Despite its diminutive size, the island of Taiwan, which covers an area of 36,000 square kilometers, remains a giant in machine tool development. The annual value of machine tools and related components produced in Taiwan places the nation in the world’s top 7; gross exports of such products ranks the island top 4 in the world. These Taiwanese exports support emerging market users all over the world creating ripple effects that have established a new manufacturing model. Russian manufacturers in their respective sectors use Taiwanese machinery because of its lower cost, rigid quality, and most importantly, bounteous services. In 2013, Russian machine center imports were valued at USD 360 million; 14% of these were imported from Taiwan representing a value of USD 50 million. This significant market share indicates that Taiwan is Russia’s third largest machine tool supplier. Russians choose machinery made in Taiwan because of its competitive price (compared to machinery made in Western Europe and Japan), solid performance and reliable rigidity. At this point in time, Russia is undergoing a series of industrial transformations in order to cope with changing global economic circumstances. Taiwan suppliers could be their best partners in the energy, shipbuilding, aerospace, machine tool, and railway industries.
Center spindle CNC lathe: Favored by Russian railway suppliers
As the biggest nation in the world, the Russian railway system is one of the greatest railway systems in the world, covering more than 100 thousand kilometers and spanning more than 10 time zones. Having inherited the railway system built during the USSR period, many of the railroad cars are in disrepair, and maintenance has become very important for RZhD. The suppliers of RZhD work with Taiwanese CNC lathe builders to develop machinery that helps process break system items for Russian railroad cars.
A Supplier of Russian railway system, OAO Transpnevmatica, has adopted Taiwan’s center spindle CNC lathe with twin CNC systems, single spindle, and two turrets, named the CSL FC-TF10/TP10. The Taiwanese engineers of the CSL series claim that the brake shaft for Russian railroad cars is about 500mm in length, 90mm in diameter and 4mm in thickness. The specifications and material of the brake shaft make the processing difficult with regards to the concentricity. It has to maintain high accuracy for the brake shaft, so the function could be well delivered; the workpiece clamp mechanism of the CSL FC-TF10/TP10 offers the optimal processing. On this machine, the workpiece is clamped at the center part, and both ends are processed by two tool systems at the same time as the center part is rigidly clamped. Without multiple clamp procedures in the usual manner, the concentricity is highly reinforced because both sides of the workpiece are finished at the same time in one single clamp. Shafts, rods, and tubes are all subject to the CSL FC-TF10/TP10 and the single time clamp for both side processing promises high concentricity. The CSL FC-TF10/TP10 engineers claim that the core technology of the machine is the patented center-drive spindle, which integrates spindle, rotation cylinder, and chuck into one so that both ends of the workpieces are subject to machining simultaneously. In the past, on-site operators needed to process one end and then reload the workpiece for another end, which caused mean error during repositioning. Now with the CSL FC-TF10/TP10, this issue has been solved by processing both ends simultaneously. Furthermore, the extension chuck sleeve is optional, which adjusts clamping lengths of different workpieces, achieving more flexibility with the same high accuracy. Center spindle CNC lathes are manufactured by both Taiwanese and Japanese manufacturers in the world machine tool market, but only the CSL series made in Taiwan supports heavy cutting by utilizing a hydraulic clamping system. One practical case is the processing of material S45C under 2,500 RPM, with depth of cut in 2.5 mm, and feed rate 0.3mm per revolution. The boring range of the machine is from Φ4mm to Φ250mm and further range development is still being explored.
Besides its application in railway systems, the energy industry is also one of the popular destinations for Taiwanese machine tools. The capability of processing extra-large workpieces by Taiwanese machine tools is the reason that Taiwan suppliers have entered the Tier 1 market of the energy industry.
Energy giant’s cost down solution is in Taiwan
For decades large-sized machine centers and CNC lathes made in Taiwan have been used by Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers in the energy industry for processing oil pipes. At present, large-sized Taiwanese CNC lathes are purchased by Tier 1 suppliers in the sector of energy exploration. Many of the suppliers of the top ten energy exploration companies are now using Taiwan machine tools to process their drills, valves and other items used in exploration.
Taiwan provides large-sized CNC’s with multi-axis features, which can process composite angles for workpieces by the co-rotation of X, Z, Y, and B axes. The co-rotating function also integrates turning, milling, boring, and grinding into fewer procedures, minimizing space utilization since a single machine can replace two or more. Equipped with a power turret, composite processing is ensured on one CNC lathe machine and fewer resources and personnel are needed at the manufacturing site since on-site operators do not need to do a lot of reloads given that one machine can do it all. In one case, a global energy exploration company has adopted Taiwanese machinery to process their exploration drills and corresponding circulation systems. Famous basic types are the TA series, which is used in processing oil pipes and the advanced LC/LD series, which can process not only drills and circulation systems but also steel wheels and other highly rigid alloy materials with the surface roughness in Ra 1.2. The LFM series is further reinforced in the boring function. The boring diameter reaches up to 1820mm; the LFM series is used to process turbine discs and other large-sized components for wind farms and steel manufacturers.
Another large-sized application case is the HYDRO NAVAL company. This company purchases double-column machine centers, the SD-36180-5F, to process drilling rig equipment, such as offshore platform central columns. The machine is of great processing capacity: 18m/3.6m/1.6m processing ranges of X/Y/Z axis respectively; 50kw spindle motor promises rigid heavy cutting that ensures users can process hard workpieces on the wide working table, sized 1800mm × 2800mm; 3.6m double column width promises processing advantages especially on large-sized workpieces which is common in the energy industry. The machine is used to process the central columns of offshore platforms.
Aside from the extra-large machines mentioned above, Kingdream in China also uses Taiwanese horizontal machine centers in large size to process their drill products. For example, the machine tool named the VMC-1600HD has a 1800mm × 750mm working table, and the X/Y/Z axis can coordinate with another CNC rotating index, ensuring a multiple angle heavy cutting performance. There are many VMC, SL, SV, and ST series made in Taiwan that are favored by both Chinese and Russian specialists in the sector of the energy industry. Those machine series perform well for a wide range of valves, drills, and other corresponding items.
The chance for Russian industry to keep cost down
Besides the export of gasoline and natural gas, the Russian machinery sector also makes a significant contribution to the Russian economy. As the global oil prices are affected by more and more parameters, citizens of the biggest country in the world are working hard to develop a machinery revolution in hopes of making Russia one of the primary exporters in the field of industrial machinery. Industrial machinery entails machine tools and a series of equipment. Taiwan’s machine tools and relevant component suppliers can support this goal with its sophisticated manufacturing model that is emulated all over the world earning Taiwan much due respect.
In the central area of Taiwan, there is one machine tool and relevant machine tool component supply chain that covers around 60 square kilometers, which connects the international industry from upstream to downstream, especially in the sector of metalworking. Within this area, casting, steel processing, component design and manufacture, machinery design and manufacture, automation engineering, production line arrangement, machine and component assembly, and operation education are all offered as experts from all over the world gather there. This area attracts more than 350 thousand workers and engineers; many international buyers come to visit and get what they need in order to upgrade their manufacturing.
Taiwan’s experience has benefited Mainland China and South East Asian nations to make progress in manufacturing over the past three decades, and has established an excellent reputation all over the world. As a result, buyers of Taiwanese machinery not only include specialists from emerging markets, but also from developed markets, such as Japan and Germany. Taiwanese people keep their tight rhythm in expansion and are ready for the booming Russian market. Taiwan suppliers can help Russians build modern manufacturing models, with a practical and affordable budget. Trust Taiwan, and you can make it happen.