Taiwan has been the world's fifth largest machine tools exporter. One of the critical issues in this transition is that it’s only possible to achieve high-precision smart manufacturing if every single part has the functionality and accuracy to work in harmony – an area in which Taiwan’s machine tool makers are unsung heroes.
High-precision components are an important part of industrial innovations and breakthroughs, with the industry constantly evolving. For example, tool holders are the most direct link between the spindle and cutting tool on a machine tool, so deviations as small as 2-3μm can affect the lifespan of the cutting tool and the spindle, the yield, and ultimately the efficiency of machining.
SYIC, one of the leading tool holder manufacturers in Asia, is an expert manufacturer of precision tool holders, angle head holders, boring heads, cutting tools and collets, and is known for its high quality machine parts. The company took the high-end specifications needed in the CNC industry as the starting point for its evolution, introducing tool holders and chucks to cater to the high strength, high precision and high speed applications required by Industry 4.0.
The company’s transition began with labor-saving devices, before moving on to fully automatic solutions. When using traditional lathes with turrets, it takes time to rearrange the tools, if the process needs change, the operator has to waste a lot of time.
SYIC has targeted the five-axis high-value machine tool sector, especially in the aerospace, medical, alternative fuel vehicles fields, with the launch of AWC jig tool holders and improved workpiece quick release functions, combined with robotic arms that quickly replace workpieces, and touch probe holder positioning correction that vastly increases efficiency and precision.
Alston P.H Chen, President at SYIC, says that, “The CNC industry is changing now towards Industry 4.0, so manufacturers are looking for stronger, more precise and faster machining to meet their needs, so efficiency and flexibility are key.”
Taking the PRO-E collet chuck as an example, SYIC can achieve runout accuracy within 3μm (4DL) , as well as ultra-high coolant pressure, which extends the lifespan of the cutting tool. All these details need to be properly configured to create automatic unmanned factories.
“ Precision is absolutely critical to the lifespan and efficiency of the cutting tool, as low runout can reduce tool wear”, explains William Wan , Vice General Manager at Parfaite.
As one of the few specialist manufacturer in the world with the capability to produce and design high-speed built-in motor spindles, precision tool holders and forming tools, Parfaite is constantly pushing the boundaries of industrial precision.
With a product line that includes everything from vibration-damping 3μm hydraulic chucks and 3μm slim shrink-fit chucks, to 5μm high-speed, high-precision collet chucks, and grinding wheel chucks, Parfaite not only provides a diverse range of high-end products, but also RFID combined with integrated applications for tool management. As long as the chip detects the tool holder, it can tell you the working history and mechanical loss of the tools, allowing for more intelligent tool lifespan management, and making final machining processes more reliable.
Parfaite has also assisted customers in developing more than 100,000 customized tools in recent years, as the company continues to innovate and improve its technology.
William Wan , Vice General Manager at Parfaite, said that, “Based on customer’s needs and usage habits, we can help design more appropriate and efficient products. For example, by simplifying the machining process and modifying composite tools that originally required multiple tools, we can reduce tool usage and increase machining accuracy.”
In a market with highly customized needs, automatic production delivers both labor savings and increased flexibility. It has also become a key trend in the current market transformation.
Magnetic clamping systems are a vital part of any discussion of intelligent manufacturing. Earth-Chain has the most complete magnetic product range of any specialist manufacturer globally and over 50% of its products are customized automatic application systems.
Earth-Chain’s magnetic clamping systems can be used with machine tools of all types. While mounting, clamping and unmounting workpieces with traditional mechanical clamps takes a considerable amount of time, using magnetic construction in magnetic products massively increases setup efficiency and avoids the need to repeatedly go over the same issues such as position tolerance and fixture interference. Earth-Chain’s independently developed magnetic disk controllers can also be connected to mechanical arms and CNC controllers to enable programmable control, fully automate production processes, and vastly increase work efficiency.
In addition to creating innovative products, Earth-Chain is able to make use of its in-house systems to build “AI machine-magnet intelligent IoT demonstration factories” that deliver custom-manufacturing flexibility from small quantities to ultra-large quantities.
As Earth-chain Vice President Jason Chen explains, “Earth-chain has accumulated key technologies in the field of magnetic application products. In addition to researching and developing new tools with greater magnetism, greater precision and safer application, we also specialize in making customized products, which account for 40% of our sales.”
As technology advances, precision is becoming an even more important issue in manufacturing. High quality components are at the root of all production processes, and can save both time and labor. The integration of high-end machine tools into the intelligent manufacturing framework also makes automated solutions possible.
Taiwanese manufacturers have already made great progress on the road to intelligent manufacturing, while their outstanding integration, cooperation and industry chains continue to help them achieve the highest international standards.
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