In the machine industry of the 21st century, Taiwan plays a crucial role as the major supplier of manufacturers by providing critical components with tailor-made, specific designs. Taiwanese companies are able supply the world’s manufacturers with all necessary machinery, machine tool components, and turnkey solutions for their production lines due to one clear advantage; namely, Taiwan’s self-sufficient supply chain located in the central part of the island. In this region, hundreds of thousands of professionals are dedicated to developing the latest industrial products from upstream to downstream. Related essential industries found in this area include casting and forging, motion controls, working tables, spindles, tools and tool magazines, ATC systems, locknuts, bearings, controllers, and other critical components. It is for this reason that when people talk about the concept of the “Hidden Champion”, Taiwan is recognized as the Master Hidden Champion of the world!
Heart of Machine Tools: Spindles
In keeping up with the trend of high-speed processing, the built-in spindle is one of the primary choices for most turning and milling centers. Taiwanese spindle suppliers are adept at building such spindles with simple designs and a wide range of specifications, which solve temperature issues while improving working conditions.
A regular built-in spindle typically experiences high temperature issues and low rigidity. Taiwanese spindle supplier, however, has developed the REA501 built-in spindle for turning centers, which adopts an oil lubrication system to control the bearing operation temperature, making the bearing work steadily. Cooling requirements are adjusted to specified conditions, as this reinforces the axial stiffness at a controlled level. This improves the wide bearing span of shafting in heavy cutting. Together with a smaller stator coil which shortens motor length, the REA501 turning built-in spindles can be widely applied in multi-tasking turning machines for various manufacturing needs.
The REA501 spindle represents a clear case of innovative engineering design. Taiwanese spindle suppliers are skilled at providing not only different kinds of built-in spindles, but also belt drive spindles, direct drive spindles, motorized spindles, turning spindles, gear spindles, and other spindle products of advanced technology that drive machine tools. For instance in the case of the TAC-10 (A2-4), which is a masterpiece in the area of belt-drive spindles, the spindle nose is A2-4 and its maximal rotational speed can reach up to 6,000/ 8,000 RPM, achieving a great CNC lathe performance. With a chuck diameter of 5’’ and a motor power of 3.7/ 5.5 kW, most kinds of machining are possible. The accuracy of the TAC-10 (A2-4) is runout 3µ. With regards to the headstock and tailstock for CNC turning machines, Taiwanese suppliers offer a variety of products that fit into high speed/ spinning spindles. The die-case FC-30 case is subject to various specification orders, including front and rear spindle covers, partition rings, seals, and other complicated parts. With a partition ring with flatness of 1µm, the FC-30 offers excellent accuracy.
Furthermore, Taiwanese spindle manufacturers have been focusing on providing their customers with the latest technological support through their cooperation with research-intensive universities. Today there is a remote spindle noise and vibration analysis system, developed by an advanced Taiwanese spindle maker, which utilizes the acoustic features of working spindles as a means of identifying any inner defects. When customers encounter spindle issues, they can simply record the spindle sound outside the spindle and transfer the sound file to the Taiwanese spindle manufacturer’s headquarters, where analysts are able to determine the problem. This mechanism shortens analysis time and reduces error costs. It also prolongs the lifespan of high-speed spindles. Such technology is the result of the “Servitization of Manufacture” policy which has provided a modernized, hi-tech solution to spindle operations.
In front of the spindles is the tooling system attached to it. Taiwanese suppliers are excellent at integrating tooling systems with ATC systems and tool magazines, perfecting cutting solutions.
Taiwanese Tool System
Supported by domestic cam ATC suppliers and the metalworking supply chain in the Greater Taichung area, the tool magazine industry is a shining star in the global market. Purchasers come from Western Europe, Japan, China, India, and other industrial nations with strong machine tool industries. Taiwanese tool magazine suppliers sell magazine products to domestic and foreign machine tool manufacturers, covering the high and middle-end markets.
The product titled “Brick Modularized Structure Disc Type Tool Magazine” was designed for vertical processing machines and vertical lathe processing machines. The product was honored with the TAIWAN EXCELLENCE SILVER AWARD 2013 because of its innovative design. The tool holder types of “Brick Modularized Structure Disc Type Tool Magazine” are numerous, including BT/ISO/CAT/HSK, and the taper type is 40# (HSK-63). The maximal tool weight is 8 kg; when fully loaded; the tool diameter can be Ø80 mm, while, without adjacent tools, the tool diameter can be Ø 130 mm. The tool magazine drive source is electric, and the tool structure is a modularized disc type. With 24 T capacity, this magazine product achieves agile processing.
The manufacturer of the “Brick Modularized Structure Disc Type Tool Magazine” is working with both domestic and foreign machine tool manufacturers as it makes its foray into the global market. The DMG Company is one of its customers. The company sells its chain-type tool magazine to DMG. The chain-type tool magazine is of advanced technology: the maximal tool weight of taper type 50#(HSK-100) is 25 kg and the maximal tool capacity reaches to 60 T. When fully pocketed, the tool diameter is Ø 125mm; while, without adjacent tools, the tool diameter is Ø 250mm. The tool magazine drive sources are either servo or electric- users can make their optimal choice.
Besides German buyers, many Japanese machine tool manufacturers are also attracted by the Taiwanese tool magazine suppliers since the company produces more than 400 types of magazine products. Those Japanese manufacturers include ENSHU, HARU, MAKINO, OHTORI KIKO, NOMURA, and IKEGAI.
Taiwanese Working Tables
Besides the cutting units, the tables that hold the workpieces are also important in machine tool processing procedures. The development of gears and index tables is highly touted in Taiwan since the domestic demands have nurtured this sector; it is now just as renowned as the tool magazine sector to international buyers.
The index tables are crucial to multi-face and five-axis machine centers. Only by the strength of the 4th axis or the 5th axis are the intended integrated cutting processes possible. Accordingly, there are many index table suppliers located in the Greater Taichung metal working supply chain that satisfy both domestic and foreign order requests. Those suppliers offer the 5th axis to machine tool suppliers and also to end users who have bought machinery already but require additional rotary tables for their existing production lines.
For example, the TR-s series CNC tilting rotary table is being used by Japanese automotive manufacturers in Thailand and Indonesia to support the machinery of their production lines. The TR-s series helps ASEAN users smoothen manufacture processes in many aspects. The maximum workload is 200 kg, and the repeatability (sec.) on a TR-120S type is 8’’ (unidirectional) and 16’’ (bidirectional). On a TR-320S type, the repeatability is 4’’ (unidirectional) and 8’’ (bidirectional). The table enhances the efficiency of production lines by these very features. Taiwanese suppliers are skilled at supporting machine tool manufacturers in 5th axis construction. The AR series CNC horizontal pallet rotary table is famous in this sector. It uses a double lead worm shaft design as its transmission mechanism; the double lead worm shafts have different lead and lead angles on the right and left sides. The tooth space of the double lead worm shaft is between 0.005 mm and 0.01 mm. These specs push the limits of micro-backlash. The max workload of the AR series reaches up to 650 kg, and the radial moment is 500 Kgf•m. Due to the advancement in specifications, the AR series CNC horizontal pallet rotary table is widely distributed throughout the world’s machine tool sector.
Taiwanese suppliers are adept at studying and developing very basic parts of the components, which further reinforce the value of the component products, such as the development of high-end Hirth coupling gears which has been widely noted by many professional users. Many of the product series are widely distributed in the industry, such as the HC-450H/ HC-600H/ HC-630H/ HC-800H index tables. The series uses a three-piece Hirth coupling-gear design for positioning and clamping. With the help of stern Japanese standard requests and carburizing heat treatment during production, all manufactured index tables come with better stability and higher durability. With regard to the repeatability accuracy, it is ±1 arc seconds. The key to the high indexing-accuracy of the HC-C series is the in-house made, three-piece Hirth coupling gears; because the manufacturer is committed to the study of Hirth coupling gears, such efforts bring much positive feedback in applications. Today the HC-C series is widely used in machine centers, horizontal boring & milling machines, and other machine tools, processing automotive parts with high accuracy and better durability. With innovative technology and know-how, Taiwanese rotary table and index table manufacturers are skilled at customization and have succeeded in supporting the world manufactures.
Gears in Other Usages: Turret System
Gears are useful in both working tables and turret products. As a specialist in gear design and manufacture for the machine tool sector, a Taiwanese supplier has developed their own single-motor, live, tool-driven turret. In order to assure quality, the new turret product is about 90% “made in-house”. As a result, it has attracted the attention of famous foreign, large-scale turret manufacturers, such as Sauter, Germany; Duplomatic, Italy… etc. In the power transmission phase, the single-motor design not only controls tool discs, but also live tools. The high-load stiffness design performs forward and backward machining effects. Furthermore, the large-scale, three-piece curvic coupling system can control the accuracy of positioning within ±3″ and the repeat accuracy of positioning within ±1″ .
Such great achievements in the mastery of gears and corresponding products are indicative of the ultra-precise machining capabilities commonly achieved by Taiwanese manufacturers.
The above mentioned are several of the essential components installed specifically in machine tools. In addition, Taiwanese companies are also adept at designing and manufacturing motion control and robot units for the industry. These products are essential to machine tools but also beneficial to all aspects of machinery.
Motion Control and Extended Products in Taiwan
Automation technology in Taiwan has successfully integrated industrial applications with domestic institutions and industrial energy departments building their own critical unit labs for technological independence. Taiwan is ranked as the second largest motion-control and system-technology supplier in the global market, with one of the best ballscrews – ranked number one in the world for this product group, and number two in the world for linear guides.
Ballscrews are highly customized. Taiwan manufactures ballscrews with good DN values above 160,000. With the help of in-house labs, Taiwanese’ DN values can reach up to 220,000, fulfilling many high-end machine tool manufacturers’ strict standards. Due to their comprehensive knowledge of what customers need, R&D teams in Taiwan have first-hand information accumulated from end users to help reach targeted specifications. By integrating in-house ballscrews, motors, connectors, and other motion controls, Taiwanese companies can offer a series of motion solutions for users’ onsite needs. Therefore, linear guides, linear motors, ballscrews, bearings, roller screws, and robots manufactured in Taiwan are all successfully distributed in the world’s industrial market. With in-house labs, Taiwanese companies have successfully extended their production and complete motion-control system solutions. Though many competitors are also providing ballscrews and other motion controls, Taiwan is the only one offering 6 products: ballscrews, bearings, linear guides, linear motors, roller screws, and robots all at the same time. As a result, Taiwanese suppliers are able to support customers with better delivery time, and reasonable prices.
Champs in the Machine Tool Component Industry
Taiwan plays a prominent role in the machine tool component industry. Besides Taiwanese spindles, tool magazine systems, working tables, power turrets, and motion control units, there are numerous other critical component units that have garnered much praise and respect in the industry. All these positive market reactions stem from the superior quality of the products as well as the willingness of suppliers to meet the customization needs of buyers. These hidden champions are not merely a significant source of machine tool components but also great contributors to the growth of the global industry. Taiwanese suppliers, though not huge in scale, are actually a group of industrial experts that make use of their comprehensive knowledge to meet the world’s latest industrial needs. As a result, the global industrial market is considered by Taiwanese people as a single entity. With comprehensive know-how based on a practical database collected over decades, Taiwanese machine tool component suppliers are able to assist you to get into the local market and make the best use of all available resources.
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