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International expos foreshadow NPE 2000: Part 2, TaipeiPlas '99

December 7, 1999

22 Min Read
International expos foreshadow NPE 2000:  Part 2, TaipeiPlas '99

TaipeiPlas'99—the biannual Taipei International Plastics & Rubber Industry show—was held at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall in Taiwan, ROC from Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 1999. Business is turning around in that part of the world and hopes were high of TaipeiPlas’99 being a record-breaking success. But the devastating earthquake that shook Taiwan less than a week before the show ruined the preshow euphoria.

Exhibitors lamented the absence of foreign attendees. Some said foreign visitor attendance was off by more than 50 percent. Injection molding machines account for greater than 35 percent of the industry’s total export market—its biggest player. Most exports go to Hong Kong, the U.S., and Vietnam. So exhibitors sorely missed their foreign customers. The daily inconvenience of power rationing on the show floor also upset exhibitors anxious to run their latest molding systems for those who did come.

Representatives of the major organizers of TaipeiPlas—Cetra (China External Trade Development Council, Web www.cetra.org.tw) and Tami (Taiwan Assn. of Machinery Industry, Web www.tami.org.tw)—expected attendance would be close to 15,000. Despite the disaster, the organizers say more than 13,000 visitors came, of which 1600 were overseas buyers. Only two exhibitors withdrew. There were more than 270 TaipeiPlas’99 exhibitors, up 31.4 percent over the TaipeiPlas’97, occupying 1525 booths. Here are a few stats from visitor surveys that the show organizers gave to us after the show:

Asia was well represented among foreign buyers, accounting for 60.0 percent of those from offshore. The number of visitors from South America was up 37 percent over the previous TaipeiPlas, with their proportion of buyers at 7.5 percent, compared with only 4.7 percent for the last show. Buyers from North America accounted for 8.5 percent; Europe, 9.1 percent; the Middle East, 6.6 percent; Africa, 4.7 percent; and Asia-Pacific, 3.6 percent.The majority of foreign visitors were from Japan (11.4 percent), and Indonesia came in second with 9.8 percent. The U.S. followed with 7.4 percent, India with 7.1 percent, and Hong Kong with 6.1 percent.Some 55.8 percent of foreign visitors said they were interested in buying. The rest were only interested in gathering information.Buyers were most interested in injection molding machines, with 38.6 percent looking to source from Taiwan. The majority of all attendees, 35.1 percent, were interested in plastic injection mold machines.As the curtain closed on the expo, exhibitors lobbied hard and won concessions from the show organizers. Because of the rationed power outages during the show, TaipeiPlas’99 exhibitors did not have to pay for electricity at all. And they will be allowed to buy their booths at the next fair, TaipeiPlas 2001, at TaipeiPlas’99 prices. C.K. Tao, manager of Cetra’s exhibition department, told IMM that an exhibit hall expansion adding 340 more booths will be completed long before the next show opens. Good Quality, Competitive PricingVisitors told IMM that they were extremely impressed with the technological progress evidenced in ROC molding systems at TaipeiPlas’99. “Good quality at a very reasonable price,” was a frequently heard comment. Taiwan, an island roughly the size of Lake Michigan, is home to an estimated 150 to 160 manufacturers of injection molding machines.TaipeiPlas’99 was hardly the all-electric, 21st Century technological extravaganza that Japan’s IPF’99 was a week before. Still, there were all-electrics on show, twin-platen presses, robots galore, and Taiwan’s first optical media molding system, as well. Most of the all-electric presses were shown by local reps for Japanese OEMs. Taiwan imports most of its molding machines from Japan, followed by Germany and the U.S.Taiwanese exhibitors showed that they are committed to engineering the quality and reliability into their systems necessary to earn the coveted “world class” title. They are building more fully automated solutions for specific growth markets. PET preform molding systems were prominent in many of the domestic manufacturers’ booths, for instance. And again, robots were as ubiquitous at TaipeiPlas’99 as CE marks, ISO certification plaques, and signs reading “Foreign Agents Wanted.”However, one keen-eyed industry observer remarked that ROC OEMs should pay closer attention to the fit and finish of their presses if they want them to be considered “world class.” Another knowledgeable insider said they should hire consultants before trying to Westernize the names of their companies and their machines. In more than a few cases something is lost in the translation. It was suggested that they should keep their nameplates in their native tongue, like the Japanese. Regardless, Taiwanese OEMs told IMM that their business has weathered the worst of the Asian economic earthquake and is robustly rebounding. P.T. Chen, Tami’s chairman, said shipments were down 17 percent overall in 1998, but added that exports alone had risen 17 percent in the first six months of 1999, and that business as a whole would rise 15 to 20 percent before year’s end.One exhibitor told IMM of a huge multiple machine order it recently obtained from a single U.S. customer. Another said his company is now building 150 machines per month, as opposed to 90 per month in 1998. Others said their back orders extended to February and March 2000. So, obviously, there still is a need for reliable, inexpensive injection molding systems in world markets, even if, in some cases, the tap holes on the presses may be a bit out of alignment and the brand names may sound amusing.CHEN HSONG MACHINERY CO. LTD.Award-winning twin-platen. Chen Hsong and its Taiwan-based affiliate Asian Plastic Machinery walked away with the top honors in the TaipeiPlas’99 awards contest. It did so with a 550-ton model of its new series of Supermaster SM-M2 twin-platen hydromechanical molding machines (see photo). With 870-by-870 mm between the bars, the SM550M2 molded large ABS parts in 30-second cycles. A 700-ton model molded lawn furniture at the show. Both were equipped with Chen Hsong’s latest big-screen color controller, the CDC-2000.Direct hydraulic machines. Chen Hsong/Asian Plastics Machinery displayed 60- and 120-ton models of its new Supermaster SM-HC series of direct-pressure hydraulic clamping machines (60 to 460 tons)—also nominated for the TaipeiPlas’99 best-of-show awards. They feature extended daylight for bigger molds and for molding deep draw parts.Multistage clamping pressure control reduces internal stress in molded parts, improves ventilation, and allows for low-pressure injection-compression molding. Also, SM-HC presses are equipped with a platen-mounted color-screen MMI for the company’s powerful new control system, the CDC-2000.At TaipeiPlas’99, Chen Hsong also displayed its 75-ton all-electric Model SM-75 press (see photo), the first ever built in Taiwan. It was one of the big hits at TaipeiPlas’97.For more information:
Chen Hsong Machinery Co. Ltd.
Taoyuan Hsien, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (3) 452-2288
Fax: +886 (3) 452-0261
E-mail: [email protected]
CHUAN LIH FA MACHINERY WORKS CO. LTD.PET preform machines and more. CLF displayed several models in its re-engineered CLF-T line of five-point toggles (80 to 3500 tons) at TaipeiPlas’99. CLF-T machines feature programmable, independently set mold motion pressures and speeds, high-speed/low-pressure outboard injection cylinders, cartridge valves, and controls from Barber-Colman. Systems for molding PET preforms in up to 24-cavity tooling are available from CLF.A 250-ton model CLF-250T equipped with closed loop Moog servovalving for high-speed, thin-wall molding was displayed (see photo). A larger 1000-ton press, designated CLF-1000T, also was among the new models shown. It featured a heightened drop area for molding big parts, like PP lawn chairs. Upscaling the drop area obviates the need for a costly parts removal robot. All CLF-T Series presses are available Stateside.For more information:
Chuan Lih Fa Machinery Works Co. Ltd.
Tainan, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (6) 253-2111
Fax: +886 (6) 253-3311
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.clf.com.tw
CREATOR EDM INDUSTRY CO. LTD.A new line of hydraulics. Creator, a 15-year-old Taiwanese supplier of EDM equipment, lured key engineers away from some of the major domestic injection molding machine builders to help it launch a very stylish new line of direct hydraulic clamping, precision molding presses. The machines are designed to compete in markets for thin-wall technical parts with the likes of Nissei and Toshiba hydraulics, says Jimmy Wang, sales manager. One of Taiwan’s largest custom molders reportedly tested a Creator against one such brand. It has since standardized on Creators.Creator’s CI series of molding machines presently includes seven standard models from 40 to 280 tons. A 20-ton machine also has been built (see photo). A CI-40 40 tonner costs NT $800,000, about US $26,000. A 180-ton CI180 costs NT $1,400,000, about US $46,000. Sources were unsure about exhibiting at NPE 2000, but they were sure they would be at the next big show in Milan, Italy. Innovative stand-alone multiaxis degating robots from Plenty Island (Taiwan) Corp. of Taipei, Taiwan were prominently displayed in manufacturing cells at the Creator booth. (For more on information about Plenty Island, check out its website at www.robot.com.tw.)For more information:
Creator EDM Industry Co. Ltd.
Taichung Hsien, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (4) 337-6000
Fax: +886 (4) 337-9000
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: manufacture.com.tw/~creator
FU CHUN SHIN MACHINERY MANUFACTURE CO. LTD.PET preform system. FCS demonstrated its capabilities in supplying equipment for molding PET preforms with an accumulator-free 320-ton model in its FT-LP series of toggles. It ran a 32-cavity hot runner mold in 35-second cycles. FCS also offers 180 and 220 tonners, and material handling systems for preform molding. All feature clamps with a built-in air conditioner, which helps to reduce cycle times. The 320-ton system on show costs around NT $2.2 million, according to Johnny Wu, FCS export manager.Gas-assist molding. At TaipeiPlas’99, FCS introduced a gas-assist equipment and control unit it developed in conjunction with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute. Dubbed the GU-25, the technology was demonstrated molding PP lawn chairs on one of the company’s larger FT Series toggles, a 1000-ton model FT-1000. Its larger FTs are available in nine models from 700 to 3000 tons. The 1000-ton press at the expo was equipped with FCS’s double-loop hydraulic system, which allows simultaneous overlapping of different phases of the cycle to speed things up. FCS also announced that it now supplies coinjection multimolding systems. FT-U Series thermoset presses (60 to 220 tons) also are available.For more information:
Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co. Ltd.
Tainan Hsien, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (6) 595-0688
Fax: +886 (6) 595-1129
E-mail: [email protected]
GOOD HARVEST MACHINERY INDUSTRIAL CO. LTD.All-in-one insert molding. It was a runner-up in the TaipeiPlas’99 best-of-show awards for molding machines, but the futuristic, fully automated design of Good Harvest’s Pendulum 20i insert molding system came in first place in the very interesting category. This self-contained molding system, featuring a twin-platen, cantilevered clamp, was designed in the U.S. by Abante Corp., but is 100 percent Taiwan-built.Everything required for automated insert molding is built right into its compact 2-by-1-by-1.5m footprint, including a vibratory insert handling system, and a servorobot with two EOATs for insert loading and parts unloading. Insertion accuracy is to within +/- .1 mm. Its color touch screen MMI running Windows-based programs automatically raises and lowers itself at the push of a button for user comfort. Maximum injection pressure is 1800 kg/sq cm, and maximum clamping force is 35 tons. King-Tien Chen, sales manager, says the Pendulum 20i systems costs NT $200,000.For more information:
Good Harvest Machinery Industrial Co. Ltd.
Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (2) 2772-1315
Fax: +886 (2) 2752-8556
E-mail: [email protected]
JON WAI MACHINERY WORKS CO. LTD.Two-stage PET press. Jon Wai displayed its prototype Model JW-165PM, a 165-ton five-point toggle molding machine equipped with a two-stage screw/plunger injection unit for molding PET preforms. Eight-cavity tooling was run at the show molding 21.3g preforms in 16-second cycles. Sixteen-cavity tooling also is available.The machine’s beefy, box-like clamping unit design has a self-lubricating plate bearing the moving platen’s weight and compensating for frictional forces, according to John Weng, Jon Wai’s chief engineer. And the JW-PM’s high L/D screw design minimizes AA.New PP screw design. PP lawn chairs weighing 2.2 kg were molded in cycles around 35 seconds in an 850-ton Model JW-850SP toggle from Jon Wai at TaipeiPlas’99. The machine featured Jon Wai’s latest generation double-flight screw design for PP with a 25:1 L/D. The high mixing and plasticizing capabilities of the screw reduce molding temperatures and cycle times.Gas assist and thin-walling. Jon Wai exhibited two other of its latest designs at TaipeiPlas’99:A 100-ton Model JW-100SD was equipped with a Gain gas-assist unit. It molded 31g PS parts in 60-second cycles with no mold cooling to demonstrate the effects of nitrogen circulation in the mold.A 250-ton Model JW-250HMC molded 25.5g cups with .55-mm thick walls. This machine featured use of a Moog closed loop control system, onboard SQC control capabilities, and robot interfacing. All hydraulics are accumulator assisted, and cycle phase overlapping further speeds cycle times.For more information:
Jon Wai Machinery Works Co. Ltd.
Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (6) 599-9321
Fax: +886 (6) 599-9153
E-mail: [email protected]
MULTIPLAS ENGINERY CO. LTD.Horizontal direct hydraulics. Multiplas, Taiwan’s premier manufacturer of vertical injection molding machines, introduced a line of horizontal presses it has begun building. Its horizontals, called Taiwan Super Plastic machines, are primarily built for export, and are marketed by a separate company bearing the same name as the machines, Taiwan Super Plastic Co. Ltd. (Taipei, Taiwan).The machines are available in three series: HM Mini Series, 10 to 70 tons; SM Series, 95 to 450 tons; and TL Series, 550 to 1650 tons. All are fully featured for high performance, and are equipped with touch-screen MMIs supported by feature-rich controllers. For more information:
Multiplas Enginery Co. Ltd.
Taipei Hsien, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (2) 2906-3484
Fax: +886 (2) 2904-3276
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.multiplas.com.twNAN RONG MECHANICAL CO. LTD.PET preform system. The highlight of Nan Rong’s booth was its Model TNR550PET molding machine, a 550-ton toggle equipped with 32-cavity tooling and running PET preforms at 35-second cycles. Grace Lin of Nan Rong’s export department says her company can supply complete preform molding systems, with hot runner tooling supplied by a local strategic ally—Dong-Jhao-An Corp. (Taichung, Taiwan). The show machine cost US $132,000. Nan Rong has ample booth space reserved at NPE 2000 to show its latest. It may bring over a representative model of its TNR-LCD line of high-speed presses for thin-wall molding. A 250-ton model with front-and-rear accumulator assist was shown at TaipeiPlas’99.For more information:
Nan Rong Mechanical Co. Ltd.
Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (2) 2363-2288
Fax: +886 (2) 2392-5543
E-mail: [email protected]
NISSIN MACHINE CO. LTD.Direct-clamping hydraulics. Nissin introduced its new FN series of direct clamping hydraulics (65 to 200 tons) with newer, more powerful platen-mounted controllers. An 89-ton Model FN 100 was at the show (see photo). Like others in the series, the FN 100 is built with wide platens and a long ejector and mold stroke for easily accommodating big molds. Independent hydraulic circuitry for the clamp improves control efficiencies and mold protection.Presently, FN Series machines are not being sold in the U.S., according to Emmy Huang of Nissin’s trade department. Nissin sells its existing NC Series machines Stateside. One equipped for running PET preforms in 16-cavity tooling was displayed at TaipeiPlas’99.For more information:
Nissin Machine Co. Ltd.
Hsin Chuang City, Taipei Hsien, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (2) 2298-2855
Fax: +886 (2) 2298-2856
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.nissin-machine.com
OUTSTANDING MACHINERY MFG. CO. LTD.Compact two-platen giant. OMC, a relative newcomer, fashions some of the best looking, most highly engineered molding machines in Taiwan. It has already exported presses into the demanding Japanese marketplace. Hsing C. Cheng, vp, told IMM that his company has had little time to consider selling into the U.S. It is too busy at home trying to keep up with demand from the burgeoning ROC IT market.At TaipeiPlas’99, OMC demonstrated a low-profile, two-platen, 1050-ton hydromechanical press designated OS1050G (see photo). The OS-G Series presently ranges from 650 to 1050 tons, but plans call for 1300 and 1600 tonners being added. The show machine featured the latest clean and compact design iteration of OS-G machines.Cheng says the OS-G Series was designed for what his company sees as a growing need for large-tonnage precision molding machines. The company’s latest control system, the MPC-2050, had its memory expanded to control the entire process with greater sensitivity, even when operating big molds at high speeds.Its standard OS-CH line of toggles (50 to 550 tons) can come equipped with closed loop Moog servovalves for thin-walling.For more information:
Outstanding Machinery Mfg. Co. Ltd.
Wuku Hsiang, Taipei Hsien, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (2) 2299-4711
Fax: +886 (2) 2299-4760
E-mail: [email protected]
TMC MAGNETICS & MACHINERY CORP.Quality you can see. Frank C.F. Young, TMC’s sales manager, admits that his company’s reengineered E Series toggle-clamp molding machines (60 to 1000 tons) cost more than competitive Taiwanese presses—20 to 30 percent more in many cases. But he says their higher cost adds up to reliable repeatability that also is a cut above the competition. That is one reason why TMC has no qualms whatsoever of having all its E machine guarding as clear as a window. It is not afraid of showing off the performance of its E Series machines, shot after shot. There are only a few options on these feature-rich presses—like on-the-fly ejection and corepull, robotic interfacing, and special barrels and screws. More conventional guarding is used on its ES series of smaller tonnage machines (see photo), but TMC is equally confident of its performance.TMC plans to show a 250-ton model of its latest E Series machines at NPE 2000. And Young tells us TMC may field servomolding machines well before TaipeiPlas’01.For more information:
TMC Magnetics & Machinery Corp.
Taoyuan Hsien, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (3) 368-8127
Fax: +886 (3) 368-4959
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.tmcint.com
VICTOR TAICHUNG MACHINERY WORKS CO. LTD.OM molding press. At TaipeiPlas’99, Victor Taichung demonstrated the first optical media (OM) molding system ever built in Taiwan, a 44-ton hydraulic press designated VCD-50 (see photo). Having grown tired of watching money exported elsewhere for imports, the Taiwanese government granted Victor Taichung assistance in the nine-month-long R&D project that resulted in this machine. VCD machines come equipped with two accumulators to assist in molding PC OM substrates in cycles of less than 4 seconds. They also feature easy-to-use Windows-based control MMIs. Patrick Rose, sales engineer for the company’s overseas marketing department, estimates that the VCD-50 will sell for between US $45,000 to $50,000. It was a runner-up in the TaipeiPlas’99 best-of-show contest for molding machines.All-electric toggles. Victor Taichung introduced its new V Series all-electric servomolding machines to the world at TaipeiPlas’99. The 50-ton demo model it had on show is from a series that presently includes four models from 50 to 180 tons. Full commercialization is expected in Q1 2000.V Series machines feature a novel toggle clamping system design. Four Japanese servomotors drive two ballscrews and a timing belt to open and close the moving platen (see photo). The platen rides on roller bearing supports to lower drag and friction. The servodriven injection unit uses a single ballscrew and is accurate to within .01 mm. A Swiss load cell sensor accurately monitors injection pressure and backpressure. Full closed loop control also is provided. A V machine may be shown at NPE’2000.Machines for the states. Victor Taichung’s Vr series of five-point toggles (50 to 550 tons) were CE marked at K’98 and now are available in Euromap safety standard versions. They are aimed at markets in the Americas, Southeast Asia, and at home. These rugged and reliable machines were demonstrated at TaipeiPlas’99 molding high-precision products like laptop computer cases and magnifying lenses on 350-ton and 180-ton models, respectively. The company also displayed its Vcentre-55 CNC machining center for its molding customers who make their own molds.For more information:
Victor Taichung Machinery Co. Ltd.
Taichung, Taiwan, ROC
Phone: +886 (4) 359-0591
Fax: +886 (4) 359-2425
ROBOTS & AUXILIARIES AT TAIPEIPLAS’99Alfa debuted its Falcon series of high-speed electric side-entry parts removal robots. The Alfa Falcon's dry cycle is 2.6 seconds. Takeout time has been clocked down to .5 second. Rigid, low-friction linear rails and strong, lightweight aluminum alloy arms are key features. These robots are designed for applications like molding CD jewel cases, microfloppies, and LCD lightguides, as much as they are for shop floors with low ceilings. Alfa Auto Machinery Co. (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC) +886 (2) 2205-3863; fax +886 (2) 2205-3853; e-mail [email protected]; Web www.alfarobot.com.Apex spotlighted its fast, CNC-controlled traversing servorobots (see photo). A novel wheel on the controller’s MMI makes it easy to position these MTC Series robots accurately. They are said to be so accurate that there is no need for optics or other high-tech means of verifying positioning accuracy in jobs like loading inserts into multicavity tooling. Primarily designed for presses up to 400 tons, MTCs have a vertical stroke of 1.8 m/sec, and can traverse at 2.4 m/sec. Apex Robot Systems Inc. (Taichung, Taiwan, ROC) +886 (4) 359-4239; fax +886 (4) 359-7923; e-mail [email protected]; Web www.apexrobot.com. Comet sources told IMM that it has supplied loading systems for magnesium metal molding machines to a major Taiwanese TXM molder. TXM loading systems are designed around Comet’s Exacta-Batch gravimetric weigh blender, Model EAB 2202. It has a throughput of up to 250 lb/hr and costs about US $12,000. Comet now sources some 25 to 30 percent of its worldwide business from the Asia-Pacific region. Comet Asia Pacific Co. Ltd. (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC) +886 (2) 2641-5338; fax +886 (2) 2641-536; e-mail [email protected].Fairway displayed a prototype high-speed side-entry servorobot called the UZ. Sources say it should soon be made available for molding machines up to 150 tons, and possibly up to 300 tons. UX Series sprue pickers also were on display, as were the company’s MX pickers, which are brand-named in the U.S. by Conair. Company sources say the MX Series design is the best selling picker in the States. Up to 30 units are sold each month, according to Kenshi Sakai, president of Fairway. The company also makes MXT Series telescoping arm robots, sold exclusively by Conair in the States. Fairway Corp. (Ina-City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan) +81 (265) 73-2651; fax +81 (265) 73-3642; e-mail [email protected].Index showed all the latest versions of its traversing beam servorobots and pneumatic pickers, including a recently introduced beam-mounted side-entry ST Series servorobot and its new K Series swing arm. The latter features a specially treated high-strength/lightweight aluminum alloy body forged for stability at speeds up to .2 second. The main structure also cleanly encloses all the pneumatic parts and piping. In addition, K Series swing arms feature a patented, adjustable, built-in guiding track bearing designed to improve service life by reducing wear. Index Automatic Technology Co. Ltd. (Taichung, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC) +886 (4) 337-2090; fax +886 (4) 338-0370; e-mail [email protected].Super Tech won the top honor in robots at TaipeiPlas’99 for its Model STH-1700A, a side-entry servodriven speedster designed for OM substrates and other high-speed applications. Takeout time is a blinding .35 second, and position accuracy is to within +/- .01 mm. It comes with an easy-to-use teach pendant, but you can teach it to do its job manually, then sit back and try to watch it go. Super Tech Co, Ltd. (Tainan, Taiwan, ROC) +886 (6) 699-1218; fax +886 (6) 699-1217.Wetec’s Mini Beam electric robots were featured at TaipeiPlas’99. Twin arm models are available for combination sprue handling and part removal work. Designed for molding machines of less than 200 tons, Mini Beam robots have a .6-second takeout time. We Technology Automation Co. Ltd. (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC) +886 (2) 2202-3210; fax +866 (2) 2202-2479; e-mail [email protected].Wittmann has selected Taiwan as the site of its new Asia-Pacific sales and service HQ. Bradeley Chang, general manager, admits that the Taiwan market is already saturated with robot suppliers, but says Wittmann’s competitors there mostly offer robots with pneumatic drives, or with simple electric motors. Wittmann sees a coming need for the CNC servorobots it builds, and plans to downscale the technological sophistication of its products somewhat for more competitive local pricing. Should demand warrant it, Dr. Werner Wittmann, president, says he is considering building some robots in the ROC. He also has a subsidiary in Singapore, has recently opened offices in the Melbourne area of Australia, and has a new manufacturing plant running in Hungary. China is next. Plans call for opening an office, possibly in Shanghai, in Q1 2000. And Wittmann is moving into larger digs in the States. Meanwhile, Wittmann plans to sell other auxiliaries in the Asia-Pacific region from its ROC offices, like its recently acquired Canadian-built Nucon materials handling systems. Wittmann Asia Pacific Ltd. (Taichung, Taiwan, ROC) +886 (4) 358-0731; fax +886 (4) 358-0741; e-mail [email protected], Web www.wittmann-robot.at.MORE FROM TAIPEIPLAS’99Ahitop Machinery builds small rotary and shuttle table verticals for insert molding. A 55-ton shuttle table was displayed at TaipeiPlas’99. Its costs about NT $500,000. Company sources say they have sold over 20 machines in the States to a major manufacturer of automotive electronics. Ahitop has tentative plans of showing its machines at NPE’2000. Ahitop Machinery Co. Ltd. (Taoyuan, Taiwan) +886 (3) 376-4421; fax +886 (3) 364-5125.Coretech is the leading Taiwanese supplier of PC-based 3-D CAE process simulation software for injection molding. Vito Tsai, marketing division manager, says that there are some 200 customers of Coretech’s Moldex software on the island, and that Coretech’s market share is 70 percent. Moldex is a feature-rich suite of packages that gives suggestions on how to optimize condition settings. Moldex is capable of handling STL files and helping in the application of gas assist. A basic package with flow, pack, cooling, and warp programs costs US $20,000. Tsai says Coretech will be at NPE’2000 and Antec’2000, as well. Coretech System Co. Ltd. (Hsin-Chu City, Taiwan, ROC) +886 (3) 543-7419; fax +886 (3) 543-7407; e-mail [email protected]; Web www.coretech.com.tw.Der Gang, which builds toggles from 50 to 1600 tons, showed a Model DG-200-14 capable of molding PET preforms, though CD racks were molded on it at the show. Gas-assist molding systems also are available from Der Gang, as are presses equipped for thin-wall packaging. Der Gang Machinery Co. Ltd. (Tainan Hsien, Taiwan, ROC) +886 (6) 253-6886; fax +866 (6) 253-8587; e-mail [email protected].Hwa Chin’s James S.J. Chiu, marketing executive, says his company can build the biggest molding machines in Taiwan. It has already built them up to 4000 tons. At TaipeiPlas’99, Hwa Chin had something somewhat smaller on display—a 350-ton model in its HC series of tog

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