cens logo

Taiwan Fastener Makers Focus on Advanced Heat Treatment Standards to Tap Automotive Segment

CQI-9 HTSA is increasingly applied to ensure quality of thermally treated fasteners

May 07, 2015 | By Steve Chuang

Compiled by STEVE CHUANG

In response to the persistently growing global automotive industry, ever more Taiwanese fasteners have actively ventured into the segment as a savvy strategy to secure more sustainable development, with some focusing on introducing advanced heat treatment standards to better meet requirements by global carmakers.

According to Taiwan Industrial Fastener Institute (TIFI), an association of local makers in the sector, around 25% of Taiwanese fastener manufacturers are capable of supplying quality-approved automotive fasteners worldwide for the time being, and the proportion is expected to surge to 40-50% in the next five years, based on steadily increasing global car production. IHS Automotive, a global automotive industry researcher, forecasts worldwide car sales to exceed 100 million units in 2018, and this will surely bring considerable business opportunities to the Taiwanese fastener industry.

K.B. Yo, project manager of Metal Industries Research & Development Centre (MIRDC), a Taiwanese R&D body, says that heat treatment, which reinforces durability, structural strength to enhance added-value, is a critical process that determines a supplier's qualification to be an OEM maker for leading carmakers, adding that “generally, Taiwan suppliers are skilled at upstream processes as forming, threading and heading, but overlook heat and surface treatment due to relatively high costs. They circumvent such issue by cutting corners—subcontracting heat treating and electroplating firms, who can handle the jobs cheaply but without assuring stable quality.”

Thermal treatment determines durability and safety of fasteners (Photo courtesy of Instron®).Thermal treatment determines durability and safety of fasteners (Photo courtesy of Instron®).

In essence, Yo states, Taiwan fastener suppliers can skillfully handle heat treatment to turn out quality automotive fasteners meeting world-class automakers' standards; however, prolonged neglect and underdeveloped quality inspection systems for heat treatment have become major obstacles to effectively explore the OEM (original equipment manufacturing) segment.

To overcome such hindrance, some of Taiwanese fastener makers have introduced the American AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group) CQI-9 (Continuous Quality Improvement) HTSA (heat treatment system assessment) into the industry, aiming to build Taiwan into a global leader in the automotive fastener segment. 

“Once successfully passing the CQI-9 assessment, Taiwan fastener suppliers can then directly supply automotive fasteners to leading automakers, which would, most importantly, double export prices to NT$100-200 per kilometer from the current NT$50-100 in the AM segment,” he says. “Being CQI-9 qualified enables Taiwan makers to right away enhance the value of their fasteners to make them stronger global competitors.”

Birth of AIAG
Set up in 1982 by U.S.'s big three automakers, namely General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler, AIAG is a non-profit organization providing an open platform for members to jointly work to develop new technologies. The AIAG has successfully wielded plenty of influence over the global automotive industry—setting up quite a few quality inspection standards and training courses for industry insiders. Currently, an estimated 1,500 voluntary companies within the AIAG are developing optimal solutions to standardize supply chains in the sector.

Global car production is estimated by market observers to exceed 100 million units in 2018 (Photo courtesy of UDN.com).Global car production is estimated by market observers to exceed 100 million units in 2018 (Photo courtesy of UDN.com).

CQI, introduced by the AIAG, is a quality management concept that stresses the importance of efficient, effective processes under corporate organizational efforts and systematic management—contending that everything can be improved through daily work and experimentation in-house.

Based on the CQI core concept, CQI-9 HTSA contains a series of inspections and audits related to heat treating equipment, processes, personnel, output quality and quality control systems, and, notably, the assessment support processes defined in ISO/TS 16949 standards. In other words, the quality management process helps makers, who have been ISO 9001 and TS 16949 certified, to introduce and implement CQI HTSA in production.

CQI-9 Imperative
Responding to why CQI-9 is helping Taiwan fastener makers, Yo says that,  compared with JIS in Japan, CQI-9 is widely adopted among leading European and North American automakers; so it is imperative to be CQI-9 HTSA certified to become OEM suppliers to automakers.

From another viewpoint, adopting CQI-9 can help Taiwan makers continually improve heat treatment technique. Yo says that, to achieve high capacity, some producers may place too many fasteners at once in a heat treatment oven, causing a very small portion of maybe 1 to 2 pieces to get stuck, hence failing to be properly heat treated.

“Making automotive fasteners safe hinges on carrying out proper heat treatment at specified period and temperature to achieve durability, hardness and structural strength. Without maintaining time and temperature properly during heat treatment, a fastener then will be unsafe for any vehicle,” Yo stresses. “Needless to say that keeping the proper conditions is a common problem among most Taiwan fastener makers and heat treating companies.”

“CQI-9 instructs factories to back up time-temperature diagrammatic charts and related data on daily operation of heat treating ovens, enabling checking such parameters when defective fasteners are found. Consequently, they must try to improve whole production lines by upgrading equipment to minimize poor quality. In short, CQI-9's strict requirements for data back-up and the core concepts of CQI help to instill in suppliers, workers correct attitudes related to quality, as well as be accountable,” he adds.

“As said, proper heat treatment decides the quality and safety of automotive fasteners. The discovery, return of defective fasteners typically result in considerable penalty—calling for suppliers to compensate ten times the cost of fasteners in question. To avoid such consequences and assure product quality, Taiwan makers of automotive fastener tend to send abroad semi-finished fasteners for proper heat treatment, instead of risking business with local subcontractors,” Yo says. “Such scenario discourages fastener suppliers to venture into the OEM segment, hence compromising local heat treating companies' chances to win orders.”

Some of Taiwanese makers have introduced AIAG CQI-9 HTSA standards to test quality of their automotive fasteners.Some of Taiwanese makers have introduced AIAG CQI-9 HTSA standards to test quality of their automotive fasteners.

“By carrying out CQI in-house and become CQI-9 HTSA certified, Taiwanese suppliers will hopefully become more confident and capable of handling such risky orders, and Taiwan's heat treating sector will also progress in process technology and business operation.”

Industry Reports

K, the leading global plastic and rubber trade fair (Photo courtesy of Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann)

K, The World's Leading Trade Fair for Plastic and Rubber Industry

Jul 24, 2020

2019 K Show, the leading global trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, had been held in Düsseldorf on 16-23 October, 2019. There were 3,330 exhibitors from 63 nations proved impressively: plastics continue to be an innovative, indispensable material. But they also unanimously underscored the necessity of having operational circular economies along the complete material chain and to this...

Photo courtesy of CENS

Digital Healthcare & Technology at the Heart of Las Vegas CES 2020

Jul 14, 2020

■ Hubert Chih The number of healthcare exhibitors at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas increased significantly by 23% from 2019. According to the analysis and report by the CES organizer, digital healthcare and technology were the focus in the healthcare exhibition. In addition to the continued expansion of healthcare coverage, the reduction of healthcare costs, the improvement of effectiveness and th...

The Taiwan Hardware Show sees global buyer attendance. (Photo provided by Kaigo Co.)

Taiwan's Hand Tools Seeking Opportunities Amid Global Crisis

Jul 10, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, most of the international hardware shows slated for this year has been moved to 2021. However, as Taiwan’s efforts combating the new virus has proven to be successful, the 2020 Taiwan Hardware Show (THS) will continue as scheduled, beginning on Oct. 13 and ending on the 15th at the Taichung International Exhibition Center, thus becoming the only sh...

Industry In-Focus

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel</h2>

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel

Jun 05, 2020

Brazil’s new crown pneumonia epidemic has rapidly increased. Brazil’s Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer, is facing an out-of-control impact. The market is worried that iron ore production and sales will be affected. new highs. Experts from Sinosteel (2002) evaluated that steel prices will rise steadily under the effect of rising costs, with a promising outlook. According to a legal p...

Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan</h2>

Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan

Jun 01, 2020

Apple is considering to invest over US$330 million in a factory in northern Taiwan to manufacture both LED and micro-LED displays for its iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and other new devices. Apple is teaming up on the new factory with Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, and Taiwanese LCD panel maker, AU Optronics. The plant will be located in the Longtan branch of the Hsinchu Science Park and Appl...

Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19</h2>

Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19

May 18, 2020

What the epidemic showed was the amazing flexibility of Taiwan's machine tool industry. Taiwan, which has allowed the semiconductor industry to specialize in the past, has finally realized that these machine tool industries with amazing strength are the "invisible champions" of Taiwan's economy. In early February, three companies -- Habor Precision, Tongtai Machine & Tool and Taiwan Takisawa -...

Supplier News

With professional technics and rigorous quality control, Kung Hsing gains high-reputation in the industry</h2>

With professional technics and rigorous quality control, Kung Hsing gains high-reputation in the industry

Jul 23, 2020

Kung Hsing Plastic Machinery Co., LTD., founded in 1972, is the brainchild of the company President Tsai Chin-lien’s over 48 years of experience in designing and producing extrusion machines. The firm stood by its belief to uphold integrity and offer the best quality and services, eventually becoming a leader in the extrusion machinery industry in Taiwan. Kung Hsing currently has two factories; t...




Jul 21, 2020

■ Tseng Lung-nan Intype Enterprise has built up 55 years of experience in producing extruders, though the firm is placing greater consideration on rapidly degrading of the global environment. In the past 20 years, Intype has become an active contributor to building up a global ecosystem, enabling them to reuse the products manufactured by their own extruders and avoid further waste. The firm t...


YFCM Carbon Fiber Driveshaft Lauded in the field of Modified Cars for its Flexibility </h2>

YFCM Carbon Fiber Driveshaft Lauded in the field of Modified Cars for its Flexibility

Jul 14, 2020

■Hsiao Yung-le Yifeng Technology Co., Ltd. specializes in the research and development of carbon fiber transmission shafts and the manufacture of carbon fiber related products.The carbon fiber material has the characteristics of lightweight, impact resistance, fatigue resistance, and corrosion, and chemical stability is quite high. The product type is increasing in the extensive range with an ...


Insiders' Views

Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...

Paul Master offers high-quality chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks. (Photo courtesy of Paul Master)

Paul Master Builds Reputation with Auto Chassis and Engine Parts

Nov 18, 2019

Founded in 1980, Paul Master Auto Parts Co. is headquartered in Taiwan, a professional manufacturer of chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks including forklifts. General Manager Terry Liang said the company has its own professional design department, which provides customized products and specifications for global buyers, including automobile steering and...


Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Sep 04, 2019

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...

Exhibition Highlights

Koelnmesse (Beijing) Co., Ltd.

Announcement on Postponement of China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020)

Jul 10, 2020

In view of the continuous spreading of COVID-19 all over the world and the latest epidemic prevention requirements of China and the government of Shanghai, in order to guarantee the health and safety of exhibitors, purchasers and professional visitors, China National Hardware Association and Koelnmesse have prudently decided to postpone China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020) from Augu...

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration</h2>

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration

Jun 16, 2020

This year, Automechanika Shanghai continues to serve the entire automotive value chain by offering opportunities for information exchange, marketing, trade and education. Both vertically and horizontally, from OE, vehicle production to the aftermarket, it incorporates all elements of manufacturing, supply networks, services, new business models and information technology. Companies across the...

Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd

CAPAS defers to 2021

Apr 20, 2020

Following the Chinese Government’s initiatives to prevent and control the COVID-19 outbreak, the organisers of the Chengdu International Trade Fair for Automotive Parts and Aftermarket Services (CAPAS) have announced the defer of the show’s 2020 edition. The fair, originally scheduled from 21 to 23 May 2020, will now be held from 20 to 22 May 2021. In China, the State Council issued an announc...