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Taiwan’s Smart Machinery

Taiwan’s Smart Machinery

Taiwan maintains its fifth place worldwide as an exporter of machine tools and remains on course for success. Along the entire value chain, the island state’s portfolio ranges from component production to the assembly of entire machine lines. Now automation and intelligent manufacturing processes are to accelerate the thrust even further. We introduce you to companies that are particularly well positioned here.

With more than 40 years of experience, You Ji Machine Industrial is one of the global players when it comes to developing and manufacturing machine tools. Numerous awards accompany You Ji’s path, including even an award from the Ministry of Economic Affairs ROC for its extraordinary international commitment. The portfolio includes the development and manufacture of high-performance precision lathes, drilling and milling machines as well as special machines for metal cutting in the aerospace industry. You Ji is particularly proud of the latter, because the requirements and standards in the aerospace segment are very high and demand high-precision machining processes, e.g. for engine components. More than 1000 machines have already been sold worldwide, including to the French companies Mecachrome and Safran, which supply major international aerospace companies such as Boeing, Airbus, GE and Rolls Royce. We spoke to Bryant Wu about the high demands of the market and how his company meets them across the board.

Mr. Bryant Wu, what distinguishes a company like You Ji?

We are able to manufacture vertical lathes with ultra-high pressure coolant. A special spindle system (350 bar) is used here. For the machining of parts in the aerospace industry, we offer a solution on the market that our competitors cannot offer in this way.

What machines do you develop and manufacture and how did you come to aerospace?

In 2000, we developed a custom vertical lathe in Taiwan for which we received international certification from a major aerospace company for the production of aircraft engines. Given the high demands on the materials to be processed, such as ultra-high-strength aluminium alloy composites, working accuracy and quality stability, this was a major challenge. We achieved this goal with our many years of technological experience and our close cooperation with the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC). And so today we produce vertical lathes that meet these requirements, including the VTL, VTL+ Y, VTS and CTV series.

Do you use Capto special milling cutters in your machines? What advantages does this offer your customers?

We develop vertical lathes with Capto tools to increase the cutting speed during roughing. By using a high-pressure cooling system with a maximum of 350 bar for heat-resistant nickel/titanium alloys and ultra-high-strength aluminium alloys, a significantly better chip-breaking result is achieved.

Your VTL+Y series uses Y-axis turning/milling functions. What is the advantage of designing an additional Y-axis in terms of turning and machining processes?

With the Y-axis, holes can be drilled in corners of a milled surface on a cylinder; without a Y-axis, you can’t get to the corners of the surface. Complex parts are much easier to produce using multi-axis machining with X, Z, Y and C axes. An example is shown in this video on efficient high-performance cutting

In response to multi-process machining of engine housings, YOU JI has developed a 120-tool robotic automatic tool changer. What can this highly efficient machining solution do?

The automatic robotic tool changer for 120 tools significantly reduces tool change time, operates highly efficiently and effectively avoids machining errors. A tool identification system is used to avoid incorrect tool selection.

When is it best to use vertical lathes and when horizontal lathes?

The vertical lathe is suitable for turning irregular, thin and heavy workpieces and facilitates loading and unloading of the parts. The horizontal lathe is designed for machining longer shafts.

Where else would you like to develop when we think of Industry 4.0, for example?

We are pursuing the goal of developing future-proof Industry 4.0 solutions and would like to work with external providers to achieve this. Conceivable solutions include tool and process monitoring, machine monitoring, machine protection, data storage and analysis, SQL database and module plug-ins.


“With our product line, we meet the most diverse requirements in industrial production.”

Mr. Bryant Wu, Sales Manager, YOU JI, Kaohsiung

Source: You Ji Machine Industrial Co., Ltd.

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Nicole Steinicke, editor-in-chief, World of Industries, Der Konstrukteur


For more than 40 years, Habor Precision, Taichung, Taiwan, has been successfully involved in the development, manufacture and distribution of temperature control technology. It is used in applications around CNC machines, for example for cooling spindles, hydraulic units, linear guides, motors, axes or control cabinets. Users benefit from customised solutions on the one hand and from the cost advantages of mass production on the other. The high-precision cooling systems have constant temperature control, are high-performance and multifunctional. They can be adapted according to the heat generated in the machining process and can thus be tailored precisely to their area of application. Habor is also setting standards for the future in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability. How? Habor Hsu tells us.

Habor Precision offers the right cooling and temperature control systems for a wide range of machine tool applications. When and where are they used?

Our high-precision industrial cooling systems are used whenever heat needs to be dissipated that is generated by thermal development during the machining process on machines. Our portfolio includes a wide range of high-quality products for various applications on CNC machine tools, such as cooling the spindle, linear motor, ball screw, hydraulic system or cutting and grinding fluid. We also offer cooling systems for laser machines, eroding machines or control cabinets for CNC machines.

Why are cooling and temperature control so important, and what distinguishes your solutions?

Today, metalworking processes often take place in so-called multitasking machine centres. Temperature plays an essential role here, as it must be kept constant during the machining process, especially in high-end machining industries such as aerospace and automotive. Precise temperature control (required by thermal changes during the machining process) is therefore indispensable and the most important function of a cooling unit. And this is exactly where we have our core competence. At the heart of our cooling systems is an intelligent control system that incorporates 40 years of experience in the global industrial machinery segment. It can be flexibly adapted to the respective requirement and combines high-precision temperature control with intelligent operation of the machine. The Habor cooler has a unique controller: equipped with sensors, it collects relevant data during operation of the cooling unit and forwards it to the control system of the CNC machine via various communication protocols. This provides the operator with a complete data collection of the machining status in the plant. Our solution is thus IoT-capable!

The reduction of CO2 plays a major role in many areas. Do you also follow this trend with your products?

To address the issue of energy efficiency, we offer various cooling units as energy-saving solutions. In our so-called ECO products we use less refrigerant and thus contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. A heat exchanger system without refrigerant is used. One of our products is our DC inverter chiller (HIG series). The design principle of the HIG series allows energy-saving operation as well as lower power consumption. We use efficient motors, inverter compressors, less refrigerant in the cooling system and an intelligent control with integrated energy management. And finally, the compact size, less packaging material and lower transport costs also contribute to more sustainability, so it’s all ECO.

How important do you consider integrated intelligence and digitalisation, for example when it comes to networked machines?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is very important when we think about smart manufacturing. Our chillers, as mentioned before, are equipped with sensors that enable end-to-end data collection and communication. They allow useful functions such as remote chiller adjustment, condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. In this way, we support our customers in the development of intelligent manufacturing solutions and the management of their plants.

Do you also fulfil very individual wishes of your customers?

Yes, because we don’t just want to deliver finished products, but work together with our customer on application-specific developments. After understanding the application at hand, we test the first samples under simulation of the working conditions. The ambient temperature control covers a range of -40 to +80 °C at 100 to 480 V. This test allows us to prove that the performance, function and limits of the cooling unit meet the requirements of the customer application. This experience will then be incorporated into future product developments.

Where do you see Habor Precision in the next few years? Where do you still want to develop?

In the era of continuous improvement of processing precision and speed, temperature control systems take on a very important task. After all, high processing quality can only be ensured at a constant temperature. Since metalworking and processing machines are always evolving, we do not stand still with our cooling systems either. Our technologies must be continuously modernised and further developed. We still see a lot of potential for developing new control and controller systems for the intelligent production of tomorrow. And that is not all. Our energy-efficient ECO products will have to meet further and stricter environmental criteria in the future, and that is a good thing. We always have ideas and visions for new developments – endlessly!


“Only an innovative mind promotes excellent products and enables us to gain the trust of our customers.”

Mr. Habor Hsu, Representative of HABOR Precision Inc., Taichung

Source: Habor Precision Inc.

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Nicole Steinicke, editor-in-chief, World of Industries, Der Konstrukteur


Sun Firm Machinery has over 63 years of experience in the manufacture of lathes, specialising in precise, high quality CNC precision lathes. The special feature: The individual machines can also be combined to form very large horizontal turning machine units. They are used in numerous industries: in the petroleum industry, aerospace, mould making, the steel industry, wind energy and general metalworking.

Sun Firm Machinery Industry Co., Ltd. is a member of the Taiwan Aerospace Industry A-Team 4.0 Alliance and the Taiwan Railway Technology Industry R-Team Alliance, among others. Due to its outstanding performance and brand image, Sun is the only international machine tool manufacturer in Taiwan that can design and manufacture a complete portfolio of horizontal CNC lathes and precision lathes to customer specifications. No wonder, then, that the machines are in demand worldwide. We spoke to Amy Kuo, General Manager of Sun Firm Machinery about expertise, experience and what makes a company in this class stand out.

Sun Firm Machinery enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide in many industrial sectors. What distinguishes your philosophy, what makes it unique?

As Taiwan’s leading machine tool brand, we continuously invest heavily in research and development so that we remain technically advanced, stay ahead with innovative projects and develop technologies that follow changes and needs in the industry. Sun Firm has a professional R&D team, talented junior staff, excellent technical competence and customer trust and recognition.

What parts and components can be machined with your machines?

Our machining centre “Sun Firm CNC Lathe” can machine all kinds of metallic and non-metallic materials as well as soft and hard materials – whether it is turning, milling, grinding, drilling, tapping, chamfering or even complex curved surface machining. Our machine allows multi-process machining with extremely high efficiency and precision. For example, it can be used in the steel industry, shipbuilding, power generation, wind energy production, paper manufacturing and large, difficult-to-machine parts in general metal cutting. These include roller bearings, steel drill pipes, rollers, long steel tubes, wheel hubs, long bars or gears.

Automation is ubiquitous in industry. Does it play a major role in your machines? If so, what are the advantages in practice and in the operation of the machine?

Our machines can be flexibly expanded and allow a design with extended interfaces. Thus, for example, robot arms, automatic winding and feeding systems, power turrets or double clamping devices can be easily added. This is often required when machining complex components, such as in mould making, the steel industry, wind energy production, general metal cutting or large-scale machine construction. In this way, we are also following the trend of future demand for one-off machining and merging of several processes (Done In One).

Among other things, you are a member of the Taiwan Aerospace Industry A-Team 4.0 Alliance. What are your main tasks here?

The national defence market is growing strongly and with it the demand for aircraft and ships. In the past, however, the aerospace industry has largely relied on imported, high-priced machinery and equipment to manufacture such units. After years of experience and technological research and development, we have succeeded in developing the “Frontier Intelligent Lathe”, which is now in use for complex machining in the aerospace industry. And more: it is the answer to future tasks of an Industry 4.0 and supports customers in intelligent manufacturing.

Do you also use digital analysis tools in your machines, for example for predictive maintenance?

Yes, we are also very far along with our digital solutions. With the Sun Firm Cloud Smart System, machine operators can import the day’s work schedule into the system with a simple click on their smartphone and quickly transmit the instructions to all the machines on site. Each piece of equipment then adapts the work plan and edits, for example, the tool and machine position to be executed. If one of the devices issues an error warning, the Sun Firm Cloud Smart System immediately notifies the responsible engineers and shows the options for troubleshooting.

Some companies are currently experiencing supply or production problems due to a shortage of raw materials or electronic components. Are you also affected by this?

Supply chains continue to be unstable due to the effects of the Ukraine war and inflation. Prices for raw materials are also fluctuating strongly. Therefore, we are also affected by this and see it as our duty to strengthen supply chains, make supply flexible and increase stocks. This is because we want to continue to deliver on our promise of reliable quality, advanced technology and satisfactory service. Sun Firm Machinery sells its own brand “SUN Firm” and “SFM” all over the world, emphasising that only products that are manufactured in-house are sold. This is where we are unique.


 “To meet the current demands of the market, we continuously push our innovations.”

Mrs. Amy Kuo, General Manager of SUN FIRM Machinery, Taichung


Author: Dipl.-Ing. Nicole Steinicke, editor-in-chief, World of Industries, Der Konstrukteur


Taiwan Excellence is a symbol that honors Taiwan’s most innovative products. The Taiwan Excellence Award was established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 1993. This award aims to look for outstanding MIT products based on the criteria of R&D, design, quality, marketing, and Taiwanese spirit of innovation. Products that have been selected for the Taiwan Excellence Awards would serve as examples of the domestic industries and be promoted by the government in the international market in effort to shape the creative image for Taiwanese businesses. Youji, Harbor and Sunfirm won this award and their best products were recognized by Taiwan Excellence.

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