The core of external success is internal control
The central part of Taiwan is the industrial capital of the country where thousands of machine tools are being manufactured by a cluster of skilled production facilities per month. Since the cluster houses downstream supply chain, machine tool manufacturers are able to outsource components from suppliers inside the area. The supply chain management helps in mass production including competitive quality and prices. In Taichung Industrial Park situates an expert in cylindrical products. This company utilizes what central Taiwan metalworking cluster offers in terms of component manufacturing, while finalizing all end products in-house. The company’s global success demonstrates Taichung’s metalworking supply chain cluster, besting any other clusters in the world.
Taichung: The biggest factory in the world
In the distant past when Taiwan was not well-known, many misidentify Taiwan for a big company, since many products show “Made in Taiwan”. Now, it is a common knowledge that Taiwan produces high-end products distributed all over the world.
The metalworking supply chain in central Taiwan covers 60 km sqm with various factories from upstream to downstream dealing with numerous fields in the metal working sector. This area illustrates the best features of Taiwan’s small and medium enterprises’ (SME). In dealing with competitors abroad, Taiwanese SMEs coordinate to have the products manufactured in huge quantities in order to cut down costs to provide competitive prices. Meanwhile, the collaboration foster advanced technology. In this manufacturing model, Taichung is a cradle of world class spindles, ATC systems, turrets, lock nuts, and all other machine tool components. The cost of these products are reasonable compared to German and Japanese competitors’ in the middle class level. This strategy go well in the middle class markets all over the world.
A case study: Cylindrical grinder manufacturer in Taichung
A company located in the Taichung Industrial Park shared its success on working with the supply chains. There are 125 employees in the factory and 18 of them are researchers. All the cylindrical and centerless grinder components are outsourced. The company is solely responsible for the final processing and assembly.
In the final processing, such as grinder spindle production, the company develops in-house technology, such as cryogenic treatment and precision grinding. Manager William Lee stated that mastering of critical procedures makes the best product advantages. The solidity of a grinder spindles is over HRC60, so Lee and his team have created their own grinders to process those spindle products in order to reach the targeted accuracy.
Centerless grinders are also one of the main products of the company and are applied to mass production, such as watch axes and car shock absorbers. Due to the excellent quality, TOYOTA and ROC SPICER use centerless grinders produced by the company. “Joint cross shafts, crankshafts, and camshafts are all subject to our centreless grinders,” Lee said. “Because our machines promise durable roundness in 0.002mm.
Besides machine tools, Lee and his team are also skilled at production line automation project. The company also offers robotic arms installed on production lines Arms integrated in cylindrical grinders can process workpiece feeding to make the whole procedure smoother.
Support from government: National resources makes SME international
Taiwan government is aware of the nature of SME in most corporations. While active in manufacturing, when encountered by global corporations with vast resources in research marketing, Taiwanese people find it challenging to cope with it.
As a result, Taiwanese officials establish many government founded research institutes for industries such as ITRI, PMC, and CSD to support Taiwan’s SMEs to act as big companies. Machine tool manufacturers in Taiwan are greatly supported by these organizations when they encounter technological challenges.
CNC cylindrical grinder with double spindles: JHD-3205CNC
The new JHD-3205CNC which can grind both external and inner parts is the main highlight. The machine’s body adopts integrated Meehanite casting and hence promises rigid structure. Computerized servo driven 3 axes (XYZ) or 2 axes (XY, XZ) are subject to users’ demand. Users can also purchase optional co-action 3 (XYC, XZC, BCY), 4 (XYZC), or even 5 (XYZCB) axes, depending on the complexity of the targeted workpieces.
The grinding head can rotate counter-clockwise for +15° and clockwise for -15°. This design allows conical grinding in both inner and external diameters and shortens the processing time. The expanded grinding area and elevated accuracy are hence achieved. The Y and Z axes adopts UP roller type linear guide way and compulsive lubricating system and cooling system. The table is driven by direct drive servo motors, and there are ball screw and ball bearing installed for accuracy. Emery cutter spindles are designed to be low vibration. Grinding head can be further installed with B axis for complicated conical grinding. The accuracy can be controlled within 0.003 degree and the repeated accuracy is within 0.001 degree.
About 40% of the company’s operation are in Mainland China, followed by the ASEAN region. Many customers in the Indonesian automotive sector trust Lee’s team and their products. Next to the ASEAN market is the EU market. Manager Lee said that in dealing with the global challenges, the company will extend its operation to more markets. It is expected that more and more machine tool grinders can be sold to every corner in the world where there is demand for grinding.