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Ale Lee

AUTOMOTIVE Our focus is on continuous R&D

Nov 30, 2018

Ale Lee, Sales Manager, DEES Hydraulic Industrial, in this interview with Suchi Adhikari, shares his insights on the future of the automotive industry and the ways in which his company is catering to the upcoming customer needs and demands. Excerpts…

Can you brief us on the latest trends and developments in the global stamping and pressing process markets?

Sheet metal forming is a key process for the automotive industry.The move to lightweight material production is an important trend in the automotive sector. New car designs will require new materials which, in turn, require new stamping and tooling processes. For example, we built a new 2500-tonne hot forming press recently for sheet moulding compound, a soft material. I foresee that this type of demand for stronger and lighter materials will increase in the future. Hot forming is also an important focus. Key sectors, such as, electric car production within the automotive sector, have been especially profitable for us.

What is your outlook on the current global business climate for sheet metal stamping professionals?

The market in Asia is very strong right now.We are receiving more calls from customers and I have strong expectations for this market in 2018. Our largest market is still China. However, we also face strong competition from Chinese press manufacturers, so, that is one of the reasons we have invested strongly in
our new factory and press technologies.

Could you elaborate on your company’s strategic and technical mission and objectives?

From a technical point of view, we try to continuously improve our hydraulic press technology to give us an edge over our competitors. Most of our customers are in the automotive industry with very stringent quality requirements. Hence, we have been focusing our efforts on building presses with higher speeds, reducing oil leakages and fitting accumulators and servo feeds for energy-saving. Our mission is to produce high-precision, rapid and quality presses. Options such as, moving bolsters, 180-degree tilting slide tables, safety devices, servo valves and servo motors are some options that we offer on hydraulic presses. We own many patents and spend a great deal on R&D to further develop our press technology. Strategically, we want to build our presence globally so that we can provide full service and support to our customers.

What are some of the issues that are of prime importance to your customers? How is your company addressing these concerns?

The most important issue for our customers is service. We focus on improving our customer service and support packages. User-friendly systems make the operation or maintenance easier. Ethernet link technology in electrical systems enables our technicians to monitor press operation or fix software programs in real-time to shorten downtime. Fast service and efficient responses are also our main goals. Many of our customers are turning away from cheaper machine tools and placing their focus on stability and quality. With our focus on continuous R&D, we are ideally placed to meet these demands as well.

Customers are also looking for faster speed, greater control and more accuracy as well as higher productivity from their presses. After-service is key and we have an excellent service team to cater to this need. Additionally, Industry 4.0 and increasing levels of automation are also important issues for our customers. Hence, DEES has built many tandem lines with full automation.

What are some of the factors that pose as the greatest challenges and opportunities for your company?

Competition and price in markets are key challenges for our company. Duties and tariffs in some countries make our products less competitive. However, in terms of opportunities, more customers are asking us for solutions. More of them want us to plan the entire production process for specific parts and offer entire production solutions for them. This as an important opportunity for us in the future.

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