MAPAL takes over tool management at Hitachi Automotive Systems Group in Poland, Mexico, and Turkey.
For manufacturing companies, procuring and preparing tools requires a great deal of time and effort that demands both capacity and competence. For that reason, the Hitachi Automotive Systems Group has entrusted tool management for the entire brake manufacturing process at three of its locations—in Mexico, Turkey and Poland—to MAPAL. By doing so, the company benefits not only from tool management but also from the opportunities provided by digital connectivity.
Chassis Brakes International has been part of Hitachi Automotive Systems since 2019. The acquisition made Hitachi Automotive Systems one of the world’s largest brake manufacturers. “In Hitachi Automotive Systems’s Brake Business Unit , we manufacture disc brakes, drum brakes, electric parking brakes and rotors,” says Hubert Klehenz, the company’s global sourcing director for braking systems. The products are used in cars, light commercial vehicles and two-wheeled vehicles.
At its three factories in Mexico, Poland and Turkey, Hitachi Automotive Systems Group primarily manufactures disc and drum brakes. “We have been successfully working with the Turkish factory in Bursa for 13 years,” recalls Frank Stäbler, Head of Tool Management Services at MAPAL. Over time, the two companies expanded their collaboration. “Following our work at the Turkish factory, Hitachi Automotive Systems Group entrusted us with the tool management for its facility in Wrocław, Poland,” says Stäbler. Their most recent partnership is in Querétaro, Mexico. In 2017, when it was still operating as Chassis Brakes International, the company opened a completely new plant there.
Mastering Global Challenges with Worldwide On-site Support
Hubert Klehenz’s team was looking for a partner company that would be able to take over complete responsibility for tools at the plant in Mexico. “In order to deal with global challenges and global projects, we need a tool-management provider that can support us worldwide,” says Klehenz. Brake manufacturer’s main concern was finding a provider to work to the same standards as they themselves did – and deliver at a consistently high quality.
“Brakes are among the most critical safety features of every vehicle, and they need to operate perfectly under all circumstances,” Klehenz points out. In order to meet the high quality, safety and reliability requirements, brake manufacturers machine each part with the greatest care. “We receive the unfinished parts for brackets and brake calipers made of aluminium and cast-iron and take care of the entire machining and assembly process.”
In doing this, Hitachi Automotive Systems Group needs to eliminate all conceivable potential errors in order to ensure that none of their products are faulty. This approach is used across the board in the automobile industry and is the reason that the brakes in modern cars almost never fail. However, it does lead to increasing expenditure in terms of the equipment and tools used in brake manufacturing. Only components and processes that have been confirmed to rule out failures are used.
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