TAIWAN IN POLE POSITION
Digitalisation, smart technologies and the stable global demand for machine tools continue to secure Taiwan an essential role on the international stage. And this even in times of supply bottlenecks and uncertain energy supply. We introduce you to three manufacturers who offer high-performance machines and systems for metalworking for a wide range of applications – geared towards Industry 4.0.
Today, Starvision is one of the leading companies in the field of portal milling machines and machining centres. And it is not only the company’s own 20 years of experience in research and development (R&D), manufacturing and assembly that has contributed to this, but also a cooperation agreement concluded in 2008 with the German lathe manufacturer A. Monforts Werkzeugmaschinen. Together, technical developments have been and are being advanced and specific customer requirements implemented. Starvision invests heavily in research and development (R&D) and relies on a highly competent team that continuously improves its knowledge and shares its experience. Modern 3D CAD and CAE systems and development methods such as FEA (Finite Element Analysis) are used to analyse deformation processes and improve the structural stiffness of the manufactured elements. The developed components are then produced by established suppliers, but assembly and quality control take place in the company’s own factory. And in all of this, Starvision works entirely according to the German model: the management team is interdisciplinary and consists of engineers from the areas of research and development, assembly, quality assurance and sales.
What distinguishes your systems and machines, what makes them special compared to the competition?
Starvision focuses entirely on the development of twin-column machining centres, so we are able to offer a broad portfolio and a complete product line – from 3-axis to 5-axis milling machines with a moving column structure. We also develop, design and assemble automated milling heads to meet the various machining requirements of our customers.
For which areas of application and industries are your machines designed?
Our products are widely used in the aerospace industry, general metalworking, automotive industry, rail machining for road and track, defence industry, renewable energy, agricultural machinery and energy and heavy industry. So we are represented in almost all industries.
You were awarded the Taiwan Excellence Award for your BCM series. What distinguishes this portal milling machine series and for which applications is it designed?
Yes, we are very pleased to have received the Taiwan Excellence Award for our BCM machine and it confirms that we are working at a high-quality level and on the individual requirements of the market. Our BCM model was developed for particularly heavy, long, extra-high and super-thin workpieces in the metalworking industry (see picture above). Its special feature is that the W-axis and Z-axis move simultaneously in a box-way design and workpieces can be machined with a 5-face milling head. To ensure minimal play compensation, we have equipped the W-axis with a multi-brake control system and a pressure holding mechanism. Added to this is a patent of the crossbeam clamping mechanism with a hydraulic brake and full travel wear compensation. This ensures that accuracy can be maintained exactly when moving the axles. The result: if particularly large and long workpieces or those with large height differences are machined, our BCM can significantly save machining time compared to models with a fixed crosshead. In addition, the X-axis is 30-40% smaller, so the footprint is reduced by 30-40%.
Where do you see Starvision Machinery in the future and how are you meeting the challenges of the future?
With our passion for the machinery industry, we are constantly improving our technologies, continuing to invest in research and development and keeping in close contact with our customers and colleagues from a wide range of sectors. In this way, we always have an eye on the needs of the market and can align the development of new models with the requirements and future trends. In addition, we promote industrial talent. Because only together are we strong.
“MY 20 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF DOUBLE-COLUMN MACHINING CENTRES ARE THE BASIS FOR OUR SUCCESS.”
Mr. Jerry Chen, General Manager of STARVISION MACHINERY
STARVISION MACHINERY Co., Ltd.
Wuguang Rd, Wuri Dist,
Taichung City 414, Taiwan
Since its foundation in 1995, Gentiger has specialised in the manufacture of high-speed and high-precision CNC milling machines. “Perfection, efficiency, specialisation” – this is the motto that the company follows in all its endeavours. Gentiger has also done pioneering work: The technology leader was the first Taiwanese machine tool manufacturer to combine the characteristics of high rigidity with high speed of the spindles.
This research and development work set new standards in the industry, so that other well-known manufacturers of CNC milling machines also adopted it. Gentiger is present on all continents and has made a name for itself worldwide through quality and technology. In 2016 and 2021, the company was awarded the Golden Hand Award for outstanding small and medium-sized enterprises by the city of Taichung. This was followed in 2020 by the Excellence Management Quality Award as well as the National Brand Yushan-Mountain Award and several more.
Gentiger sees itself with its brands as a leading company in the field of high-speed CNC machines. How have you achieved this?
We live the spirit of precision, efficiency and professionalism with full conviction. This attitude allows us to work at a consistently high level and to develop machines and equipment that have stable quality, meet the specific needs of our customers and improve customer satisfaction.
As recently as 2021, you were awarded the 30th National Award of Outstanding Small and Medium Enterprises? What does this award mean to you?
For us, the award is a great vote of confidence from our customers. At the same time, it is a confirmation from the government that we are doing well and on the right track. But the award stands for much more: Gentiger is an all-round development company that not only has good products and good management, but also continuously develops innovations to retain and strengthen the trust of its customers. We are also aware of our social responsibility, which also distinguishes us.
For which applications are your CNC machines designed and what are their strengths?
For more than 27 years, we have specialised in the manufacture of high-speed machines for application-specific metal forming in various industries, as well as in the machining of high-precision parts. The focus of our machines is on structural rigidity, which is the basis of precision machining. It also guarantees lasting precision. We use high-performance controls and spindles coupled with three-axis high-performance drives. In this way, we achieve the best possible performance in terms of speed, precision and efficiency and thus clear advantages for our customers in the metalworking industry.
What role does digitalisation play for you and what benefits does this bring in practice – on the one hand for your company directly, and on the other hand for your machines?
The manufacturing industry is currently undergoing a digital transformation. Gentiger is also in this process. From material storage to delivery, control of our assembly processes to fault diagnosis – all information is visualised and displayed on a monitor. Thus, the supervisors have a real and quick overview and can quickly correct the respective parameters, for example to increase production efficiency. In addition, our machines can be monitored remotely.
Many companies are currently struggling with delivery problems or shortages of raw materials. How are you positioned here?
The effects of material shortages are a challenge for many companies. At the same time, we see it as an opportunity to improve the supply of materials and the manufacturing process. In our case, the shortage of wafers in particular has led to an increase in the delivery time of the controller. Gentiger will therefore stock material for products that are sold frequently. Furthermore, we will closely review inventory with our sales department and warehousing. At the same time, we will improve the assembly efficiency of the manufacturing department.
You have been awarded the Taiwan Excellence Award 2022. Specifically, it was for your 5-axis milling-turning complex machining centre GT-ML800. How do you manage to be so outstanding?
Our business concept follows the pursuit of the highest quality. We also work closely with our customers and combine our knowledge from R&D with the requirements of the industry, we train and solve obstacles directly at our customers. This way we always know which direction to go in. With our ML800 machining centre, we have increased structural rigidity and developed a 45-degree universal head so that vertical and horizontal machining can be performed, as well as turning and milling. In short, it is an all-round machine that can perform numerous applications with high cutting accuracy.
What plans do you and Gentiger have for the next few years?
We have made the best products our quality policy – and that will remain the driving force behind our progress, as it has been for the past 27 years. In the future, Industry 4.0 will continue to give us direction, so we will focus on the development of intelligent machines and manufacturing processes. At the same time, we will diversify more to improve competitiveness. We are also investing in Taiwan and building our third factory, which will be equipped with many smart factory components, expanding our connection to the local supply chain and increasing local employment opportunities.
“CONTINUOUS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, IMPROVING PRODUCTION EFFICIENCY AND CREATING A WIN-WIN SITUATION WITH CUSTOMERS – THESE ARE OUR STRENGTHS.”
Mr. Joe Wang, Vice president of GENTIGER MACHINERY
GENTIGER MACHINERY INDUSTRIAL Co., Ltd.
No.66, Lane 100,Shueitou 1st,Rd.,
Waipu Dist., Taichung City, Taiwan
Palmary Machinery was founded in 1998 in Taichung, Taiwan, and is today one of the world’s leading suppliers of sanding solutions. A wide variety of models of centreless grinders, cylindrical grinders, internal grinders, vertical grinders and surface grinders are produced at two production sites on a total area of 20,000 m². The range of applications could hardly be more versatile. From the automotive industry and mould making to medical technology, renewable energies and the aerospace industry. In the process, 20 years of manufacturing experience, sales in over 40 countries, the use of grinding solutions in over 6,835 machines and 3,860 variants and manufacturing types of workpieces characterise the company’s history.
Mr. Tiger Wang, Palmary enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. What distinguishes your grinders?
Palmary grinders have stable quality and that is the most important thing for our customers when it comes to efficient production. We offer our customers fast and trustworthy local support and are regionally present with strong representatives and engineers. In addition, Palmary offers complete solutions for a wide range of industries and applications that meet the most demanding requirements. Our customer projects therefore include quotation reviews and discussions, test loops, machine inspections and training.
Your machines offer high rigidity and stability. Does this make them particularly suitable for special applications or workpieces? What is the range of applications?
The Palmary grinding machine can grind workpieces with different inside diameters, outside diameters, with non-circular shape and face. It can also machine different materials such as metals, alloys, wafers, plastics and even glass. Our customers therefore come from a wide range of industries, including automotive, motorbike, mechanical components, aerospace, mould making, medical and green energy.
For many customers, a high level of user-friendliness and convenient control are important. What can you say about the control technology of your CNC machines?
Depending on the customer’s usage habits and the system requirements, Palmary offers CNC grinding machines in some special models with controls from Fanuc, Siemens or NUM, which the customer can choose. Dialogue-oriented programming facilitates the operation of the machine. Optional accessories such as a loading and unloading system or an online measuring system can be added so that customers can monitor and operate their machine only via the control panel and thus get everything they need in a user-friendly way.
What role does digitalisation play for you in the field of networked machines and plants? Are there also possibilities to use the data from your machines, for example for predictive maintenance or condition monitoring analyses?
Depending on the application, our Palmary CNC grinding machine can be used to record the production process including the temperature data in a specific area, monitor the workpiece quality during machining and check the workpiece accuracy. A monitoring system and online troubleshooting service are also available.
You received the Taiwan Machine Tools Industry Award for Excellence in Research and Innovation this year. What achievement was recognised here?
We were pleased to receive the award for our special model OIG-200S, a machine for grinding bearing inner diameters and inner grooves. The special feature of this machine is a special clamping and grinding technology with automatic loading device, which is required for applications in the rolling bearing industry. We are pleased that this highly efficient grinding machine is going into production.
You offer a 720° virtual reality panoramic view of Palmary on your website? What can interested parties experience and learn there?
Palmary has been offering a 720° virtual reality panoramic view of the Palmary factory and products on its website since 2021. This preview function for a factory tour could be used by customers and representatives worldwide during the Covid 19 pandemic and thus vividly promoted our concept, our actions and mutual understanding even without being present on site.
What will shape Palmary’s development in the coming years, for example, when we think of increasing automation? And in which sectors or countries do you see growth potential?
In the coming years, we will continue to focus on a wide range of grinding machines for various applications in production. Our focus is not only on the production of high-quality workpieces, but also on machines that follow a high degree of automation. This includes automated monitoring of spindle vibration or temperature. In this way, we want to further increase our customer satisfaction in the area of highly efficient automation and easy maintenance. Regionally, we are strengthening our Thai subsidiary with fast on-site service and providing grinding machines from the Palmary Head Factory Taiwan. We are also looking to grow in Japan. Here we are counting on our good reputation in the automotive and motorbike industry, which has convinced many Japanese customers to use Palmary sanders. So we see ourselves well positioned to continue to develop into the world’s leading manufacturer of grinding machines.
“WE SUPPLY GRINDING MACHINES WITH THE WORLD’S BEST MANUFACTURING QUALITY AND ARE PROUD OF OUR EXPERTISE.”
Mr. Tiger Wang, General Manager of PALMARY MACHINERY
PALMARY MACHINERY Co., Ltd.
NO.77, Gongye Rd., Dali Dist.,
Taichung City 412, Taiwan
Author: Dipl.-Ing. Nicole Steinicke, editor-in-chief, World of Industries, Der Konstrukteur
Source of lead image: stock.adobe.com – Designsprache
Taiwan Excellence is a symbol that recognises Taiwan’s most innovative products. The Taiwan Excellence Award was established in 1993 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. This special award seeks out outstanding Taiwanese products based on the criteria of research and development, design, quality, marketing and their spirit of innovation. Products selected for the Taiwan Excellence Awards serve as examples for the regional industry and are promoted by the government in the global market to shape and further develop the creative image of Taiwanese companies. Starvision, Gentiger and Palmary won this award and their best products were recognised by Taiwan Excellence.