From Precise to Smart, Taiwan Smart Manufacturing in Auto Industry
Automated Automobile Production Lines – Taiwan is Export-ready
Multi-machine automated production lines used to be the specialty of European and Japanese manufacturers, but Taiwanese machine tool manufacturers have made great progress in developing fully automated production lines. In the past, Taiwanese machine tool manufacturers mostly focused on stand-alone CNC machine tools, configured with robotic arms and control systems. However, in recentyears, domestic manufacturers have successfully exported completely automated production lines to the Japanese and Chinese markets for use by auto parts and components manufacturers.
Representative of these recent achievements, Falcon Machine Tools has developed a 55-meter fully automated production line for aluminum wheels, including four vertical lathes (for the lathing of the inner and outer diameter), four processing machines (drilling,) and high-shelf, intelligent robotic arms. This line produces one large forged aluminum wheel every three minutes, with stunning efficiency, and with no manual labor needed for the transport of material. In the future, the design of production lines that incorporate robotic arms and fixtures for a variety of industries will be developed.
There are two other fully automated aluminum wheel production lines capable of processing aluminum wheels for trucks and passenger cars. These production lines can also perform mixed line production, and the newly developed WHL-55 high-gloss rim processing machine can process aluminum wheel surface treads and achieve a mirror-like surface gloss effect, improving wheel quality. Processing quality is on a par with European and American models while the machine comes with a very affordable price tag.
Aerospace and Car Makers to Drive 100% Growth in Intelligent Machinary by 2025
Taiwan’s machine tool industry reached a major milestone in 2017, with total output value passing the trillion-dollar (NTD) mark. The industry’s next key target is to leverage rapid growth in intelligent machines and intelligent manufacturing to reach two trillion dollars within a decade. The aerospace and car manufacturing industries will be the main drivers of this growth, as Taiwan-based machine tool makers continue to offer even greater value in terms of quality, efficiency and cost control.
Following the launch of the AIM Team industry alliance formed in 2013 by the machine tool industry in conjunction with a number of academic and research institutions, Anson Liao, Chairman of the Taiwan Aerospace Industry Association, and also Chairman of Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC), announced the launch of the Taiwan aerospace industry’s A-Team 4.0, Education Center and Forum plans at the 2015 Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE). In 2017, the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) also signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the creation of a national team to capitalize on new opportunities in the global aerospace market.
Taiwan Aerospace Industry’s A-Team 4.0
The ability to make use of the impressive system integration (SI) and project management skills accumulated by AIDC over the years will help the machinery industry to strengthen its capabilities, and enable the industry to go from strength to strength in even the most demanding areas of the machining and composite material processing sectors. Mr Liao commented that, “Once the Taiwan machine tool industry achieves aerospace manufacturing certification, it will be even better placed to thrive in other industries, and this will also increase companies’ willingness to collaborate. AIDC can also play an important role in this process by maximizing the benefit of Taiwan’s integrated industry clusters, which are unrivaled on a global level.”
Electric Vehicles, Paving the Way for Smart Manufacturing in Auto Industry
In recent years, the car and automotive component industries, which are the largest users of machine tools, have begun to embrace and share the new opportunities brought about by electric vehicles. As electric vehicles begin to replace combustion engines, it is vital that the machine tool industry adapts to the manufacturing needs of these key markets by transitioning to new technologies and developing products with new functionality; only then will the industry be able to maintain the level of competitiveness required to maintain its strong position in global supply chains. Examples of such products and technologies include composites and other lightweight materials with the structures and sizes needed for automotive components; such products can be created from existing structures using hybrid techniques such as additive/subtractive machining and pressing, in order to improve capabilities for high-diversity, low-volume machining.
Taiwan Smart Machinery in TECMA 2019
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