BBT’s travel report; Welcome to Taiwan, country of steel pressing!

Alain and me arrived here day before yesterday after a very easy but very long flight…. after a night of necessary sleep yesterday the real work could start… nicely scheduled as every trip, we’re fully booked… day 1 was a good start, no less as five factory visits, together with our engineer GT, and guide Kevin…

First stop was a factory that make our Styrofoam and plaster models,

In final stage working on the negative for the late bay window inside of the dogleg, the missing tool to finalize our late bay window dogleg program and start the early bay…

Looks real, but is Styrofoam, this Styrofoam goes to the foundry (visit on Friday) and will be put in a container, with sand around, the melted metal will be poured in and “burn” the Styrofoam and take its place, and form the mold like that, but as said more on Friday over that process… Anyway, we saw a lot of skilled workers, as plaster and Styrofoam is special guild for sure!

Alain discussing with Kevin…. I took Alain in several pictures as a height reference…  so you get an idea of sizes…

A plaster mold for the inner fender of a Porsche 911, not our project sadly enough…

Next stop, Milling shop nr 1… After foundry the molds have first to be milled, and then trimmed, polished and dialed in… We start to understand why a tooling process takes so much time…

Because of molds are so huge, the machines are even more impressive, milling machines that you can “walk into”…

A part ready for three D scanning, mainly this scanning is used as reference, and also for the plasma cutters at the end of the process, small series take huge advantage from plasma cutters instead of cutting tools…. Btw. did you reconise the part? Rear wheel arch for the T25/T3 Vanagon… Another BBT project for the near future, toolings are in the make!

Milling factory nr 2, the machines are only getting bigger!

A two man operated CNC milling machine…. crazy…

Toolings, toolings, and every time we learn new things, Kevin is really taking good care for us!

Crazy big… Milling is an important process, CNC technology helps a lot! imagine in the early days, all by hand….!!

On the road to the next stop, always something to see in a foreign country, Taiwan is a very busy country, many factories, large, small and everybody is busy, I think they have good economy… But the typical Far East scenery stays…

We thought this was fun, an outlet for Budha temples, you just buy them pre-build, in the size you wish… Taiwan is mainly Budhist religion…

Next stop was first stamping factory (they have four!) huge 1000 ton presses, but also smaller ones… to build car parts, you need material and tools…

Another press in another factory, we had to move fast, 5 factories in one day….. this was 500 tons…

And a couple of smaller single operation presses, mainly for brackets and the like…

All toolings are trimmed by hand, some guys take the job very seriously, like this guy… After this the press surface is really polished completely by hand, before the mold is “dialed in” on a press… A long process, and always something going on….

Dialing in of a new part on a plasma cutter, yes they’re huge too!

Last stop for the day, one of the two major pressing works, watch the amount of tooling! Only for classic cars! Can you imagine how many tons of steels?

Another huge press! wowh! watch Alain again as a reference…

And three smaller presses for the smaller parts… state of the art machinery!

Here we discussed the final steps for our rear valence for the beetle, its the final steps before production, finally a valence that will fit!  We found three mistakes, so the trip is worth already and we’re only day one! Yes, we took a NOS one as a model to start from, the best part needs a good base….

Here the plaster tool… if you thought a real valence was simple to make, use your hammer, our tooling is over 6 months in development now… and will provide state of the art spare part, as our cars deserve!

After a harsh day of work, let’s go the restaurant, in the Far East fresh food is very very important! Choose your fish, and crab, and oyster, lobster you name it, it’s all alive and ready for your consumption, a different way, but at least we’ll know what we’re eating…

Thanks GT, we learned a lot today, and looking further to the next two days in your company….


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