Poised To Take On The Global Market: A Look At Taiwan's Machine Tool Industry Featured

  • Wednesday, 19 April 2017 00:00

As Taiwan’s machine tool industry matures, it aims to make its mark on the trends that are shaping the global market.

This year’s Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS) was a six-day event that took place March 7-12. The event attracted more than 50,000 attendees. Around 7,300 were foreign visitors, which was a three percent increase compared to the exhibition’s last edition in 2015. The top ten countries where foreign visitors came from were China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, India, U.S.A., Turkey, Singapore and Russia.

The biennial event hosted 1,100 exhibitors using 5,430 booths this year. Of all the exhibitors, 30 percent of them were from 20 countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, U.S.A. and Japan.

Complex Global Challenges

In January 2017, Taiwan machine tools export reached US$243.42 million, an encouraging 12.9 percent year-on-year growth. The machine tool industry is faced with more complex global challenges, and in the meantime, the depreciation level of Japanese yen has exceeded over 50 percent, which could affect international buyers’ decision on purchasing Taiwanese machine tools, said CC Wang, president of the Taiwan Association Of Machinery Industry (TAMI).

Mr Wang also said that among Taiwan’s top 16 export destinations in January 2017, the largest was China, with a value of US$64.49 million, accounting for 26.5 percent of the total value and representing a year-on-year growth of 3.9 percent.

The second-largest destination was the U.S., with a value of US$28.08 million, accounting for 11.5 percent of the total value and representing a negative year-on-year growth of 1.6 percent. The third-largest destination was Turkey, with a value of US$11.54 million, accounting for 14.5 percent of the total value and representing a negative year-on-year growth of 14.5 percent. Top 16 export destinations takes up 78 percent of the total machine tools export value, Mr Wang added.

Taiwan Machine Tools export(By Country)

New Generation Of Machine Tools

“The manufacturing industry plays a vital part in a country's economy, and all manufacturing starts with machine tools. A number of machine tool manufacturers are working together to develop structural parts, composites, and engine parts needed for the aerospace industry. The foray into the aerospace supply chain will be a driving force behind a new generation of machine tools,” said David Chuang, vice chairman of TAMI.

Mr Chuang was upbeat about demand from the aerospace and auto industries. “The Trump administration's efforts to bring back manufacturing jobs to the USA will also create a new wave of demand for machinery equipment. China remains the largest market for Taiwan-made machine tools and its outlook is promising as well,” he said.

Positive Outlook

Chairman of the Metal Forming Machinery Committee Wen-Long Hsiao was similarly positive, despite exports of metal forming machinery being US$510.03 million from January through November last year, a 5.4 percent year-on-year decrease.

“For 2017, orders are expected to grow more than 20 percent, primarily driven by the auto markets in the US, China, and Mexico. It is my understanding that altogether metal stamping companies have US$1.5-1.6 billion worth of orders on hand at the moment, up significantly from a year earlier”, Mr Hsiao said.

Summit, Seminars And Procurements

The next edition of Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS) will be unveiled from March 5th to 10th in 2019. With the construction of Taipei Nangang Exhibition Centre, Hall Two expected to be finished in time for TIMTOS 2019, it is anticipated that the exhibition scale would be able to expand even further.

Bevel Gear Cutting And Grinding Simplified

Luren Precision has machines that can perform bevel gear

Luren Precision was founded in 1994, and specialises in the production of gear cutting tools. Key members came from the Industrial Technology Research Institute, and had experience in high precision machinery producing aviation gears and components. The relationship with academic and research institutions gave them the ability to develop a gear cutter manufacturing system. The company produces gear hob cutters, shaving cuttes, carbide hobs, shaper (pinion) cutters, gear profile grinding machines, hob sharpening machines and driven tools.

The processing of spiral bevel gears typically require complex and expensive machines. Through numerical analysis, Luren Precision has developed optimised cutting paths for bevel gears, allowing their five-axis LVC-100/LVG-100CNC bevel gear cutting and grinding machines to perform high-precision bevel gear manufacturing. This could significantly cut down the investment of high-end bevel gear processing equipment. The automatic tool changer and tool magazine also allows for roughing, finishing and measuring to be done in one sitting.

Company representative Huang Poming said that all components of their machines are made in Taiwan, including the five-axis CNC controller from Intek, the servo motor from Hiwin Mikrosystem, and the ballscrew, linear guideway and B/C axis from Hiwin.

Efficient Production Cell For Tubular Parts

A demonstration production cell from Soco utilises a robot to
feed tubes into a tube bending machine.

Soco is a company dedicated to making machinery for the tube industry. The number one industry for them is the automotive industry, making exhaust pipes, car seating, air-conditioning, and more.

The company was established in 1979, and has three factories in Taiwan employing 600 people. They also have a factory in China and Sweden, along with 29 offices around the world, selling to 81 countries.

“For 2016, we had a 16 percent growth in sales. But for the first quarter this year is already double that of last year. Sales were especially good in China because of the automotive industry, but aside from China, we saw a lot of growth in America, Brazil, and India. Our second-biggest market in fact, is India,” said Kyle Lo, chief executive officer and managing director.

The company showcased a production cell that utilised a robotic feeder. It starts with a loading magazine, and the robot feeds the tubes into their SB-32X7A-2S-V-U , OD 32 MM tube bending machine. The bending machine is electric, with no hydraulics involved. The machine itself can unload the tube. This machine is already being used in a wide range of applications, from automotive, to furniture, sports equipment, and healthcare.

Advanced R&D For Hydraulic Presses

Dees is focusing on energy savings technology and more
advanced controls for their presses.

Dees was established in 1976, and manufactures hydraulic presses from 10 to 6,000 tonnes. The company has built over 4,000 machines to 72 countries in the world. The automotive manufacturing industry is their biggest market, and their machines are used to build body panels, chassis, and other auto parts, with the largest bolster size reaching 13 metres in length.

They highlighted their 2,000 tons tandem press line with robotic loaders from Yaskawa robotics with left and right moving bolsters as an efficient tool for exchanging heavy dies. The design of this auto part production line and automation solution was integrated by Dees Hydraulic.

President David Chuang said that due to the booming industry in China, around 65 to 70 percent of their sales come from the automotive industry, while the second-largest comes from the 3C and home appliance market.

“Currently, our research and development are focusing on three things. First, we are developing energy savings technology for our presses. We are also developing servo motor presses, and that’s one of the main targets we want to achieve. The second one is that we aiming for more advanced control feature of their product, such as synchronised control of their press, in order to keep high accuracy during the forming process of their press. Lastly, we’re also looking at hot-forming for automotive parts, which is a new advanced demand,” he added.

APMEN Machine Tools, Apr 2017

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  • Last modified on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 02:42
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