Taiwan’s machinery makers gear up for smart manufacturing

Also, download this story from the electronic issue here

Last year, Taiwan generated more than US$1.9 billion in revenue from the plastics and rubber sector, positioning the country as the world’s sixth largest exporter of machinery. According to Trading Economics, Taiwan exports soared to a record high US$30 billion with a 17% sales increase from the plastics and rubber industries alone in 2016. It is against this backdrop that Taipeiplas 2018, the biennial trade show for plastics and rubber machinery that was founded in 1986, will be held from 15-19 August 2018 in Taipei.

FCS enters the “intelligent manufacturing” realm

According to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the exponential sales growth is attributed to Taiwan Smart Machinery 4.0, which combines web-based synergies of data sharing, IoT, with robotics and artificial intelligence. While European countries have their Industry 4.0, Taiwan has its Smart Machinery 4.0, which combines human intelligence with automation and process and helps companies to increase speed to market, with precision and accuracy.

Thus, injection moulding machine maker Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co. (FCS) will take this route for its exhibits at Taipeiplas, by launching its iMF4.0 (intelligent ManuFactory 4.0).

The iMF production management system is based on the cycle time management and introduces the concept of mould, machine and material management, as well as OPC communication protocol to achieve displays of overall equipment efficiency information and defects, too.

FCS new model two-platen LM

At a press conference for journalists recently, FCS CEO Alan Wang said that about five sets of the iMF4.0 had been installed by customers in Taiwan.

The new system will be shown on the new FA-160 standard toggle hydraulic machine and HE-300 all-electric machine.


The FA standard servo energy-saving model features Keba’s electronic control systems and is combined with the iMF 4.0. Other upgrades include an increased tiebar space for wider moulds, injection velocity as well as higher system and injection pressure for moulding products like household parts. The mould clamping has also been increased by 30%, for a more uniform clamping distribution, lower machine platen deformation and smoother mould closing/opening operation. It also boasts improvements on the injection unit: with the machine allowing higher accuracy without the need for additional sensors and equipment.

Meanwhile, FCS developed its first all-electric machine ten years ago but did not commercialise it due to high costs. It will now introduce a 300-tonne HE-300 model at the show, with Keba controls and Italian Phase servomotor; as well as the Japan-made injection screw from NSK. It will be exhibited with in-mould labelling processing thinwall (0.6 mm) 100 ml ice cream containers in 4+4 cavities. The PP containers will be produced at 4,000 pieces/hour in a 6-7 second-cycle, says FCS.

The stack mould doubles production output and uses a mould cavity flow balance module for monitoring to adjust the parameters. The mould sensor from Futaba of Japan is embedded near the product being produced; with the information (temperature and pressure) monitored to see if the process is at an optimum stage.

FCS will also have an in-house display of a dual-platen machine, with two opposite injection units facing each other, and an injection blow moulding machine, which is a new machine product from the company.

Victor Taichung to display second generation all-electrics

While FCS is just getting into all-electrics, Victor Taichung Machinery, founded in 1954 as a manufacturer of machine tools, will exhibit its second generation all-electric V series. Available from 50-200 tonnes, it features a wider platen, new toggle design and low-friction linear guided injection unit. At the show, it will exhibit the 150-tonne and 100-tonne models, and a new 180-tonne version.

Victor Taichung will show a new 180-tonne model

It will also display the RC rotary table series, which will be shown producing a speaker component.

Victor Taichung, which has four plants in Taiwan, says that electronics manufacturers like Foxconn and Hon Hai are some of its largest clients. According to Sunny Chen from the Overseas Marketing Department, last year, its exports totalled US$10 million to countries like the US, Indonesia, South Africa and Thailand, for target markets of 3C and houseware.

All-electrics constitute 10% of the company’s machinery portfolio, which is mainly made up of hydraulics, said Chen, who also revealed plans to produce larger machines, from 1,300 tonnes up, in the future.

Fastest PET blow moulder in the East

Located in Taichung, Chumpower Machinery was founded in 1981 as a manufacturer of CNC machine tools. Today, it is set to embrace Industry 4.0 on what it says is the fastest PET linear stretch blow moulding (SBM) machine.

The single-cavity CPSB-LS6/CPSB-LSS8 model is able to produce up to 2,250 bottles/hour of a 600 ml size, said to be the fastest in the market, upped from the industry standard of 2,000 bottles/hour. Chumpower also claims that with six cavities, the machine has a capability of 13,500 bottles/hour, compared to 9,000 bottles/hour on rotary machines, and with eight cavities, 18,000 bottles/hour.

Chumpower’s latest blow moulding machine

“This is a breakthrough for linear PET SBMs, providing customers with cost-effective and higher capacity production solutions,” said Bush Hsieh, Managing Director, though he adds that the actual production capacity depends on the bottle styles and preforms.

As for Industry 4.0, Chumpower will display the Bottle Viewer solution, which allows for easier production/cost monitoring and daily maintenance; and the Smart Mold that monitors parameters and analyses data via a chip embedded in the mould system.

As well, it will show a new AVM (Automatic Virtual Metrology) system for quality inspection, which does away with wall thickness measuring equipment, developed in cooperation with Taiwan National Cheng Kung University, with government funding.

PET bottles in a high-speed operation are tested by taking the finished products out of the production line, causing delays. AVM, on the other hand, collates production parameters through a sensor on the blow moulding machine, transfers this back to the server and performs virtual metrology by means of a patented dualphase method to allow for inline and real-time quality control, said Chumpower.

“This type of system is usually applied in the semiconductor industry, and we believe it’s the first time for it to be used in blow moulding. We wanted to provide a “wow” factor at the show,” exclaimed Bush, adding that it was undergoing testing at customers’ factories.

Bush also revealed that the AVM is being applied by a tyre rim company in Taiwan. When asked about its impending launch in the plastics sector, he was sceptical, “It make take years before it is commercialised.”


Another equipment to make a “wow” factor at Taipeiplas is the Cyclone blow moulding system, which Bush said the company is working on and may be able to display at the show, “if it is ready on time”. The four-in-one line is integrated with a water/beverage filling line applying four process machines: injection, stretch blow moulding, filling and capping in a single process. This is purported to save space and energy.

The company makes around 100 machines/year at its main plant in Taiwan and 250 machines/year at its Fujian plant in China. Its main plant is set to move to a larger building, which is currently undergoing finishing works, said Bush. With a total revenue of US$10 million a year, Chumpower exports to Africa, Southeast Asia and East Asia.


Subscribe to Get the Latest Updates from IMA  Please click here

Copyright (c) 2018 www.injectionmouldingasia.com. All rights reserved.