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      08-30-2009, 05:10 AM   #16
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Drives: E92 M3
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by Lemans_Blue_M View Post

It seems there are quite a few misconceptions about how aftermarket wheels are made, so I'll try to clarify the process for everyone...

DINAN monoblock wheels are 8000 TON forged in Japan by TANEISHA.

Taneisha is a premier forged wheel manufacturing plant. They have been building forged wheels for 30 years, and their excellent reputation within the industry is well documented. They also produce the NEEZ, CHAMPION, OZ RACING, and RAC MONOLITES brands. They also build Forged Aluminum and Forged Magnesium race wheels for a number of auto racing series around the world. ALMS (American LeMans series), WRC (world rally car), WTC (world touring car), IRL (Indy Racing League) and F1 (Formula One) just to name a few.

The Dinan wheels are built in a streamline 'turn key' process, where the factory does everything from start to finish. (forging, milling, powdercoating, packaging and shipping) There are no third-party companies involved in the overall manufacturing process. Everything is done in-house.

HRE monoblock wheels are built in three different phases. Two of the three phases are outsourced to other companies.

The 4000 TON forged blanks (that HRE uses) are sourced from their third-party supplier. (APP)

APP manufactures forged blanks for several different wheel brands.

The forged blanks are then milled to the proper wheel design (with the custom offset they choose) on HRE's in-house HAAS 5-axis CNC machines.

Once the wheel design has been 'cut', the wheels are then sent to their third-party coating facility. The powder coated finish (that was selected by the customer) is applied and baked.

The newly powdercoated wheels are sent back to HRE for final inspection, and the wheels are then boxed up and shipped out to the customer.

So as you can see...neither company actually 'builds their own wheels' per sey. (without a lot of outside help) It's difficult to explain to the average wheel buyer how expensive it would be to actually build a fully operational wheel manufacturing plant.

Rough estimate? You are talking about 40-50 million bucks in todays dollars. (property+machinery)

So it's much easier (and a lot more practical), to just outsource this type of manufacturing to someone that already has that capability. (and experience)

The ugly truth is...virtually every aftermarket wheel you can buy, is made by only a handful of companies. The cost of doing it any other way is staggering. (even for someone like HRE)

Only a few brands actually own the factory itself, the necessary high-tonnage forging presses, the custom built tooling dies (to make forging blanks), the CNC lathes, drilling, milling, and polishing machines (to create a particular design), the chemical treatment tanks (to prevent corrosion), the surface media blasting machines (to make the surface perfectly smooth), the surface powder coating and painting lines, the huge commercial heating ovens (to bake the paint or powedercoated finishes), all the in-house design and engineering resources (FEA), the JWL/VIA certified lab testing facilities, the QA/QC resources for inspecting the finished products, the in-house packing and shipping resources, etc., etc, etc...

That's a lot for ONE wheel company to pull off (alone), without using any outside resources. Just about every brand uses at least one (or more) third-party resource(s) to build their aftermarket wheel products. In a large number of the cases, the entire wheel manufacturing process is done by an outside source. (or multiple sources working together)

Now there is nothing wrong with doing that...if you choose your wheel manufacturing partners wisely. If not, tracking down an 'issue' (that may arise later on), could be problematic. Since the product passes through several different hands, it may take some time to isolate where the problem originated.

This is the primary reason why some multi-piece modular wheel brands cannot correct a customer service issue involving poor fitment or sub-standard finish issues. (within a reasonable time frame)

While the customer is waiting to get the issue resolved, the 2 or 3 different third-party contractors (hired by the wheel brand) are bickering among themselves in regards to who screwed up.

Meanwhile, the customer is totally unaware that any of this is happening behind the scenes.
Where do you get your knowledge from? Have you been to the HRE warehouse/factory? I'm pretty sure they did some of this in the past, but do everything in-house now.