At the same time, the Friend Group announced the second phase of their expansion plan which includes two more Carat 920 cells. Furthermore, the Friend Group is carrying out the capacity verification of a second die casting production site in Chongqing and will continue to work with Bühler for megacasting applications.
Box About Friend Group:
The Friend Group is a high-end car body steel supplier, and the only listed company of the automotive steel sheet supply chain in China. In 2021, the sales revenue was nearly 10 billion yuan, and it is one of the top 100 companies and top 100 manufacturing enterprises in Shanghai. In 2021, the Friend Group established a subsidiary – Anhui Unique Automotive Technology Co., Ltd.
Taking the rapid rise of the automotive industry in Hefei as an opportunity, the Friend Group invested in a die casting project to produce auluminum car body structural parts and chassis parts in Shucheng County, Anhui Province. Cooperating with Bühler, Unique already purchased two Carat 440 cells and one Carat 610 cell. The on-time delivery of the Carat 610 marks a new stage of Friend’s die casting business.
Based on the continued positive outlook on the die casting industry, the Friend Group is working on the expansion of their die casting project in Anhui. The production capacity will add another 8.34 tons capacity to the 7 tons per hour of the first phase. For this, the Friend Group decided for two Bühler Carat 920 die casting cells, to further enhance the production capacity and industry competitiveness.
In addition, the Friend Group is also evaluating production capacity for a second die casting production base in Chongqing and will continue to cooperate with Bühler to expand this relevant market. Mr. Cui Jianbing, President of Friend Group, said: "As a veteran of automotive lightweight materials and a new player in the die casting industry, Friend has advantages in the management system construction, market development, and customer relationship. Through talent introduction to improve team competitiveness and cooperating with Bühler we can gain productivity advantages. We believe that the integrated die casting project will definitely become a new growth pole of Friend."
Mr. Cui Jianbing, President of Friend Group, said in an interview: "Friend selected the world's top five die casting equipment brands, and finally chose to cooperate with Bühler, mainly because Bühler’s equipment has advantages such as high reliability, stable performance, and compact equipment size."