Honda to Improve Metal Mold Technologies in Thailand

by : Ally Wahlberg

Honda unveils its new NSX that is equipped with top of the line and unlike its old one, which was a mid-engine car, the new one will get a 5.0 liter V10 engine under its front hood.

As regards testing their own super sports cars, the Japanese car manufacturers choose the Porsche 997 Turbo as their criterion car. The LF-A is used by Toyota, the GT-R is utilized by Nissan and now also Honda with the new NSX. These three car makers are struggling for boasting rights in Japan for this market segment. But it is the credibility in the rest of the world that counts most. They all have already proven their competitiveness and viability as far as small and mid-size volume models are concerned. They aim now is to conquer Germany's sports car arena as well as the luxury car markets that are currently dominated by the Germans.

Analysts say that the NSX is destined to be one of the hottest cars in Japan if its production version looks something like the Advanced Sports Car Concept that was shown at the North American International Auto Show in the beginning of 2007. Acceptance elsewhere, however, might be more difficult specifically in North America where the media has already criticized the NSX as being tasteless. According to Winding Road, since the North American market is the priority for such a vehicle, it is rumored that Honda has fragmented this concept and gone back to conceptualization of a new one.

However, if one could see the latest S2000 mule spy photos, it can be concluded that the ASC concept design is alive and well as seen in the stacked exhaust set-up, which looks very similar to the placement on the concept. Another mysterious detail about the left hand drive car is that the mule has different Great Britain license plates in the front and back.

Meanwhile, as Honda Engineering Co., Ltd. expands its scale of overseas, meaning outside Japan, production, it will strengthen the domestic purchasing system for metal molds in its bases outside Japan. The company's headquarter is situated in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.

At the Conference of Mold Engineers 2007 held from June 19 to 20, 2007, at Ohta Ward Industrial Plaza, company Manager Tatsuo Nagamitsu delivered a speech about Honda group's techniques to purchase metal molds in all over the world.

Honda Engineering targets to equalize the metal mold technologies in Thailand, with those in Japan, before any foreign market. This is Honda's strategy with the increasing ratio of overseas production. Nagamitsu said that for vehicle types sold all over the world, the metal molds should be developed in Japan. To foreign countries specifically Thailand and China, cost advantages in the oversea bases are compensated if adjustment loss occurs.

In the overseas bases, it is important to set up IT infrastructures (CAD/CAM) and machining facilities that are tantamount to those in Japan and to transfer CAM data and the results of simulations to those bases on a timely basis in order to avoid adjustment loss.

According to Nagamitsu, they would like to fully develop metal molds in Japan and form molds on the first try in Thailand. The company said that the metal mold technologies in Thai bases have been remarkably improved, and the QCD evaluation of their molded articles has made it as high as that in Japanese bases, by repeating the process.

Some of Honda's vehicles (like the City) are not from Japan. As a matter of fact, Southeast Asia and China vehicles came from Thailand. Because original metal molds only exist in Thailand, in one of those cases, the data of those molds were collected by the 3D measuring machine brought from Japan and passed to China.