In High Gear
GSK Precision manufactures precise automotive products such as mechanical motors,
transmission gear parts and engine control unit boxes. The company is part of the GSK
Group Ltd., the largest automotive component manufacturer in Taiwan.
Rapid technological advances and increased competition created new challenges for
producers of automotive components. Under increasing pressure to accelerate design
cycles, GSK Precision found it difficult to uphold the high standards of innovation and
quality for which its products are known.
One method of shortening product development cycles is to use high-quality rapid
prototyping, but GSK Precision was not realizing the full benefit from its standard
prototyping workflow. “We had always contracted out our prototyping,” said Hsi-Rui
Chang, chief of management at GSK Precision. “Process-wise, this was not effective,
as it always took too long and did not allow us to cut our total production time.”
The company decided to investigate options for rapid prototyping systems that it could
bring in-house. After evaluating systems using different types of technologies, the design
team selected an Objet Eden260V 3D Printer, which uses PolyJet technology.
“We found the Objet Eden260V prototypes to be of very high precision and quality,” said
Chang. “We also were impressed that the Objet Eden hardware is very forward-looking,
so it can address our future needs.”
The GSK Precision team also liked the Objet 3D Printer’s ability to create prototypes with
rubber-like materials. Soft materials are particularly relevant to many automotive applications
and, according to the GSK team, are aligned with current trends in rapid prototyping.
GSK Precision uses the Objet Eden 3D Printer to prototype highly accurate parts, such
as transmission gears, with ultra-fine detail usually only available with high-cost systems.
Engineers can verify and test product appearance, assembly and kinematic behavior so
they have full confidence when the products reach production.
Frequent in-house prototyping has also strengthened client communications and increased
customer satisfaction. “Clients can see tangible product samples much earlier in the
process, and our engineers can better understand client feedback,” said Chang.
With the Objet 3D Printer, GSK Precision is more competitive. It has cut its prototyping
costs by about 5 to 10 percent and it has shortened its product development cycles by one
month. “Previously when we contracted our prototyping, we were plagued by long waiting
periods that seriously affected production dates. Our ability to independently produce
high-quality prototypes in-house has greatly shortened our production times,” said Chang.
“Most importantly, the Objet 3D Printer has significantly improved our client satisfaction and