Utmost Flow Control Technology Co., Ltd.
Utmost Flow Control Technology Co., Ltd.

UTMOST Alloy: Hitting the Home Questions of the Industry with Innovation

As one of the first foundry enterprises to complete capacity replacement in Shandong Province and even in the whole country, UTMOST Alloy has obviously embarked on a development path different from that of traditional foundry enterprises. In terms of the characteristics of the foundry industry, innovation is not an easy task. The grasp and control of the industry market, technology, management, capital, land, etc., as well as the vision and cognition of globalization, are indispensable. In fact, as one of the leading control valve manufacturers china, the UTMOST Alloy team led by General Manager Jia Yangyang has more than 20 years of experience in the foundry industry, and they are well versed in the development model of the traditional foundry industry. But at the same time, they are more aware of the insurmountable industry pain points that this model has produced for a long time: high cost, low efficiency, long delivery time, poor performance, high inventory, and difficult turnover. These not only gradually cause problems for customers, restrict the development of the industry, but also restrict the competitiveness of enterprises. Therefore, realizing corporate value through technological innovation, improving user experience, and helping industry progress have become the core development driving force of UTMOST Alloy. The company has explored and realized a full-process automated factory for the valve casting production line, changed the customized parts into standard products, realized the short-process production of casting, and greatly optimized the quality, efficiency and cost. On the other hand, the company has changed passive sales to active sales by combining intelligent upgrades, helping customers to solve their worries in the operation process and establishing a more stable supply and demand relationship. Positioning itself as "high-end precision casting", UTMOST Alloy is committed to transforming from a traditional manufacturing company into a true technology company, empowering the development of the industry.

A new type of foundry under the background of the conversion of old and new kinetic energy

UTMOST Alloy (Shandong) Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of Jining Energy Development Group Co., Ltd (state-owned enterprise) Shandong Shengyuan Holdings Co., Ltd., Utmost flow control technology Co., Ltd (Shandong) and Titanium Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. three companies Jointly invested in a state-owned holding company established in Jining. It is a high-end precision metal material technology enterprise integrating R&D, production, sales and service. In fact, the birth of UTMOST Alloy is not only a combination of strength and ability, but also a product that emerges as the times require in the context of the times and changes in industry demand. Mr. Jia said: "Today, 'resource shortage' is an important issue that all human society is facing or should consider in advance. In order to limit the development of industries with high energy consumption and high pollution, the state proposes the transformation and upgrading of enterprises, that is, the transformation of new and old kinetic energy. It is against this background that the foundry industry takes the lead, which gives us the opportunity to join hands with Jining Energy, combine our respective advantages, carry out industrial chain planning with strategic thinking for future sustainable development, and set up UTMOST Alloy Company. We are committed to exploring a The development of a new type of foundry enterprise is based on strivers, technology first, focusing on customer pain points, providing competitive foundry solutions and services, and continuing to create maximum value for customers."

2021 is the main construction year for UTMOST Alloy. After three months of communication with the National Development and Reform Commission, the Department of Industry and Information Technology, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Shandong Foundry Association, UTMOST finally promoted the implementation of the project, established the country's first capacity replacement calculation method, and completed the project planning and main equipment bidding in the same year. . Under the premise of meeting the relevant standards and specifications, UTMOST Alloy completed the construction from wasteland to equipment debugging, and finally achieved the production of sand casting in six months and precision casting in ten months. In June 2021, UTMOST entered the sand casting trial production stage, and as of June 2022, it has reached production. The precision casting will be put into production in February 2022, and it is expected to achieve full production capacity by the end of September. 1 year of construction, 6 months to complete the certification, 1 year to reach production, which is unique in the Chinese foundry industry. Today's UTMOST Alloy provides global industries with one-stop casting services for high-precision, high-complexity, and high-performance key components, and the overall operation is good - not only thanks to stable and sufficient financial support, but also the professionalism and cooperation of the entire alloy team. embodiment of experience.

When it comes to the UTMOST Alloy team, the company insists on "first-class talents do first-class things". Unlike many foundry companies that started out as business, the general manager Jia Yangyang himself graduated from material forming and control engineering, and has been focusing on the foundry field serving the fluid industry for nearly 20 years. He has participated in project development and product development. Development, domestic and foreign sales, market development, company operations, strategic planning, synthetic automation, intelligent factories, etc. Therefore, he attaches great importance to "people-oriented", introduces top talents in the industry on a global scale, and actively develops talent cooperation. At the same time, UTMOST attaches great importance to compound talents, does not stick to technical aspects, and builds all-round advantages with talents.

The first phase of UTMOST Alloy has planned 43 acres of land, invested 360 million yuan, and the actual production capacity (precision casting + sand casting) can reach 7484 tons. The focus of this stage is on the fluid industry, especially in the field of pump and valve instruments; the main materials are stainless steel, martensitic stainless steel, austenitic stainless steel, duplex steel and super austenite. In the early stage of development, UTMOST Alloy cooperated with UTMOST Fluid, one of the shareholders, to complete the product introduction. More than 300 products have been developed for UTMOST Fluid with high-end control valve as the core product, and 1,200 molds will be developed this year. In the second half of 2022, UTMOST plans to start the second phase of construction, with a planned area of 170 mu and a production capacity (precision casting + sand casting) of over 30,000 tons, of which precision casting is about 8,600 tons. The second-phase investment is 1 billion, and the materials focus on expanding the field of superalloys, including titanium and nickel-based alloys, and at the same time focusing on composite materials. The application fields are concentrated in the fluid industry, automobile industry, energy power, aerospace and medical treatment; Antibacterial etc. Therefore, in the second phase of planning, UTMOST Alloy will also introduce new material liquid die forging, composite material 3D printing technology, etc., to enhance the life and application performance of the material. Through the first two phases of UTMOST Alloy planning, it is not difficult to see that the enterprise aims to transform from a traditional manufacturing enterprise to an emerging material enterprise. Mr. Jia said: "We have two development paths. One is to optimize quality, delivery time and efficiency through innovative technologies such as automation on the traditional track. The company's profits have increased and its brand value has been built. We hope to turn the company into a technology company that truly relies on innovative technology to solve its needs."

Automation + Intelligence: Redefine the competitiveness of the foundry industry

"Automation" is essential to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure product quality. However, the automation of the valve casting industry has always been difficult: valves belong to a variety of small batches, and have high requirements for flexibility, but in an automation unit, both flexibility and efficiency are required, which are contradictory. Therefore, UTMOST Alloy has made a commercial choice in this regard, and through selection, the traditional discrete casting thinking is transformed. Mr. Jia further introduced to us: "In the past, domestic foundry companies, especially precision casting, had relatively discrete business thinking, resulting in stagnant industrial efficiency. In fact, although the price of this business model is high, the value it brings to customers, and even The profit of the company itself is not considerable. The most fatal point is that the capital turnover requirement is extremely high. Therefore, even if automation is introduced at this level, it is difficult to fundamentally solve the problems faced by the foundry industry. According to our strategy, once we have decided In one direction, completely different results are presented. Through automation, the degree of human intervention is minimized, and the safety, stability and efficiency are maximized. This is a real progress, which can be reflected in both supply and demand. "Based on this, UTMOST Alloy dared to be the first, and took the lead in exploring and building a full-process automated factory for valve casting production line, introducing automatic wax testing machine, circulating shot blasting, automatic heat treatment system, automatic cleaning, automatic shell making, automatic casting, automatic Pickling has basically realized the automation of the whole process. Affected by the epidemic in the past two years, the industry has generally been weak, but UTMOST Alloy has been able to grow against the trend, which is largely due to its automation and the introduction of a new "short process" business model - starting with ball valves, Turn customized products into standard products, from quality to efficiency to cost and delivery, to the extreme.

Another pain point that affects the foundry industry is "management". Many foundries have faced the demand of "strengthening on-site management", which is actually the biggest problem for foundries. Taking precision casting as an example, on the one hand, it is a long chain and involves a large number of people. On the other hand, traditional ERP management can only reach the task side and cannot reach the control side, causing many obstacles for precise management. More importantly, in order to truly realize automation, it is also necessary to open up the internal information flow and develop towards an intelligent foundry. Therefore, UTMOST Alloy introduced ERP equipped with MES system, coupled with actual data acquisition, extended to the control end, made all digital transparent, and avoided supply chain risks. In this regard, Mr. Jia explained in detail: "First of all, internally, the opening of information flow can realize constant monitoring of equipment and reduce losses caused by the shutdown of any equipment. In addition, it can also be used to complete the energy consumption of equipment. It can further clarify the direction of data and reduce costs. From the perspective of quality, the quality data displayed in the final result can clearly indicate the problem and help us realize the digital and precise management of foundry production in a true sense. However, 'intelligence' 'In the process, I think the most valuable point is to be able to avoid the risks existing in the supply chain, that is, risk management. The greatest value of digitization is the ability to flow data, not just showing the actual data on the big screen. We hope To achieve digital transparency, not only for customers, but also for the upstream supply chain, the constant grasp of product status can help all parties to avoid supply chain risks, and the deeper meaning is to help customers reduce the difficulty and cost of procurement, and continue to develop. Help customers reduce inventory pressure and greatly release cash flow. When digital services become more real, the market expansion model can change from passive sales to active sales, and also establish a more stable supply and demand relationship between us and customers."

Extract the competitiveness of enterprises from innovation and details

No matter in terms of financial strength, industry experience, technical level, equipment configuration, factory management, team building, marketing, etc., UTMOST Alloy, an emerging new casting enterprise, has the advantages to show. But when asked about the core competitiveness of the company, Mr. Jia said after thinking for a long time: I think our core is to do technological innovation based on demand, and our ability is reflected in the control of details."

Defining "innovation" as the company's core competitiveness, Mr. Jia has his own interpretation of this concept. "Actually, in the process of development, we are constantly facing all the problems faced by others, and we do not fall down. But the difference is that our way of solving problems is different. The reason why we abandon the traditional approach is because we understand it. Disadvantages, the purpose of innovation is to fundamentally solve the problem, remove the inherent disadvantages, and continue to improve. However, innovation is not a one-shot decision, or even the inevitable result of investment and transformation. The so-called 'innovation' requires real Only a professional team who understands professional knowledge, understands customer needs, masters material properties, and is familiar with scene characteristics can have the opportunity to realize it. I always believe that casting is a real technological product, and good casting products are very complex. In layman's terms Speaking of, after all, we can't put our head in and look inside when smelting, we must rely on technology and practical experience, these are the necessary knowledge and the source of innovation." At present, UTMOST Alloy has its own equipment creation ability, and has applied for 27 items. Patents, of which 10 will be applied for in 2021 (all from equipment innovation, of which 6 have been approved), and 17 will be applied for in 2022 (3 of which are invention patents).

In addition to "innovation", Jia always emphasizes the importance of details. He believes: "In the past half century, the changes in casting technology have become less prominent, and various enterprises are constantly improving equipment, materials, and testing methods. At this time, the gap and core competition between enterprises are reflected in the Control of 'details'. We hope to optimize the details to achieve the ultimate product, of course, this still needs to be based on our knowledge of the product itself, and then involves our core advantage, that is, how to make it through technical means. It can be realized. Taking valves as an example, especially domestic valves, pitting corrosion problems often occur, which greatly affects the life of the valve. This is mainly because domestic foundries will leave some microscopic pits after pickling, including The bubbles generated in the shell making will not appear on the surface, but will cause the acid solution to remain inside and continue to erode, affecting the product life. Our approach is to degrade the concentration to the greatest extent by replacing it with a hot bath after pickling; At the same time, high temperature and high pressure gas injection is used to minimize the residue of acid and solve the problem of pitting corrosion. This is a consideration of details and a manifestation of ability."

The driving force and source of enterprise development lies in "innovation". If every enterprise follows the old route, the only way out is vicious competition. As Mr. Jia said, the past business model was too wasteful, the yield was low, and the back-end costs high, the environmental cost is higher, so industry reshaping is imminent. Therefore, UTMOST Alloy regards "innovation" as the core driving force of development, which is not only reflected in products, but also includes business models, testing methods, supply chain creation, marketing concepts and so on. But it must be clear what the core of innovation is to solve. Mr. Jia said: "whether intelligent or automated, the core issues are product quality, delivery time and cost. How to greatly optimize costs, greatly improve material performance, and shorten and ensure delivery time through technological innovation are the core issues. Problems, companies that can solve problems have considerable commercial value, social value and industrial valve solutions. The reason why we choose to change is because the industry is changing and the environment is changing. We hope to reshape the business landscape through industry integration, reduce waste, and promote The development of the industry, while serving the market, will make a modest contribution to the global low-carbon development."

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