In order to increase the proportion of key components manufactured in-house to better serve its clients’ needs, King Steel Machinery Co., the world’s leading shoemaking machinery brand, last year made a NT$10m investment of European-manufactured cutting tool measuring machines, NX CAD/CAM software and precision jigs and fixtures, followed by an additional over NT$30m investment in advanced, precision equipment such as high-level five-axis multi-tasking machines and small gantry processing machines from Mazak, a Japanese machinery brand with a 100-year history. The total investment is estimated to exceed NT$100m, the largest investment in equipment in the domestic shoe-making industry for many years, and will enable King Steel to progress with its whole-factory Intelligent Automation manufacturing planning. The additions will give King Steel the highest level of precision manufacturing capability in the domestic shoemaking sector, making it unrivaled in the industry here in Taiwan.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the continued gloomy outlook for the industry, King Steel has made the determination to forge ahead and initiate a set of investments to shore up its strengths and reinforce its own core competitiveness and prepare itself for the next stage in its growth.
According to Jim Chen (陳璟浩), special assistant to King Steel chairman, competition in the shoemaking industry is increasingly fierce and, in addition to improving the quality of the product and delivery times, as well as controlling costs and raising standards of after-sales service, King Steel must also consider how best to respond to customers’ requests for assistance in improving their own production processes through automation and smart technologies. To this end, King Steel must think about how it can move beyond the simple, traditional role of supplying machinery needed in the shoemaking sector and how to become a strategic partner for its customers. It is only through constant self-improvement and recreating oneself, together with cultivation of one’s competitive edge, that the company will be able to grow together with its customers.
Jim emphasizes that King Steel has been involved in the midsole EVA and outsole rubber injection mold market for sports shoes for over 40 years, and has long been an industry leader, providing its customers with first class products and outstanding user experience, winning a strong reputation in the market and securing repeat business. With this major purchase of Mazak machinery and a range of high-end processing software, in the future the design, drafting, conversion programming, external measurement equipment, automatic tolerance compensation and high-end precision processing of various key components can all be done in a single process, effectively improving precision and greatly reducing operation times. The ratio of key components made in-house is expected to increase significantly from the present 30 percent to 45 percent in the future, further enhancing King Steel’s manufacturing efficiency, precision and reliability of the equipment, helping the company become industry-leading.
Jerry Chu, a factory manager at King Steel, says that the Mazak five-axis multi-tasking machines recently purchased by the company use advanced IoT and AI technologies which can, when combined with the newly purchased NX CAD/CAM five-axis modules, facilitate product development and help create highly efficient, high precision and high quality solutions. Big gains will be seen in the manufacture of components that originally required to be clamped 19 times, a number now drastically reduced to 4, allowing a highly complex workflow to be completed in a single process. This improvement in quality and yield enables the company to further meet the high expectations of its customers.
In addition, with the application of the new IoT and AI functionality, the equipment is now able to communicate with the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that were upgraded this year, relaying real time information about the operation of the equipment in conjunction with the system’s production management, logistics and information flow management, enabling data analysis and reinforcing supply chain management, creating a more agile workflow and laying the foundations for King Steel to become a smart plant.(Advertorial)
Google on Thursday restructured its responsible artificial intelligence (AI) efforts to centralize teams under a single executive, Marian Croak, a move by the Internet giant to stabilize groups working on ethics research and products after months of chaos. Croak, a vice president of engineering, would be the lead for the Responsible AI Research and Engineering Center of Expertise, she said in a YouTube video announcing her appointment. The Alphabet Inc unit has sought to defuse employee rancor stemming from the acrimonious departure of a prominent black researcher, Timnit Gebru. Croak, a black Google executive who is currently focused on site-reliability matters, would report
‘LESS DUMB’ LIQUIDITY: If more companies start to speculate in cryptocurrency, ‘we’re going to be in bubble territory before you know it,’ a market analyst said Bitcoin is closing in on a market value of US$1 trillion, a surge that is helping cryptocurrency returns far outstrip the performance of more traditional assets such as stocks and gold. The largest token has added more than US$415 billion of value this year to about US$956 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which includes bitcoin and four other coins, has more than doubled. Speculators, corporate treasurers and institutional investors are thought to have stoked bitcoin’s volatile ascent. Crypto believers are dueling with skeptics for the dominant narrative around the climb: The former see an asset being
PUNCTURE-PROOF: Air Fom tires are made of material used in sports shoe soles and offer a comfortable ride, although people are still skeptical about solid tires Getting a flat tire is a nightmare for cyclists, sending home early any rider who had ventured outdoors without a repair kit or spare inner tubes. Although punctured tires have long been a pain point for cyclists, the problem has never been effectively resolved, despite the bicycle industry going back centuries. A few products have been developed to help reduce the likelihood of flat tires: puncture-resistant tires, which are thicker than usual tires or come with a protective layer; anti-puncture tapes, which are placed between the tire and inner tube to offer extra protection; and tubeless systems that use sealant to close
LONG-TERM PLAN: The company expects growth in revenue from its automotive business this year and that it would contribute meaningfully to sales from 2023 Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) new electric vehicle (EV) platform is expected to help launch vehicles later this year, chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) said on Saturday, signifying major progress in the electronics giant’s push into the automotive industry. Two light vehicles designed using the company’s MIH Open Platform would be unveiled in the fourth quarter, Liu told reporters at the company’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District (土城). Hon Hai might at the same time also help launch an electric bus, he said. Hon Hai has been seeking to expand its automotive capabilities at a time when technology companies including