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

Foxconn Engages European Auto Parts Talks for Tier 1 and EV Market Entry </h2>

Foxconn Engages European Auto Parts Talks for Tier 1 and EV Market Entry

Oct 20, 2020

Foxconn is looking to explore cooperation with European tier 1 auto parts suppliers in developing 3D auto-use curved glass covers. The electronics manufacturer is also reportedly engaging in talks with European auto firms to make curved, one-piece system consoles and dashboards. In a bid to diversify its product line, Foxconn's plans to enter the lucrative auto parts industry began with provid...


(File cabinets, photo courtesy of Chyn Fuh Enterprise Co., Ltd.)

Taiwan's Furniture Industry Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Oct 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected global and Taiwan's political and economic landscapes. Unlike some industries, the furniture sector did not escape unscathed, facing a squeeze from management and costs. While Taiwan continues to implement a stable, successful outbreak response, the industry has also misjudged the economic downturn duration. The furniture industry has yet to fully recover...


2020 Energy Vision Summit for Green Energy to Kick off in Nov.</h2>

2020 Energy Vision Summit for Green Energy to Kick off in Nov.

Oct 14, 2020

The Taiwanese government has pledged to lead the effort in further developing the sustainable green economy, which is among the sectors highlighted in the Tsai administration's "5+2 Innovative Industries Initiative." Economic Daily News is hosting the "2020 Energy Vision Summit - Green Energy 2.0" on November 11. As one of the government's core policies, improving the island's energy self-suff...



Industry In-Focus

Foxconn Engages European Auto Parts Talks for Tier 1 and EV Market Entry </h2>

Foxconn Engages European Auto Parts Talks for Tier 1 and EV Market Entry

Oct 20, 2020

Foxconn is looking to explore cooperation with European tier 1 auto parts suppliers in developing 3D auto-use curved glass covers. The electronics manufacturer is also reportedly engaging in talks with European auto firms to make curved, one-piece system consoles and dashboards. In a bid to diversify its product line, Foxconn's plans to enter the lucrative auto parts industry began with provid...


China's Strong Auto Market to Buoy Taiwan's Related Industries</h2>

China's Strong Auto Market to Buoy Taiwan's Related Industries

Oct 19, 2020

Taiwan's auto parts market has seen positive impacts as the Chinese automotive market continues to grow in its sixth consecutive month. Hotai Motors and Yulon Nissan Motor are the two significant firms enjoying the leverage. The island's related industries are benefiting from the strong performance of China's automotive market. Industry members say as long as competitive Taiwanese firms mainta...


Foundry Supply in a Pickle Amid Surging Demand Due to Pandemic and Restrictions</h2>

Foundry Supply in a Pickle Amid Surging Demand Due to Pandemic and Restrictions

Oct 19, 2020

Industry experts expect to see challenging times ahead for production in the foundry sector, forecasting that the current situation will not let up in the short-term and warns of unbalanced supply-demand next year. During the pre-pandemic era, IC design firms say clients usually made urgent orders to avoid having to manage inventory. Yet, considering limited foundry production volume, clients ...



Supplier News

(Electric Vehicle-Photo courtesy of CENS)

Microtest: Precise, Reliable, and Always Improving

Oct 16, 2020

Eyes Stake in 5G Industry with Impedance Analyzer 6632 With greater demand for electronics and manufacturers' need for more precise and diverse applications than before, testing equipment that ensures the reliability, safety, and quality of parts are in hot demand. Founded in 1993, Microtest Corp. is a professional maker and developer of high precision and automatic testing and measurement ins...


(Photo courtesy of Ho Shuan Enterprise Co., Ltd.)

Ho Shuan is Your Choice for Educational Furniture and More

Oct 16, 2020

Insisting that its customers are always a top priority, Ho Shuan Enterprise Co., Ltd.'s R&D team provides the best educational furniture and peripherals, computer tables, and desks to meet all customer requirements. Established in 1986, Ho Shuan has experienced recent sluggish local market performance, but eventually rebounded and came back better than ever. Despite difficulties, the firm neve...

HO SHUAN ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.


(S16-M01 Short Swivel-Handle Cabinet, photo courtesy of Chyn Fuh Enterprise)

Chyn Fuh: A Quality OA Metal Furniture Maker

Oct 16, 2020

Chyn Fuh Enterprise, founded in 1993, entered the market with the sole aim of offering other OA metal furniture options for customers. Since its inception, Chyn Fuh has focused on designing and producing OA metal furniture, providing various office use products, including file cabinets, storage cabinets, office desks, and different assistive metal products. Chyn Fuh partook in many government ...

CHYN FUH ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.



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...

PAUL MASTER AUTO PARTS CO.


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

Gearing up for Post-COVID Recovery, THS Coming Soon in October</h2>

Gearing up for Post-COVID Recovery, THS Coming Soon in October

Oct 07, 2020

As the only hardware and hand tools trade show taking place this year globally, the three-day Taiwan Hardware Show (THS) will soon kick off on 13th October at the Taichung International Exhibition Center. Positive industry outlook for the post COVID-19 era has led to over 370 companies signing up as exhibitors, in a bid to gear up for a long-awaited economic recovery and plan the next strategic m...


Stable Development and Popular Fastener Show in China</h2>

Stable Development and Popular Fastener Show in China

Sep 11, 2020

Driven by market prospects, domestic and international exhibitors actively prepare International Fastener Show China in Shanghai on November 3-5, 2020. Suffering from global epidemic and quarantine nearly half year, exhibitions are hot and popular in mainland China. Thousands of visitors join and visit the exhibitions with inquiries, and are eager to know new technology. Domestic and inter...


2020 Medical Taiwan to Host In-Person and Virtual Events</h2>

2020 Medical Taiwan to Host In-Person and Virtual Events

Sep 10, 2020

2020 Medical Taiwan is slated to kick off on Oct. 15 to Oct 17 at Nangang Exhibition Hall 2. Aside from events at the show, show organizer Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is also hosting the “Medical Taiwan Virtual” online edition at the same time due to travel restrictions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual edition will present 200 exhibitors and over 700 medic...