Empowering the future
Fueled by booming domestic car sales, Philippine company Ramcar Technologies is now speeding into a new era, with the help of Seco Tools.
The year was 1919. World War 1 had just ended. The Philippines was just emerging from 300 years of Spanish colonial rule, with the United States of America taking over. It was in this environment of change that an enterprising young man named Ramon Caro established Caro Electrical Services, an automotive-electrical shop in Manila.
The new enterprise was to prove a success, inspiring Caro to venture into automotivebattery manufacturing. He renamed his company Ramcar and launched a flagship battery brand onto the local market – Oriental Battery.
Ramon’s vision for the company to be the best in the industry led to it introducing polypropylene casings for car batteries in 1978 – a first for the Philippines. The company also eliminated its dependence on imported lead by establishing Philippine Recyclers Inc., a subsidiary that began recycling batteries.
That same vision was also behind Ramcar’s decision to acquire its main competitor, Motolite Battery in 1997, securing leadership of the market. With its steady growth, the company next spun off its machine shop department into another company, Ramcar Technology. This was a logical step that allowed the new company to dedicate more resources into breakthrough engineering services and cutting-edge technology.
Ramcar Technology today has a solid track record for investing in new technologies. In 1989, it brought in NC milling and EDM machines and installed its first computers to mechanize drawing activities. In the same year, it set up a complete machine shop operation and made its first plastic injection mold.
Now housed in Santa Maria Industrial Park, a sprawling economic zone located north of Manila, Ramcar Technology services the other businesses under the Ramcar Group of Companies. These include a diverse range of brands, such as Motolite and Supercharge Batteries, and local franchises of Mister Donut and KFC.
With the economy of the Philippines booming, car sales rose 23 percent in 2015, creating soaring demand for the batteries that Ramcar helps build.
Ramcar’s manager, Noel Jarical, has been with the company 22 years and has witnessed the positive change, first-hand. Having joined the company as a mold designer, Jarical rose up through the ranks to become head of the company’s Tool Shop department. He says the growth of the business has been achieved by focusing on developing talent and tools and always being on the lookout for innovations.
“We’re now 40 percent more efficient”
One of the things in which the company has invested is in optimized roughing operations, making use of Seco Tools’ Jabro-Solid2 solid end mills with chip splitters. Upon Seco Tools’ recommendation, Ramcar Technology also acquired the software needed to properly utilize the end mills – which are more resistant to chipping, heat, and wear – when cutting the different materials that it handles.
“While Ramcar was already familiar with optimized-roughing strategies, it wasn’t until 2014 that they fully understood how these strategies worked in detail – using the Jabro-Solid2 solid range with chip splitter,” explains Ronald Caling, Seco Tool’s country representative in the Philippines. “We challenged them to provide us with a project so that we could demonstrate the techniques using our tools, and they asked us to help build the mold cavity for their battery. The outcome eventually convinced Ramcar that the strategies combined with our tools made their processes more efficient.”
By combining Optirough with the highfeed milling strategy, Ramcar’s roughing process has been reduced to 70 percent of its previous level. “We’ve had a large improvement since we started using Jabro-Solid2,” says Jarical. “We’re now 40 percent more efficient.”
Today, 90 percent of Ramcar’s tools are made by Seco Tools, and the two companies are working continuously on helping Ramcar to remain relevant to its market. Ramcar is currently undertaking research on developing better batteries for electronic vehicles – a bold step for the company and one that is helping it remain abreast of future trends.
By Evan Tan
Photos by Julian Wainwright and Getty Images
Longer tool life with Jabro-Solid2
Ramcar uses Seco Tool’s Jabro-Solid2 solid end mills, a range comprising of over 800 universal products that apply to all commonly machined materials, from steel to titanium alloys. With its industry-standard titanium aluminum nitrite (TiAlN) coating, applied using Seco’s advanced coating process, Jabro-Solid2 offers a longer tool life – making it more cost-efficient.
Role in solarpowered car
Ramcar Technologies began as the machine shop department at the Ramcar Inc. battery plant. Originally, the department handled repair and maintenance work for the production departments, until it was spun off into another company. Ramcar Technologies was actively involved in the development of SINAG, the Philippines’ first solar-powered car, which was the country’s entry in the 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge.