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Posted by: Russ Willcutt 24. June 2014

Taiwan Machine Tool Industry is Booming

Shelly Liu leads a tour of Gifu Enterprise Co. Ltd.

A recent press trip hosted by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) provided me with an insider’s view of the impressive strides being made within that country’s machine tool industry. Over five days we visited a total of 10 manufacturers of various machines, components and systems, as well as the Taiwan Machine Tool & Accessory Builders’ Association (TMBA), where we engaged in a question and answer session with Carl Huang, president. He described the industry’s desire to grow market share within countries such as the United States, Mexico and Canada, among others, and the efforts being made to support this endeavor. This includes formation of the M-Team Alliance, a collaboration between Taiwan’s machine tool manufacturers to help domestic companies boost product quality and international competitiveness. Having toured the manufacturing operations of the following companies, meeting with both executives and engineers, I can attest to the serious intent driving their efforts:

  • Tongtai—special purpose machines, vertical machining centers, lathes, horizontal machining centers (U.S. representative: Absolute Machine Tools, absolutemachine.com)
  • Honor Seiki (Tongtai Group)—vertical lathes, turning centers, grinding machines
  • Asia Pacific Elite Corp. (APEC, Tongtai Group)—high speed five-axis technology, industrial application technology
  • Yeong Chin Machinery Industries Co. Ltd. (YCM)—single- and double-column machining centers, horizontal machining centers, horizontal boring milling machining centers, CNC lathes, control software
  • Quaser Machine Tools Inc.—vertical, horizontal, five-axis, multi-face, five-axis and palletized machining centers
  • Goodway—multi-axis turning centers (five-axis, Swiss-type, twin spindle/twin turret machining centers), vertical and horizontal machining centers
  • Awea Mechantronic Co. Ltd. (Goodway Group)—five-face machining centers, five-axis machining centers, horizontal boring mills, bridge-type machining centers, vertical machining centers, tapping centers
  • Gifu Enterprise Co. Ltd.—automatic tool changers of all configurations
  • Tung Pei Industrial Co. Ltd. (TPI Bearings)—deep groove ball bearings, needle roller bearings, angular contact ball bearings for machine tools
  • Habor Precise Industries Co. Ltd.—machining center cooling systems

(View the slideshow here for a glimpse at what I saw at these facilities.)

Most, if not all, of these companies will be exhibiting at the upcoming IMTS event in Chicago, and the technologies being developed by these enterprises should not be overlooked. The Taiwan machine tool industry is becoming known for its attention to detail and the quality and versatility of its machining centers. Also consider attending the Taiwan International Machine Tool Show (TMTS) Nov. 5-9, 2014, at the Greater Taichung International Expo Center (GTIEC). Learn more at tmts.tw.

According to the 2014 World Machine Tool Output & Consumption Survey from Gardner Research, Taiwan is ranked seventh in worldwide production of machine tools; fourth in export; sixteenth in import; and tenth in consumption. Most of the companies I visited on this trip are in major growth mode, building new headquarters and production facilities. Their coordinated efforts are sure to make an impression around the globe in the coming years.

Posted by: Derek Korn 23. June 2014

A Modular Clamping System for Bulky Parts

The FCS modular clamping system was designed to minimize setup times, enable machines to access five sides of a fixtured part and provide highly repeatable positioning so parts can be removed and accurately refixtured as needed.
 

FCS Moulds, now Elmann S.R.L.U., is an Italian moldmaker that sought to develop a standard means of fixturing mold components that would minimize setup times, enable its machines to access five sides of a fixtured part, and provide highly repeatable positioning so parts could be removed and accurately refixtured at the same zero reference points as needed. Ultimately, its goal was to increase its machines’ spindle utilization so it could be more competitive with foreign moldmakers.

The solution it developed eventually turned into a product line that’s well-suited for clamping big, bulky components. Learn how you might benefit from it.

Posted by: Mark Albert 20. June 2014

Metal Storm Thunders through Sudbury

Last week, Methods Machine Tools Inc. hosted Metal Storm 2014, its annual open house and mini machine tool show at the company's headquarters in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Methods uses this popular customer event to showcase new machine concepts and designs from the numerous machine tool builders it represents in the United States. A line-up of informational seminars and tabletop exhibits rounded out this year's presentation.  More than 1,500 attendees from 450 companies visited over its three-day run.

Highlights of the machine models and metalworking processes introduced or featured at the show are compiled in this slideshow.

For a video clip roaming the aisles of Methods’ showroom during the event, click here.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 19. June 2014

Morning in the Machine Shop

Matt Guse, the owner of MRS Machining in Augusta, Wisconsin (a company we’ve written about), took this photo of a moment that struck him in his shop, when the early morning sunshine streamed in.

“I came up with this photo when I was reflecting back on my dad,” Mr. Guse says. His father, who was a part of the business with him, recently passed away.

He says, “Some people like waking up to a natural, beautiful setting, but I like waking up to a great team of employees at MRS Machining giving it their all to help support manufacturing. I truly believe this was how my dad felt each day he came to work.”

Posted by: Emily Probst 18. June 2014

June Digital Edition Now Available

The digital edition of Modern Machine Shop's June 2014 issue is now available.

The digital June issue of Modern Machine Shop is now available. Feature stories emphasize CAD/CAM software and die/mold machining topics. The cover story details how quickly updating tool paths to remachine die surfaces enabled a shop to provide short runs of prototype-formed sheet metal parts. Other features cover how a retired engineer was inspired to learn machining, as well as a brief look at TRAM, the aerospace conference returning to IMTS this year.

Our Rapid Traverse Section discusses eliminating tool pullout in titanium milling, and how “nano-onions” help improve cutting performance. A third story covers how the Dynamic Motion option in CNC Software’s Mastercam has moved past old boundaries.

This month’s Better production section includes case studies about automated honing creating consistent parts, how a CNC grinder shortens lead time for specialty tooling and how a large Y-axis VMC enables complete machining in a single setup.

The Modern Equipment Review section highlights EDM equipment.

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