Woodworking Reaches the Stars - An Interview with the President of Chung Kung, MR. Edward Lin
When we saw the unveiling of Chung Kung's latest technology at WMF in Beijing, we've been waiting for a chance to interview Mr. Edward Lin, president of the company. interwood focuses on woodworking machinery manufacturers, but this company's machines are used in aerospace. That's one of the things that sets them apart. When Mr. Lin finally had the time to visit with us, we drove out to the subtropical field lands of Shen Kang to check out their state-of-the-art facility and chat with the boss.
Q: How did a traditional woodworking machine company make it all the way out to space?
45 years ago, we started off making traditional woodworking machines. But about 20 years ago when automation became the trend, we began R&D in CNC processing and developed a variety of machines of that nature. We built a solid reputation for innovative research and development, and things have skyrocketed from there.
Q: What sort of breakthroughs has Chung Kung come out with?
Well, we have celebrated many milestones in the expansion of our CNC product range. For example, we are the first CNC processing machine manufacturer in Taiwan to incorporate a heavy-duty 5-axis spindle for working with metals such as aluminum alloy and cast iron. Here is where the leap from woodworking began for us. We incorporated a 25kw spindle that spins at 20,000 rpm and uses an HSK A63 taper for the tooling. HSD of Italy is our supplier. The spindle is designed for the production of industrial molds and components, such as those for the aerospace industry. We make it a priority to exhibit all around the world, and the aerospace industry eventually took interest in us.
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about the technology you incorporate?
There are several modifications of Chung Kung's CNC-5AXES-ATC model which attract aerospace component manufacturers. They have also been purchased by top aircraft makers. The aerospace industry demands high accuracy. This model not only meets, but exceeds, those demands, while not compromising on speed. This model incorporates precision machine design and materials and features a moving table with wedges for fixing the linear guideways in place during operation, ensuring stability, durability and accuracy.
Q: Does this mean that you don't bother with woodworking anymore?
Absolutely not! We are more than willing to work with various industries to develop machines for their particular needs. We recently recently introduced a 5-axis machine with two tables, Model CNC-5AXES-ATC-2T, for the production of stairway railings. The two tables move independently to increase efficiency. A work piece on one table can be loaded or unloaded while the work piece on the other is processed, with one section of stairway railing produced each minute. Some leading manufacturers of stairway railings are already using it. It's got an 18kw 5-axis spindle from HSD Italy with variable speeds that range from 2,000 to 20,000rpm. Each of the two worktables measures 800mm wide and 1000mm long. But we also cater to custom orders, so those dimensions can vary.
Q: That was the biggest machine we saw at WMF this year, wasn't it?
Yes, that's true. We value the opportunities that exhibitions provide, and we attend fairs in a number of countries around the world. We got quite a bit of attention at WMF this year. Of course, exhibitions allow our latest machines to be seen, but equally important, if not more so, is the chance they give us to interact with customers to understand their specific needs. We bring this information back to our R&D department and use it to expand our CNC processing machine range.
Q: We noticed that your machining centers come in different configurations.
Yes, our 5-axis CNC processing machines are available in three types: moving table, moving bridge and moving column. In the first type, the work piece is placed on the table and the table is moved into position for operation. In the second and third types, the table is stationary and both the bridge and the columns move. Different components and molds require various set-ups to produce them with the most accuracy and efficiency.
Q: In a nutshell, what is the secret to Chung Kung's success?
I am sorry, I am sworn to secrecy on this subject. But what I can tell you that ever since the launch of our first 5-axis CNC processing machine in 2008, their outstanding performance has pretty much done our marketing for us. We only use components of the highest quality, such as controllers and servo motors from SIEMENS in Germany, or FANUC in Japan. Our vacuum pumps, precision ballscrews, guide rails and wedges are all imported from Germany. And our frequency inverters are imported from Japan. The main thing, I would say, is that we are always reaching for the stars.
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