2022 was a breakthrough year for the SECO/WARWICK Chinese branch. The company started vacuum furnace production and executed 40+ projects.
Record-breaking results and dynamic development within the electromobility industry, which launched the EV/CAB technology designed to equip companies producing battery cooling plates for electric vehicles. These developments enable SECO/WARWICK China to dynamically increase employment and resulted in the delivery of the largest continuous CAB line in the company’s history. These are only some of the milestones of the past Year of the Tiger. Sales of the flagship continuous CAB line solutions for aluminum brazing in a protective atmosphere, increased year-over-year by as much as 30%.
SECO/WARWICK CAB lines for brazing in a protective atmosphere
Thanks to the expansion of the production facilities, SECO/WARWICK significantly increased production capacity and shortened delivery times. In 2022, orders for SECO/WARWICK furnaces were placed by a number of companies from this market, including Jiangsu RIDEA, a global manufacturer specializing in heat exchanger production, or HUBEI Radiatech.
“We see a very dynamic increase in demand for CAB lines for the production of heat exchangers for electric and hybrid cars. We are selling more and more of them. Our furnaces operate not only in Asia, but also in Europe, Latin and North America, as well as in Africa. The controlled atmosphere brazing process heats the product to brazing temperature, then maintains a uniform product temperature for a specified period of time in a protective oxygen-free nitrogen atmosphere. Our solutions are very well known on the Chinese market. In 2022, we sold as many as 20 CAB lines and compared to 2021, this is an increase of nearly 30 percent. Many of the sold solutions will be a part of production lines for battery coolers for electric and hybrid cars. The electromobility segment growth, resulting from legal regulations and the growing global awareness related to the need to care for the natural environment, makes SECO/WARWICK optimistic for the growth of product lines and technology dedicated to the Battery Cooler segment – EV/CAB,” says Piotr Skarbiński, Vice President of the Aluminum and CAB Product Segment at SECO/WARWICK.
EV/CAB – the automotive industry focuses on e-mobility
Around the world, the demand for battery coolers is increasing due to the growing production of electric vehicles. SECO/WARWICK, a leader in CAB line production, perfectly cooperates with the automotive industry by providing solutions that help develop the technology for the production of electric vehicles. In this way, it (indirectly) fits in with the trend and the obligation to care for reducing exhaust emissions and for the natural environment.
“In the field of energy vehicle manufacturing, the need for brazing large battery coolers is growing rapidly. We have launched the production of non-standard EV/CAB lines where we use a number of specialized solutions dedicated to these products. Thanks to independently controlled heating and cooling zones, corrugated muffle design, unique curtain chambers and many other design features, excellent and stable brazing conditions are guaranteed for this specific product. Year 2022 also resulted in the implementation of record-breaking projects. For a manufacturer of automotive components, we have designed and manufactured the widest CAB line in the SECO/WARWICK China history. The unit is 2300 mm wide and is used to produce large battery coolers,” summed up P. Skarbiński.
In the first half of 2022, 4.3 million electric cars were sold worldwide, which meant an increase of 62% this year. The share of electric vehicles in new passenger car sales increased by 11.3% in this period. The world record holder was Norway, where 77 % of new car purchases were electric cars, followed by Iceland (52%) and Sweden (32%).
Currently, the global market value is approx. USD 285 billion, but by 2028, the average annual growth rate will reach from 24 to 30 %, which will translate into a market worth USD 1.3 trillion and a 33 % market share will be electric cars. Much depends on China’s GDP growth rate. In order to encourage the purchase of electric and hybrid cars, the Chinese Ministry of Finance decided to extend (until the end of this year) the suspension of the commercial tax collected on purchases. The most popular and cheapest car on the market ($4,500) is the small four-seater Hongguang Mini EV, produced by Wuling Motors, a joint venture of the state-owned SAIC Motor and the American concern, General Motors. Significant players on the market are also Li Auto, NIO and Xiaopeng Motors, offering vehicles under the Xpeng brand. Since 2020, cars have also been manufactured in Shanghai by Tesla, which sold 400,000 vehicles in the first 8 months of 2022 alone, an increase of 67 % compared with the previous year. The production of electric buses is also developing very quickly, and more than 30 Chinese conglomerates have declared the implementation of zero-emission transport in the next few years.
Launch of vacuum furnace production in China and plans for 2023
Last year, SECO/WARWICK started manufacturing vacuum furnaces in China. This is the Group’s third product line produced and offered directly from this branch. This makes the company more responsive to customer needs.
“By manufacturing vacuum equipment in Asia, we are positioned for faster deliveries. Presently, we are implementing six local projects in this segment. Thanks to the new production facilities, we have gained double efficiency. We can carry out as many as 10 orders at the same time – 7 CAB lines and three other solutions, for example, equipment for vacuum heat treatment and vacuum metallurgy. Thanks to this fast development, we are valued within the industry . Last year, SECO/WARWICK China was awarded the title of “Customer Satisfaction Brand Top 10,” which ennobles and obliges,” explains Liu Yedong, Managing Director of SECO/WARWICK China.
Last year, according to the Chinese calendar, was the Year of the Tiger, distinguished by courage and activity. These features were clearly visible in this year’s activities at the Chinese company. “2022 definitely belonged to SECO/WARWICK CHINA, which had a historical and therefore record-breaking year full of new orders. The company boasts a 55 percent increase in production compared to the previous year, and the profit was more than three times higher compared to 2021. This is due to numerous projects implemented this year (including 11 foreign ones). This was possible thanks to the cooperation with 3 subcontractors for the CAB line installations, 2 in Mexico and 1 in China. It is in China where we already produce solutions for the vacuum furnace and vacuum metallurgy segment. This looks promising, looking at the achievements so far in the field of CAB technology furnace production. This is why increasing employment from 66 to 108 and doubling the production area was a necessary decision,” concludes Sławomir Woźniak, CEO of SECO/WARWICK Group.
China is coming out of a strict Covid policy. Chinese demand is a lever that can drive prosperity all around the world. The year 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese lunar calendar. The rabbit, on the other hand, is a symbol of vitality and happiness, symbolizing a good life and well-being. In the new year, China will continue to bring positive energy and stability to the world. In the Chinese horoscope, the Rabbit means the arrival of peace, wealth, happiness, and harmony, which SECO/WARWICK China wishes for itself and for all of our Partners.