Taiwan Machine Tool Gets Smarter Playing the Key Role in Global Supply Chain

Driven by computerization, digitalization and smart technology revolutions, “Industry 4.0” has accelerated global industrial manufacturing transformations. Taiwan has become a major participant in driving global innovation and development given its advantages in machinery, manufacturing, and ICT industries, of which the machine tool industry plays an essential role.

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Tongtai 5-axis Horizontal Machining Center has won 2020 Taiwan Excellence Award (Graphic: Business Wire)

Tongtai 5-axis Horizontal Machining Center has won 2020 Taiwan Excellence Award (Graphic: Business Wire)

According to the preliminary import and export customs trade statistics published by the Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance, Taiwan's machine tool export value was US$3.064 billion for 2019, of which metal cutting machine tools accounted for approximately US$2.538 billion while metal forming machine tools accounted for US$52.6 million. Taiwan retains its place as the world’s top five machine tool exporter.

Taiwan's machine tool industry is mainly clustered within 60 kilometers of Taichung city. From production of components and parts, to the assembly of machine tools, Central Taiwan has become the world’s only hub machine tools and component industries. Moreover, given continuous quality improvements and competitive pricing, MIT components have become essential for the machine tools of various countries. Taiwan’s upstream machine tool components include ball screws and linear rails, and Taiwan has become the world's second largest ball screw supplier. Relying on Taiwan Excellence award winning companies such as Hiwin Technology and TBI Motion Technology, Taiwan’s machine tool industry not only satisfies the needs of Taiwan’s domestic market, but also provides key components required for the machine tool assembly of foreign markets.

The harmonic drive reducer, commonly referred to as the heart of robots, is an essential product in the development of smart manufacturing. Hiwin Technology, the winner of the 2020 Taiwan Excellence Gold Award, is the world’s third company that not only has mass production capacity, but also provides stable repeatability and positioning over 7,000 hours, in line with international standards. In addition, Hiwin’s key components such as servo motors, crossed roller bearings, and harmonic drive reducers required for industrial robots are now 100% self-manufactured, contributing to significant cost reduction in terms of domestic industrial robots.

Tongtai Machine & Tool, another award-winning company, produces CO2/UV Laser Machine equipped with two laser systems of different wavelengths to meet the requirements for diversified plate processing, and 5G circuit board processes, as well as the special requirements for large plates and high frequency materials. Tongtai Machine & Tool’s Horizontal 5-axis Machining Center, SF-5000P, provides excellent processing efficiency and production flexibility, which can easily complete complex shaped workpieces or support intensive engineering through five-sided machining or simultaneous five-axis machining.

The ability to rapidly supply the market demonstrates the competitive edge that Taiwan’s machine tool industry possesses. Looking forward, the outbreak of COVID-19 is expected to accelerate the development of automation and smart manufacturing processes in global manufacturing, in which Taiwan’s machine tool industry will play an even more critical role. TAITRA will continue to support Taiwan's smart machinery industry. Taipei Int'l Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS), which create the only B2B business platform in the machinery industry in Taiwan, will be hosted from March 15-20, 2021. Taiwan Excellence will continue international promotions and provide the strongest support for Taiwan’s corporations.

About Taiwan Excellence:

The Taiwan Excellence Awards were established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 1992. Every year, eligible candidates are subjected to a rigorous and stringent selection system that covers four major aspects of R&D, Design, Quality, and Marketing to identify outstanding products that offer innovative value while satisfying the key criterion of being made in Taiwan. Products that have been selected for the Taiwan Excellence Awards serve as examples of the domestic industries.