age of the electric vehicle.

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