Taiwan's machine tool industry defies the corona epidemic

by David Fleschen

Taiwan's machine tool industry remains successful. According to preliminary customs trade statistics, the country's exports in 2019 were $ 3.064 billion, of which approximately $ 2.538 billion were for machine tools and $ 52.6 million for metal-forming machine tools. Taiwan thus holds its place as the world's fifth largest exporter of machine tools. The Corona epidemic will not change that. Rather, it will accelerate automation and intelligent manufacturing processes, where Taiwan's machine tool industry is very well positioned.

The machine tool industry in Taiwan is mainly located within a radius of 60 kilometers from the city of Taichung. From the production of components and parts to the assembly of entire machines, the entire value chain has settled in Central Taiwan. This makes the region a unique center for machine tools and the component industry. The components have also become indispensable for machine tool manufacturers in other countries thanks to continuous quality improvements and competitive prices. These include ball screws and linear rails. Taiwan is now the second largest supplier of ball screws.

A central part of many drives, for example in robots, is the harmonic drive, also known as a voltage shaft gear. Hiwin Technology, the winner of the Taiwan Excellence Gold Award 2020, is one of the few companies worldwide that can produce such gears in large numbers with stable repeatability and positioning over 7,000 hours. In addition, the company produces 100% of its own key components for robots such as servo motors and crossed roller bearings, which contributes to a significant reduction in costs for industrial robots.

Tongtai Machine & Tool, another award-winning company, produces a CO2 / UV laser machine that is equipped with two laser systems of different wavelengths, for flexible processing of printed circuit boards, for example for 5G mobile communications.
Source and Photo: Taiwan Excellence

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