Motorcycle parts manufacturer improves quality and efficiency

Shark Factory | Xinbei City, Taiwan

Motorcycle parts manufacturer improves quality and efficiency

Shark Factory Customer Story - Hero

Founded in 2006, Shark Factory is located in Taiwan’s Xinbei Industrial Zone. The 10 employees of the company design and produce high-quality components for the automotive and transportation industry, such as shock absorbers, wheel frames, and rocker arms. The company’s logo features an open-mouth shark to convey the company’s tag line: “Unlock the Power.”

Zhang Zonglin, founder of Shark Factory, works continuously to improve the company’s products and is always looking for more streamlined and efficient computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) solutions. Four years ago, Zhang introduced 5-axis machining software and hardware, which led to positive feedback from the market and steadily increasing orders. In 2015, with the implementation of Solid Edge, the company was able to increase business and overall part quality.

Protecting intellectual property

At Shark Factory, all forms of computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools are available for parts processing, including 3-axis and 3+2-axis and 5-axis lathes, motor-driven turrets, rotary-milling machines, and more recently, 5-axis machining.

The key advantage of 5-axis machining is that all processes for precision parts can be carried out simultaneously from different angles. Zhang invested in 5-axis machining mainly for reasons of security, in particular to reduce the possibility of competitors copying Shark Factory designs. “As soon as we launch a new product to the market, competitors try to reduce our profits with copies,” says Zhang. “It happens all the time. They copy everything that others develop without their own innovation.”

Shark Factory has evolved into a preferred brand with loyal customers, and for this reason Zhang decided to improve the equipment and acquired 5-axis machines, jigs/fixtures, and robots, as well as Siemens CAD/CAM software. Zhang says, “Competitors need to find ways to develop different products. If they continue to copy our products, they have to sell them at higher prices. This is because the 5-axis machining equipment is very expensive, which in the end increases the production costs. In this way, I hope we can prevent copying.”

High-precision 5-axis machining commands higher market prices

Shark Factory selected Siemens Digital Industries Software 3D CAD and CAM products due to their familiar operational approach. At present, design drawings and models are created in other software products and then transferred to Solid Edge for conversion. Then the data can be used directly in CAM Express for CNC machining.

With Solid Edge, Shark Factory can model components once and then modify the dimensions repeatedly. For example, Zhang used both turning and milling operations to produce three products of the same type with different dimensions. He says, “We only have to create the model once using Solid Edge; we then transfer it to CAM Express to adjust and modify the dimensions. It is very easy to use. No other CAM software product we’ve ever used is so user-friendly.”

He also compared 5-axis machining and 3-axis machining in terms of machining accuracy and efficiency. Shark Factory produces products that vary in both precision and price, and are well-known to consumers. The higher-priced products require the full utilization of 5-axis machining.

Zhang explains, “With 5-axis machining equipment, we are able to design more complex and exquisite parts.” He provides shock absorbers as an example: “Shock absorbers that are manufactured with 3-axis machining are neither aesthetically nor visually ideal. On the other hand, 5-axis machines offer the possibility to design with more freedom and creativity.”