Edited By Charles Bates
|Taiwan’s President Dr. Ying-Jeou Ma maps out his economic survival plan at TIMTOS 2009. |
The Taiwanese refer to the current global manufacturing recession as an “economic tsunami,” one that could have devastating effects if preventative steps aren’t taken. The country’s concern is magnified because it is home to 450 machine tool builders and it exports about $3.8 billion (in 2008) worth of those builders’ products, making Taiwan the estimated fourth-largest machine tool exporter in the world.
So how does Taiwan plan to weather the tsunami and protect its lucrative machine tool industry? The answer, according to Dr. Ying-Jeou Ma, president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), is to invest in research and development to turn crisis into opportunity in the face of global financial turmoil.
While speaking at a press conference during the opening ceremonies of the TIMTOS tradeshow in Taipei in March 2009, President Ma said that despite a depressed market, his country would continue investing in research and development to stay competitive in the global market.
President Ma also spoke of increasing government procurement projects, intensifying efforts to stimulate the internal economy, and of diversifying sources of revenue for Taiwan’s machine tool industry by cashing in on emerging markets such as Russia, southwest Asia and South America. And he’s hoping to “win over” mainland China.
In Taiwan’s machine tool industry, research and development has keyed in on compact machine structures, particularly multi-axis machines, and emphasized high quality, functionality, competitive pricing and comprehensive service. Taiwanese builders have also directed research and development efforts toward high-precision, high production effectiveness and streamlined production processes.
Most of Taiwan’s manufacturing equipment makers showcased the results of their research and development at TIMTOS. The show hosted 895 exhibitors occupying 4,871 booths to demonstrate their products to nearly 39,000 domestic visitors. Here are some products highlighted at the show.
|The DMT-500 vertical multitasking traveling-column machining center from Dah Lih Machinery Industry Co. Ltd. does turning, milling and drilling on a vertical machine platform. The 5-axis machine includes a swiveling spindle head (B axis), rotary table (C axis) and 12,000-rpm built-in-type milling turning complex spindle.||For shops targeting large-part markets, Honor Seiki Co. Ltd., part of the Tongtai Machine Tool Group, offers its VL-160CM vertical lathe that sports a 62.9-in.-diameter table for turning part diameters to 78.7 in. and part heights to 49.2 in.|
|The latest horizontal machining center from Quaser Machine Tools Inc., the HX 504 BP, can be equipped with a 240-tool automatic tool changer and special software to manage all those tools.||Shuz Tung Machinery Industrial Co.’s model CNC38BR2 bending machine delivers a maximum bending radius of 200 mm, maximum onetime feeding length of 2,100 mm, and a maximum feeding length (with mandrel) of 3,200 mm. The 22-hp machine features a PC-based control.|
|LNC Technology Co., a subsidiary of the Pou Chen Group, highlights the affordability of its CNC controllers, especially its M600 Series targeted for the United States. The highspeed control, which is especially well suited for mold machining applications, provides the same cutting performance as higher-priced counterparts and features a conversational function for easy operation.||With a 0.9-sec tool change time, the Sun Flower automatic toolchanger for tapping machines selects tools using a cam-indexing system. The changer, from Gifu Enterprise Co., accommodates 14 tools, which it indexes at 2.3 sec for farthest tool.|
|Well suited to aerospace work, the LH-1608V vertical machining center, from Awea Mechantronic Co. Ltd. has a distance of 150 mm to 800 mm from its spindle nose to its table. The machine’s 6,000-rpm spindle is housed in a head that swivels and tilts.||The Habor Precise Industries Co. DC inverter fluid cooler uses 30 percent less energy to maintain accurate temperatures to within +/- 0.1 degree C. The system cools spindles, linear drives, control cabinets, hydraulics and cutting fluids. Sensor-less technology improves system reliability, and it operates at low vibration and low noise.|
|The Apex K VIII press from Ing Yu Precision Industries Co., and available in the United States through Superior Stamping Technologies, is part of the company’s knuckle-link structure series. The design delivers accurate bottom dead center (BDC) positioning, less deformation and less clearance.||Trumpf manufactures its TruBend 3120 bending machine exclusively in Taiwan for the world market. The company’s Taiwan facility builds about 200 machines per year for the 3000 Series of bending machines, with around 40 percent of production going to the United States.|