Taiwan Machine Tools Remain Active in the Automotive Industry
For more than three decades, the Taiwanese machinery suppliers have worked zealously to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive supply chain in Southeast and South Asian regions, allowing them to serve the manufacturing sites in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and India more efficiently.
The industrial links between Taiwan and these regions are solid, providing many manufacturers with comprehensive machining solutions and services.
As the world’s automobile manufacturing centers shift to ASEAN and India, carmakers from these nations should take advantage of the opportunity to build modern production lines with Taiwanese technology. This would allow them to keep up with the latest manufacturing trends while keeping costs on a manageable level.
Most Taiwanese machine tools are designed for global carmakers to use in producing car components. Because of the favorable price to performance ratios of cutting and forming machines from Taiwan, the global automotive industry considers domestic machine tool suppliers among the most reliable. .
Mold surface finishing is the focus of mold processing for large-sized, high-speed machining centers. This type of machine tool should be adaptable to manufacturing processes.
For instance, users should expect machine tools to be able to cope with challenges such as rough machining (high chip removal machining), deep hole drilling of mold cooling passages, or other instances that need to be carried out on specifically designed machines.
High-speed machining centers designed for mold processing come with high rigidity and accuracy. These feature excellent damping ratio as well, making them more adaptable to frequent speed changes during processing.
The prerequisites for high-speed processing include a high-speed spindle up to 15,000 rpm, with dual contact tool shank in HSK types. The spindle should maintain a good dynamic balance, rigidity, thermal stability, power, and torque.
The cutting feed rate should be able to reach up to 10m/ min or above, with excellent control for contouring. The rapid feed rate should exceed 50m/ min, so that the idle duration can be shortened. High acceleration nature is important as well.
Machines that travel under 1m should be of 1G while machines that travel over 2m should be more than 0.5G.
Taiwanese machine tool manufacturers developed machines for high speed machining with linear motor driving in 2006. These machines were used to process automotive metal stamping parts for COC Tooling & Stamping, a Sino-Japanese mold company.
The machines were used for high-speed mold processing. The feed rate for fine machining was soon increased from 4m/min to 10m/min, which impresses most people in the sector.
In 2005, Taiwanese machine tool suppliers worked with Bosch to install Bosch Rexroth linear motor products on a high-speed 5-axis gantry machining center – the G3050.
With these advancements, the time needed for mold process procedures was reduced by 50%. Not only was the time cut in half, but the processing quality and contour accuracy were also improved as well. Perfected quality and contour accuracy save the need for further manned polishing and die spotting in future process.
As for demands for molds, checking gauges, and quick modeling in the automotive industry, Taiwanese machine tool suppliers offer two solutions: GM type and G type machines.
The GM type adopts a box-in-box design, the driving center of a gravity gantry structure, which delivers optimal structural rigidity and stable accuracy while eliminating any environmental impact. G3020/G2540 types adopt an integrated U type body structure, with compact structural rigidity and the smallest cover area, benefiting factory owners by reducing demands on space.
These two types of machines feature fixed type table design and tri-axial overlap gantry type structures; thus machine performances are not subject to the changes of mold-piece weight. Moreover, these types are driven by linear motors, with axial feed-rate reaching up to 60m/ min. With a high-torque, two-axis head and high-speed electro-spindle, these two types of machines can achieve high chip removal rates and high speed finishing.
For instance, the G3020 Linear Motor five-axis High Speed Machining Center is equipped with an HSK63A-24000rpm electro-spindle, which enables the G3020 machine to process five machining models, delivering the most compact solutions.
Five machining models
- Mass Chip Removal: No. 45 steel material, tool diameter 50mm, cutting width 35mm, cutting depth 0.8mm, feed rate 12m/ min, chip removal rate (CRR) reaches up to 366 cc/ min.
- Deep-Hole Gun drill: No. 45 steel material, tool diameter 30mm, spindle speed 1,273 rpm, axial feed-rate 127mm/ min.
- Mold Surface Finishing: Tool 25mm, cutting pitch 0.5mm, spindle speed 12,000 rpm, feed rate 11m/ min.
- Multi-Penciling: Tool 2mm, spindle speed 18,000 rpm, cutting feed rate 1,760 mm/ min
- Mold Surface Mirror Finishing: Tool diameter 0.8mm, spindle speed 22,000 rpm, feed rate 800 mm/ min.
One of the most famous automotive stamping part manufacturers, who supports TATA MOTORS, MARUTI SUZUKI INDIA LIMITED, ASIA MOTORWORKS LTD, and many other leading manufacturers in the automotive industry, has adopted the GM five-axis, high-speed machining centers in its production line.
The machine uses a linear motor mechanism to drive its 3 axes as well as a box-in-box gantry structure with process ranges that reach 3m x 5m x 1m. Taking into account tool abrasion during processing, the estimated actual processing feed rate is 12-15m/ min.
Together with an ATC system, tool length and diameter laser monitoring and calibration, and automatic on-cell workpiece measuring and compensation mechanisms, factory production can run 24 hours per day on a three-shift rotation.
Regarding rapid prototyping, since it is a prerequisite that the machine tool size has to cover the size of the targeted cars, large-sized Taiwanese machine tools are well sought-after in the market. Common materials include polystyrene, clay soil, resins, and an aluminum/zinc alloy.
The G4070 machine made by Taiwanese suppliers uses rapid prototyping and the processing range and efficiency are both very good.
Taiwanese machine tool suppliers are skilled at manufacturing large machines for mold processing and prototyping. In the area of ordinary machining, a number of Taiwanese suppliers offer machine centers and lathes that can process different kinds of automotive components, such as steering shafts, transmission units, cylinder blocks, brake discs, brake drums, steering knuckles, and other critical components.
These cutting machines made in Taiwan are widely used at Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels. Besides cutting machines, Taiwanese suppliers produce machinery for other procedures as well.
Deep Hole Drilling
In automotive parts manufacturing, deep-hole drilling is a necessary procedure for processing various shafts, rods, and tubes. After the outer phases are processed by machine centers, deep-hole drilling machines then perform precision processing on the inner hole.
The SLA-200D machine made by a Taiwanese deep-hole drilling machine supplier is widely distributed throughout Southeast and Central Asia. This model has been adopted by the Indian TVS Group supply chain of GM to process propeller shafts for gearboxes.
The SLA-200D is made by an experienced manufacturer that can customize the products based on users’ production-line circumstances. Moreover, the SLA-200D can be equipped with an automation system that reduces reliance on operators, cutting manpower needs by 50%. When the SLA-200D is fully equipped with an automation system, only one operator is needed to handle the machine.
Furthermore the operator is only required to attend to the machine every 15 minutes for reloading. With a well-arranged automation mechanism, the SLA-200D’s engineer stated that on-site operators are only needed to feed the machine with workpieces, and the machine takes care of the rest. This reduced reliance on manpower is the primary advantage of the SLA-200D.
The processing diameter ranges from Ø9.0mm to Ø9.6mm, and the processing depth reaches up to 200mm. These processing performance standards can be achieved under massive production conditions.
The ST1200 Bed Type Deep Hole Drilling Machine is also one of the very popular Taiwanese deep-hole drilling machine products. It is used in the supply chains of NISSAN and YAMAHA in Thailand to process components of cars and motorcycles. The application of the ST1200, however, is not limited to the automotive and motorcycle industries, but the plastics injection machine sector as well.
It can process the plastic injection channels and coolant channels of molds. The drilling length, at its maximum, reaches up to 3,000 mm. Still, the ST1200 can be further equipped with optional equipment to process tapping and milling, further perfecting the processing procedure. With this single machine, users can achieve a multitude of tasks. For these reasons, it is considered to be technologically advanced, yet reasonably priced.
Forming is as important as cutting and shares an important part in automotive parts manufacturing. There are more than 20 famous forming machine suppliers in Taiwan, who have dedicated their talent to the advancement of automotive manufacturing.
The development of forming machines in Taiwan has a long history. Taiwanese forming machine manufacturers strive to excel in the free market, attaining the best skills that are much favored by global users.
In Thailand, the component supply chains of TOYOTA, HONDA, ISUZU, MITSUBISHI, FORD, NISSAN, and SUZUKI, with their high-precision demands, use Taiwanese forming machines. ASEAN car makers adopt Taiwanese forming machines, such as small C frame mechanical presses that can process light and thin steel forming and progressive die parts.
Such machine type can also perform punching, bending, and blanking. Recently, with the growth of the ASEAN industry, the company started to sell middle and large-sized forming machines for local users to process large-sized sheet metals for vehicles, such as the award-winning Straight Side Mechanical Press (SAG) and Straight Side Eccentric Gear Mechanical Press (SE2).
The demand for these two high-end machines from the ASEAN region has grown. The machines are used to process car bodies, chassis frames, stab bar bracket assy, stopper, hanger assy lh, hanger assy rh, seat frame, drum brake, brake shoes, brake linings, lower arms, stamping fan shields.
ASEAN manufacturers notice that Taiwanese forming machine products are catching up with their Japanese counterparts. The former has the advantage of a more favorable price to performance ratio though. This advantage is achieved as Taiwanese companies are able to group their suppliers together to form an integrated production line.
This production line can make precise adjustments in manufacturing, from component manufacturing, frame welding and casting to machine assembly, which are supervised by their respective headquarters. Because of this, all of their products are much more flexible in terms of price and lead time.
Now as ASEAN factories struggle with a shortage of professional workers, Taiwanese suppliers are prepared to support their ASEAN customers with automatic production line programming, integrating an in-time surveillance system that can best supervise operation conditions such as machine temperature, pressing load, lubrication pressure, brake system, and other crucial links in the forming procedures.
Taiwanese forming machine suppliers are able to assist ASEAN users with forming demands to make the best of their purchased equipment and thereby maximize production.
Besides this, in ordinary sheet metal forming, forming the clamp items to clamp oil and water tubes is also the selling point of many outstanding Taiwanese forming machine manufacturers.
The YSM-36T automatic forming machine is widely distributed throughout India and Indonesia. The wire diameter of its processing capacity is 0.6-3.2mm, and the maximal width of the strip is 30mm. The thickness of the strip reaches up to 0.3-1.5mm; and the hardness of the strip is 80 (CARBON). This type of machine is used in the supply chains of TOYOTA and HONDA in India and Indonesia to process clamp items and the Anti Rattle Brake Clamp, due to its economical price to performance ratio.
As well, the advanced type YSM CNC-39T, their three-axis servo-forming machine, can process even more clamp items and, due to its three-axis CNC structure, is flexible to mold change. Due to the CNC advancement, when the mold design is changed, the YSM CNC-39T can adapt to the change with ease and still keep up with the manufacturing step. This type of CNC forming machine excels at keeping production lines agile.
Though these cutting and forming machine manufacturers do not represent the whole Taiwanese machine tool industry, they represent a common spirit that all Taiwanese suppliers share: keep moving forward.
For the last five decades, the industrial development in Taiwan has showcased Taiwanese people’s unbeatable courage and strong faith toward a better future. Machine tool suppliers in the 21st century offer, not only machinery, but also turnkey solutions for their users.
In Taiwan, you can find what you need and what you want for your production lines. Taiwanese suppliers want to know your needs and will eagerly offer you optimal solutions for your production lines.