China Sets Sights On Machine Tool Development

China Sets Sights On Machine Tool Development

Areport released recently from China cited the internal development of precision CNC machine tools as one of the country's strategic needs and targets over the next 15 years. China currently is the largest machine tool consumer in the world.

The government-issued report, titled "Outline of the National Medium-and Long-term Planning for Development of Science and Technology (From 2006 to 2020)," identifies manufacturing as one of 11 major sectors of development China intends to pursue in the next 15 years, and specifically cited the domestic production of precision machine tools as one of 16 core projects in science and technology chosen for growth.

The report indicates China's intention to emphasize the development of CNC control systems that will be designed for the machine tools. Also, the document notes plans to develop additional equipment, such as high-speed spindles, and the ancillary equipment needed for the machine tools, such as ball screws, robotic tool holders and tool-changing magazines, rotary tables, linear guided motors, and toolholding devices. The report was made available by China's official news agency in February.

Additionally, China's government identified its desire to produce high precision machine tools in two other recent reports.

Last September, a Chinese government document stated that China should reduce its reliance on imported CNC machine tools by developing its own machine tools and computer control systems.

Later, in its "Eleventh Five-year Plan period from 2006 to 2010," the Chinese government identified types of machine tools that it plans to build domestically over the next five years.

The machine tools identified in the plan include high-speed, high-precision CNC lathes and turning centers; four-axis machining centers; high-speed, high-precision vertical machining centers; CNC boring and milling centers; a variety of heavy-duty CNC machine tools; ultra high precision CNC grinding machines, including crankshaft and specialized grinding machines; wire EDM machines, including large, CNC EDM machines; metal forming machines; and automatic and specialized production machines. The five-year plan also was published in English by China's official news agency.

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