cens logo

ITRI Nudges Taiwan Hand Tool Makers into Digital Tool Development

Jun 20, 2016 | By Steve Chuang

Ever more Taiwanese hand tool makers have ventured into the development of digital tools to secure sustainable growth, thanks to the nudging by ITRI.Ever more Taiwanese hand tool makers have ventured into the development of digital tools to secure sustainable growth, thanks to the nudging by ITRI.
Development of digital tools has been regarded as one of Taiwan's hand tool industry's answers to insiders' concerns over the underselling rivalry in emerging countries.

With higher torque precision than traditional mechanical models and calling for advanced electromechanical integration, digital tools, including torque wrenches and screwdrivers, generate better profits, to enable Taiwanese hand tool makers to address paper-thin margins. From another viewpoint, the higher technological levels required for production of such products are also believed to help them to move upmarket and establish a higher profile over competitors encountered in the segment for DIY-caliber tools.

Leading the development in Taiwan's hand tool industry is Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), a government-funded, non-profit institution specializing in developments of IT (information technology) and electronic technologies, which worked out Taiwan's first homemade digital tool in 2004 and thereafter improved related production methodologies with help of MIRDC (Metal Industries Research & Development Centre) till 2006. Since then, the R&D body has continued engaging itself in developments of more models and related peripherals, and shared its research results with local hand tool manufacturers to speed up the industry's upgrading.

Showing Taiwan's first prototype of the digital torque wrench, Chen Chang-hsiung, product manager of Intelligent Machinery Technology Division of ITRI's Mechanical and Systems Research Laboratories, who leads an R&D team to develop digital tools, indicated that ITRI is just the birthplace of the digital tool sector, and stressed that emergence of the sector is a consequence of Taiwan's matured development of hand tool and electronic manufacturing and IC (integrated circuit) design industries.

Inspired by popularity of semiconductors in electronic devices, ITRI applied MEMS (micro electro mechanical system) chips to work out Taiwan's first digital torque wrench in 2004, which was simply fine-tuned from a traditional mechanical model in exterior design and installed with a MEMS chip-integrated torque measuring module as prototype.

Fabricated through nanometer manufacturing process, MEMS is the integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a single silicon substrate, which can collect information from the environment through measuring mechanical, thermal, biological, chemical, optical and magnetic phenomena more precisely and accurately, and assures better precision of torque force detected as it is entirely impervious to environmental variations.

Considering extremely high unit cost of MEMS chips would drive away local hand tool makers, who are mostly small and medium in size, from venturing into the field when used as torque measurement unit, ITRI's engineers therefore turned to a more economical alternative: strain gauge. Despite proven a failure in marketability, the first digital torque wrench literally provided ITRI a more distinct orientation toward development of the brand new product category, according to Chen.

After succeeding in applying strain gauges in digital torque wrenches and improving production methodologies with help of MIRDC to make digital tools more marketable and easier to be mass produced, ITRI invited 11 interested local companies in the hand tool industry to jointly set up Taiwan's first specialized maker of digital torque wrench, Eclatorq Technology Co., Ltd. in 2006.

The 11 companies, namely Re-Dai Precision, Sound Han, K&W Tools, J&K International, Proxene Tools, Savco, Tong Lee, Infar Industrial, Yih Cheng, William Tools and Quinn, now are shareholders of Eclatorq, with ITRI providing necessary technical support. Chen noted that since ITRI debuted its digital torque wrenches, other innovatively strong hand tool makers, such as Stand Tools, Ke Hung, Matatakitoyo and Kabo Tool, have moved to develop their models, helping accelerate development of the sector on the island.


Industry Reports

CENS and EDN held a joint booth at the fair to promote Taiwan-made auto parts.

Automechanika Shanghai 2019 Consolidates Status as Asia's Top Exhibition for Automotive OE and Aftermarket

Dec 10, 2019

Automechanika Shanghai 2019 is well on its way to continue its succession of record-breaking shows. Boasting even more industry participation than ever before, the fair sees 6,590 exhibitors from 46 countries and regions around the world, a five percent increase from the previous edition. The show introduces a host of new themed zones and areas in keeping with industry trends, as well as expands ...


The US president Donald Trump
(photo courtesy of Agence France-Presse)

S. Korea most affected by U.S.-China trade spat: report

Dec 10, 2019

South Korea may have been hit the hardest among major economies by the protracted trade dispute between the United States and China due to its high dependence on exports to the countries, a report said Tuesday.The U.S. and China are the world's largest importers of South Korean products with shipments to China accounting for more than one-quarter of South Korea's overall exports last year, accord...


Trump reimpose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from Brazil and Argentina </h2>

Trump reimpose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from Brazil and Argentina

Dec 05, 2019

Donald Trump will reimpose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from Brazil and Argentina after accusing the countries of a “massive devaluation” of their currencies that hurt US farmers. The move — which was announced by Mr Trump on Twitter on Monday — sharply escalates trade tensions with the two struggling Latin American economies as they build closer ties with China.The announcement ...



Industry In-Focus

CENS and EDN held a joint booth at the fair to promote Taiwan-made auto parts.

Automechanika Shanghai 2019 Consolidates Status as Asia's Top Exhibition for Automotive OE and Aftermarket

Dec 10, 2019

Automechanika Shanghai 2019 is well on its way to continue its succession of record-breaking shows. Boasting even more industry participation than ever before, the fair sees 6,590 exhibitors from 46 countries and regions around the world, a five percent increase from the previous edition. The show introduces a host of new themed zones and areas in keeping with industry trends, as well as expands ...


This is the exterior of LC Fuel Tank's new plant which are being constructed in Xiluo Township. (photo courtesy of LC Fuel Tank)

Inevitable Rise of EV Spurs Fuel Tank Maker into Classic Car Industries

LC Fuel Tank Targets EU's Classic Car Market

Sep 05, 2019

As a top professional fuel systems manufacturer in Taiwan, and a global player in the automotive aftermarket industry, the fact that car makers are investing more resources into the electric vehicle (EV) than conventional vehicles powered by engine around the world is a challenging situation that LC Fuel Tank Manufacture Co needs to deal with. There’s no fuel tank in EV, only batteries. Each y...

LC FUEL TANK MANUFACTURE CO.


Taiwan's First Hand Tools Research and Testing Center Opens in Taichung on May 31(photo taken by Sung Chien-sheng)

Taiwan's First Hand Tools Research and Testing Center Opens in Taichung

Jul 23, 2019

In response to upgrading Taiwan’s hand tools industry and localizing services to the industry chains, China Steel Corporation (CSC), Taiwan Hand Tool Manufacturers' Association (THTMA) , Metal Industries R&D Center (MIRDC), and Corporate Synergy Development Center (CSD) have jointly established the research and testing center for hand tools in Taichung Industrial Park at the opening ceremony on M...



Supplier News

Vacuum Carbon Fiber Aero kits-super is extremely light with high hardness and high quality。

TWL-CARBON Specializes in Carbon Fiber Components of High-End Sport Cars

Nov 29, 2019

■Lo Su-hua Founded in 2001, TWL started its career as auto parts and aftermarket accessories trading company while entering the field of OEM of carbon fiber auto parts in 2012. However, with many years of manufacturing experience, TWL found a problem that has existed so long in the carbon fiber auto parts industry–the prices in the carbon fiber auto parts’ material are hugely different and...

Twlcarbon CO. LTD.


Pneumatic tools Airboss invented attracted buyers attention in exhibitions (photo courtesy Airboss)

Airboss air tools co., ltd., the shortest pneumatic tools attracted attention

Nov 19, 2019

■Lo Su-hua Concentrated on R&D, after-service and production, the Taiwan-based Airboss Air Tool Co., Ltd., a world-caliber supplier of pneumatic tools, which specialized in manufacturing compacted, light-weight, user-friendly pneumatic tools, high safety. The products are made with magnesium alloy and many specialties as lightweight, high precision, high rigidity. They are not only eco-fri...

AIRBOSS AIR TOOL CO., LTD.


Hsin Yi Chang Industry Co., Ltd showcases their quality vehicle visors, which are designated products by global big names. (photo courtesy of Hsin Yi Chang)

Global Vehicle Visor Player Hsin Yi Chang Seeks to Woo New Clients

Nov 19, 2019

■Tseng Lung-nan Equipped with a top-down supply chain, Hsin Yi Chang Industry Co., Ltd. is a company that has over 38 years of experience in vehicle visors and various precise acrylic molding. The firm markets its brand under “HIC” in Taiwan and many countries worldwide. HIC has been rolling out new vehicle visors, compatible with over 2,000 car models and types. Hsin Yi Chang General Manag...

HSIN YI CHANG INDUSTRY CO., LTD.



Insiders' Views

Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...


Paul Master offers high-quality chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks. (Photo courtesy of Paul Master)

Paul Master Builds Reputation with Auto Chassis and Engine Parts

Nov 18, 2019

Founded in 1980, Paul Master Auto Parts Co. is headquartered in Taiwan, a professional manufacturer of chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks including forklifts. General Manager Terry Liang said the company has its own professional design department, which provides customized products and specifications for global buyers, including automobile steering and...

PAUL MASTER AUTO PARTS CO.


Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Sep 04, 2019

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...



Exhibition Highlights

CENS and EDN held a joint booth at the fair to promote Taiwan-made auto parts.

Automechanika Shanghai 2019 Consolidates Status as Asia's Top Exhibition for Automotive OE and Aftermarket

Dec 10, 2019

Automechanika Shanghai 2019 is well on its way to continue its succession of record-breaking shows. Boasting even more industry participation than ever before, the fair sees 6,590 exhibitors from 46 countries and regions around the world, a five percent increase from the previous edition. The show introduces a host of new themed zones and areas in keeping with industry trends, as well as expands ...


Full throttle ahead as Automechanika Shanghai 2019 opens for its 15th edition </h2>

Full throttle ahead as Automechanika Shanghai 2019 opens for its 15th edition

Dec 02, 2019

As industry players approach the end of the year, Automechanika Shanghai 2019 participants look ahead at the latest products, services and technologies of the future. The show opens tomorrow until 6 December at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, (Shanghai). Being recognised as one of the most influential automotive trade fairs in the industry, it continues to act as a central hub for ...


59,000+ buyers visit twin lighting fairs and Eco Expo Asia Survey: lighting market steady; potential seen in smart products</h2>

59,000+ buyers visit twin lighting fairs and Eco Expo Asia Survey: lighting market steady; potential seen in smart products

Nov 12, 2019

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the 21st Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition), the fourth Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo and the 14th Eco Expo Asia concluded with more than 59,000 buyers from 135 countries and regions visiting the three fairs. HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau said: “Despite the recent public inc...