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Taiwan-made Controllers to Debut as Theme in Booth at TIMTOS 2015

Mar 02, 2015 | By Ken Liu

For the first time, Taiwan-made controllers will be the theme at the Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS) 2015, to be staged March 3-8, as the island's machine-tool industry attempts to enhance product value when the market increasingly becomes more challenging globally.

Backed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to help the island's machine-tool controller makers tap the global market, the semi-official Precision Machinery Research Development Center (PMC) will set up a booth dedicated to Taiwan-made machine-tool controllers at the show, recognized as Asia's No.2 machine tool event and expected to attract a record 1,014 exhibitors across 5,411 booths, next only to the Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF).

The dedicated booth will include controller makers Advantech-LNC Technology Co., Ltd., Delta Electronics Inc., and Syntech Technology Co., Ltd. to promote applications of control systems built into machine tools from Goodway Machine Corp., Tongtai Machine & Tool Co., Ltd., Yang Iron Precision Corp., Manford Machinery Co., Ltd., Falcon Machine Tools Co., Ltd., Chiah Chyun Machinery Co., Ltd.

According to the semi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), co-organizer of the trade show with Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI), promoting locally-made controllers at this time is prudent especially when Taiwan's machine tool makers are beset with harsh realities on various fronts.

Taiwan's machine-tool makers may be running out of trump cards as they cope with competitors from industrially advanced nations selling high-end machines at fairly low prices and mainland Chinese manufacturers able to undersell products globally based on cheaper labor. Taiwan, trailed closely by China, is the world's No.4 machine tool exporter, following Germany, Japan and Italy.

Industry executives compare controllers to human brain that enable machine tools to conduct automated production that streamline processing, enhance efficiency to add value to Taiwan-made machine tools, hence also achieving product differentiation.

MOEA officials recommend the island's machine-tool makers to increasingly use locally-developed controllers in machines, adding that by only mastering core technologies of controllers can Taiwan's machine-tool industry add value and differentiate products on global market.

Taiwan's machine-tool industry demands some 55,000-60,000 control systems a year, with around 40,000 supplied by Japanese and German makers  and the rest by local manufacturers. FANUC, Mitsubishi, Siemens, and Heidenhain are the major foreign suppliers while Syntech, Advantech-LNC and Gentec Technologies Co., Ltd. are the dominant Taiwanese suppliers.

According to TAITRA, Advantech-LNC and Syntech will prove their control systems are a match for foreign rivals in CNC turning centers at this show, which also serves to meet the requirement by mainland Chinese authorities that all Taiwan-exported CNC machine tools included in the fast-tracked duty-free list of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed between Taiwan and China must use control systems either made in Taiwan or China, or be removed from the duty-free list beginning 2014.

So far Taiwanese controller makers offer systems for CNC machines, including turning-milling combos, milling, vertical turning centers, horizontal combos, and Swiss-type turning machines.

Advantech-LNC has introduced control systems for integrated machining ranging from mold cutting, component pressing, mold grinding and polishing, as well as plastic mold injection and removing finished products. Its systems are applicable to high-end machine tools, industrial robots, plastic-rubber processing machines, motor-processing machines and energy equipment.

Delta released Taiwan's first CNC controller, which has been integrated into light-duty, high-speed machining centers made by local, small manufacturers for processing electronic components, plumbing, and car parts.

Syntech offers a variety of PC-based, CNC controllers for mold-cutting machines, tapping machines, and turning-milling combos.

Goodway has integrated Advantech-LNC's controlling systems into its Swiss-type CNC turning-milling combos for cutting dental implants, whose machined quality and precision rival those of imported machines.

With Syntech's control systems, Falcon's vertical CNC turning centers have significantly improved  processing precision on non-circular pistons for cars and motorbikes.


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