Hyundai Wia Machine Tools
Available in the UK from TW Ward CNC Machinery
South Korean firm Hyundai Motor Group is a global automotive brand and household name. But Hyundai make more than just cars and vans, they also have an arm that excels in producing machine tools, the Hyundai Wai Corporation.
Hyundai Wai's headquarters are in Changwon, South Korea. Whilst it specialises in machine tools, and indeed dominates its domestic market in this regard, the firm also makes parts for the aerospace and defence industries. At the turn of the current decade Hyundai Wai's sales figures topped approximately 4.2 billion USD. Whilst in its home country it has the largest market share, it still has some way to go to establish itself in the international market. This said it does have significant arrangements overseas.
Established in 1976 it didn't take Hyundai Wai long to start manufacturing machine tools. In fact it was the following year, 1977, when they began with this aspect of their business. They were the first of their kind in South Korea to build a machining centre.
Whilst their domestic dominance is clear, not until 1980, however, twelve years on, did they venture to set up a small scale subsidiary in the United States. And you need to fast-forward another three decades, to 2008, before they set up production in China. The do, however, have centres now in all major international markets in Europe, Asia and North and South America. One of their recent high-profile ventures, for example, was to set up a factory in India.
Hyundai Wai is currently planning to expand its Changwon base, with the hope output will increase from 8,600 machines per year to 14,600. This increase in production by seven thousand units would propel the firm into the company of the world's largest machine tool makers, with some estimating the expansion would result in it becoming the world's fifth largest.
Whilst increasing production is important, the firm is also investing in its long term future through the enlargement of its research and development facilities. These are based in South Korea too, but in Uiwang, a satellite town of the country's capital city, Seoul.
Over the last ten years Hyundai Wai's product range has more than doubled, with it now offering more than 100 major types in its portfolio. These include vertical machining centres, horizontal machining centres, Bog Bore turning centres and vertical turning centres, not to mention the high-speed vertical drill centre.
Leadwell Machine Tools
Available in the UK from Lead Machine Tools
Manufacturing firm Leadwell has operated for thirty three years. It began life in 1980 with just seven workers on its payroll. Despite this it took only a decade for Leadwell to establish itself as Taiwan's biggest producer of machine tools. This period, known by some as the 'Taiwan Miracle', was characterised by industrialisation at breakneck speed. Similar developments were also happening in neighbouring Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, together the 'Four Asian Tigers'. Whilst the centre of Asian industry has arguably now shifted north to China, Taiwan still plays a key role.
The company now has over 850,000 foot of manufacturing space spread over two locations. The first is its original base in Taichung, Taiwan, a city of over 2.6 million on the country's Western coast. Leadwell forms a significant part of Taichung's prominent metalworking and machining sector, and has benefited from the city's proximity to Taichung Harbor, where container ships regularly dock and depart on their international rounds. The second production location is Hangzhou in Eastern China's Zhejiang Province. Also close to a commercial sea port, that of neighbouring Shanghai, Hangzhou is a big centre in its own right, holding an estimated 8.7 million residents.
Leadwell divides its range of 42 machines into eight broad categories: Vertical Machining Centres; CNC Bridge Type Machining; CNC Turning Centres; Horizontal Machining Centres; Fast Mill Machining Centres; Multi-tasking machines; Multi-function machines; CNC Bed Type Universal Milling Machines; and Horizontal Boring & Milling Machines. In these categories 'CNC' stands for computer numerical control, designating that the machine tools are operated at least in part by computers running pre-programmed software. Nearly all of today's more sophisticated machine tools fall into the CNC category.
The firm has a network of agents and distributors spanning international markets. For example, in the United Kingdom Leadwell's distributor is Lead Precision Machine Tools Limited, based in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Leadwell has also made strides to gain presence in the Eastern European markets, and has recently sought new agents in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Bulgaria.
Like many producers of machine tools Leadwell shows its wares at international trade fairs, where delegates from the industry gather to network and see that latest developments in the sector. At the EMO Exhibition in Hannover, Germany, for example, the firm displayed four of hits new models (the MCV-1300is, the V-40iT, the LTC-25SMY and the LTC-35CLV). It's at exhibitions like this where Leadwell can demonstrate its expertise in the production of machine tools and related parts and services.
Mazak Machining Centres, Turning Centres and Mill Turn Machines
Available in the UK from Yamazaki UK
Although not a household name the Yamazaki Mazak Corporation, or Mazak for short, is a well-known brand in its specialist market, that of machine tools. And like many market leaders it sprang from humble origins. Established in 1919 in Nagoya, a city sitting on Japan's Pacific coast, the business began life as a small manufacturer of pots and pans under the efforts of its founder Sadakichi Yamazaki. Sadakichi soon moved on to the production of machine tools, including lathes, woodworking and metalworking machinery.
During the thirties and forties, as with many other industries at this time around the world, Mazak became part of its country's war machinery, and consequently suffered as a result of the outcome of WW2 in Asia. But it survived this difficult period and began to prosper again in the fifties and sixties, beginning during this period to export to the US Market.
Mazak's most significant development, however, came in the 1970s and 80s when it expanded production beyond Japan, first setting up plants in the United States, then in various countries around Europe, the first of which being Belgium in 1975.
A high-level meeting between the British and Japanese governments in 1984 proved a significant event in Mazak's European ambitions. The purpose of this meeting was to encourage investment in high-technology companies operating in the United Kingdom. To this end, the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, invited Mazak (via her Japanese counterpart) to set up shop in the UK. Since then the company has operated an impressive plant in Worcester in the West Midlands of England.
The late 1980s and 1990s saw a flurry of awards for Yamazaki Mazak Europe recognising its performance in manufacturing. Its Worcester factory has since been expanded several times, now with floorspace of 29,000m2, big enough to produce over 150 machine tools each month. The Worcester site is also the firm's European group headquarters, housing over 900 workers, making it a major employer in the region.
Worldwide Mazak has nine factories. In addition to the UK plant it has five in its native Japan as well as plants in China, the United States and Singapore. As well as its manufacturing bases it also operates a global network of nearly 80 technology and technical centres, designed to provide customer support to local markets.
Mazak's products cover a wide range of machine tools, including CAD/CAM products, laser cutting machine tools, CNC turning centres and multi-tasking machines.
Brother Machine Tools, Machining Centres and Twin Pallet Machines
Available in the UK from Whitehouse Machine Tools
Multi-national company Brother has a wide range of industry specialties, but it was in 1961 that it moved into the field of business machines and machine tools.
Their broad range of high performance machine tools are used within a variety of industries including automotive and IT and they are capable of machining small, medium and large parts.
Brother has 30 taper machines, which are able to provide high productivity and high cutting performance whilst providing some key environmentally friendly features. Over 12,000 of these tapping centres have been sold to automobile parts manufacturers who are after particular requirements in order to reduce machining costs and the this industry accounts for approximately 40% of the sales of parts machined by tapping centres.
As well as focusing heavily on the automobile industries, Brother's tapping centres are also capable of supporting any type of parts machining including precision parts and high-speed performance machining all of which support customers in enhancing their competitive edge.
Other Brother machine tools include the technology series such as the TC-31B, which incorporates a high-speed 22,000 RPM spindle and fully synchronized Brother patented tapping. Another product within this range is the industry leading TC-32BN QT which features lightening fast spindle acceleration and deceleration and enlarged machining area.
The Brother performance series include the TC-R2B with spindle taper air blast and 2.9 second pallet change time. Similarly the TC-S2DN also within this series has fully synchronized 6000 RPM tapping and high torque direct drive.
The Brother Group is used to responding to technological changes and understands the need to stay ahead of the competition in these challenging times. With this in mind Brother machining centres are designed to be leaner and more reliable than any other and their turnaround times are incredibly fast. Their products are often very unique as well as the services they offer customers and they have sales facilities in more than 40 countries, making it a truly global business.
Brother prides itself in placing the customer first and offering superior value all over the world and their motto is 'At your side.'
With global competition getting tougher and tougher the Brother Group is focused on expanding new businesses which they hope will bring about further growth. They place a great deal of emphasis on environmental considerations throughout all aspects of their business and they are committed to offering a service in which their customers can trust.
Colchester Lathes, Colchester Machine Tools
Available in the UK from RK International
Mascot VS 2000, Master VS3250, Mastiff VS 1800, these are just some of the machine tools being produced by machine tool manufacturers The Colchester Lathe Company.
Established in 1897, Colchester is the largest turning machine builder in Europe employing a diverse range of employees in the design and manufacture of a sophisticated range of lathes.
Few machine tool manufacturers can enjoy the reputation Colchester has acquired and their portfolio of CNC lathes and conventional centre lathes alone has led them to become world leaders in the manufacture of these products.
With over 600 Group owned and independent operations, Colchester has an impressive worldwide distribution network and their sales and after sales functions are second to none. In addition to their extensive range of lathes, Colchester are also able to provide turnkey engineering solutions which are capable of managing specific customer requirements such as 24 hours 'lights out' automation for unmanned running bar or chucking cells and robot or gantry loading making them a very diverse company.
Colchester's standard centre lathes are able to provide conventional turning solutions to a significant range of industries and their engine lathes range from the popular 330mm swing to the powerful 554mm swing.
With operating areas across many major countries including Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia and the Middle East and the UK, Colchester have a considerable market share within the machine tool arena and as a result their products are designed and manufactured to the highest standards.
In fact many of their machines combine the most advanced machine tool design and technology with over a century of manufacturing success, which gives them a sound base within British-led machining.
Amongst their most popular ranges, the Mascot VS 2000 can handle the requirements of both production, the toolroom or maintenance work, whereas the Master VS3250 has the versatility to handle small to medium requirements of light industry and vocational training. Colchester has also developed a sophisticated range of mulit-axis turning centres and slant bed 2-axis CNC lathes, both of which embrace current advancements in the world of machining.
All across the world you will find engineers and apprentices training on a Colchester lathe and many production and maintenance departments also use Colchester machines for their turning capability.
Their assembly techniques and high investment in modern machinery makes Colchester able to provide practical and conventional turning solutions to clients form all areas of industry.
Correa Bed Milling Machine Tools and Column CNC Machines
Available in the UK from DTS Ltd
Founded in 1947, Correa Machine Tools is among the largest industrial groups in Europe and has a workforce of over 386 people.
Nicolas Correa S.A was first granted permission to start a milling machine factory by The Guipuzcoa Industrial Delegation and within 2 years he had made his first 4 milling machines with the support of just 49 workers.
By the start of the 1950's Correa exported their very first machine tools overseas to Chile, this then sparked an ongoing collaboration and official contract to be drawn up.
The company moved to Burgos in 1965 and throughout this decade Correa began developing a wide range of turret milling machines and vertical and horizontal milling machines. Just a couple of years later Correa celebrated the development of its first automatic cycle milling machines which later proved to spark a considerable increase in the level of automation and control capacity being demanded.
Moving into the late 1970's the first generation of numerical controls were incorporated into the Correa product portfolio alongside initial prototypes of the bedplate machines, fixed bed milling machines and machining centres.
It was developments such as these that further concreted Correa's place in the machine tool landscape.
Just 20 years later Correa's turnover reached 57 million euros in 1998 with 63% of production going for export, with this considerable investment Correa was able to embark in the development of high-speed automatic heads and high performance and multi-function milling machines.
Correa machine tools currently exports 80% of its production to key industrialised countries including France, Germany, USA and Great Britain and has a vast range of distributers and subsidiary branches which enable direct customer contact.
It is Correa's innovation and design which has given it this impressive reputation, enabling it to provide solutions to some of the most demanding production tasks including manufacturing dies and large moulds, monolithic elements for the aerospace, railway, energy and mechanical sectors.
Also considered the leading company in machining medium and large pieces, Correa has a loyal customer base consisting of thousands of worldwide clients who trust only Correa to provide them with all of their machining requirements. Their product catalogue is now the most complete of those in the market and they have the capacity to generate profits of 15 million Euros - what's more, they are also the first company in the machine tool industry to develop EPDs of their machines.
Dah lih Machining Centres and CNC Machines
Available in the UK from Ward Hi Tech Ltd
Beginning with just one lathe in April 1960, Mr Chuang-Chang founded the Dah Lih Industry Co. and purchased just 410 suare metres of land on which to operate.
At this time the lathe was used to process mechanical parts and repair machinery but, by 1966 Dah Lih also started to produce milling machines. Just 2 years later the company began exporting machine tools to Asia.
Around the same time as the name was changed to Dah Lih Machinery Industry Co. the factory was also moved to a second plant that boasted an impressive 13,500 square metre area.
Following this move the company won a succession of awards from quality control certificates to the mark of excellence before moveing once more to a 30,000 square metre plant.
The Dah Lih machining centres and vertical machining centres are very well known, particularly within the UK where they are one of the best-known brands. These machines began being sold across the UK since the early 1980's and their main distributers are Ward Hi-Tech Ltd who are based in Sheffield. As such, these particular machines have therefore developed a very strong reputation.
At the same time the Dah Lih vertical and horizontal machining centres have also been attracting a lot of attention, again most commonly within the UK and they have a vast amount of customers which is constantly growing.
The Dah Li product range includes over 20 vertical machining centre models and there are 6 horizontal options to choose from.
These machines are suitable for a wide range of uses and this is mainly down to their high horsepower gear, which is driven by 50-taper spindles. They work particularly well for heavy 4th-axis machining of unusual materials.
The Dah Lih vertical machining centre range has a particularly good reputation within the oil field industry.
Dah Lih Machinery recently celebrate their 50th Anniversary which included an open event at their impressive head offices in Taichung.
This is an impressive building with large manufacturing showrooms, marbled visitor centre and offices.
Among the guests invited to this prestigious event included their global distributer network, competitors, customers and local dignitaries who were all encouraged to enjoy a wide range of entertainment including dancing and live music.
Over the course of a weekend, visitors were also given live cutting demonstrations on Dah Lih's newest vertical and horizontal machining centres.
Beginning as just a simple job shop the Dah Lih company has grown immensely over the years and is now one of the best known machining centre builders in the world.
Much of their success is down to their philosophy and staff who are treated like family. Their competitive prices and high specification machine tools are particularly worthy of a mention and the quality of the products ensures real return on investment opportunities.
For all of these reasons, Dah Lih now has over 20,000 units installed nationwide.
Dugard Eagle Machine Tools - Machining Centres and Turning Centres
Available in the UK from Dugard
In 1939 Dugard Ltd. was established by the late Charles Dugard and focused much of its efforts on sub-contract manufacturing and the sale of used machines tools.
Over the years however it has grown dramatically and is considered a key player in the supply of second hand machine tools as well as the sale and backup of new machines from all around the world.
Often a rare occurrence for many of today's machine tool companies, Dugard has managed to retain its family values and is currently managed by directors, Eric and Bob Dugard.
By 1978, after several years of success within the field of selling new and used standard machine tools, Dugard decided to embrace the market of new CNC machine distribution which really kick started their success.
The Dugard Eagle brand is particularly popular these days and supports a wide range of machinery from VMC's, CNC lathes, CNC machining centres, Multi Function CNC lathes and Bridge Type Machining Centres.
The Dugard Eagle product range consists of Dugard Eagle CNC lathes, Dugard Eagle VMC's, Dugard Eagle horizontal borers, bridge type machining centres and horizontal machining centres.
All of these products are sold throughout Europe, Russia and the Middle and Far East through a sophisticated network of dealers and the impressive stocking power of Dugard also enables these dealers to supply such products within a very quick delivery turnaround.
The Dugard Eagle range of CNC lathes and vertical machining centres in particular are incredibly well established and Dugard are expecting their Eagle products to continue to meet high levels of sales over the coming years. Their success is mainly down to the reliability of their machines and positive customer experiences along with a range of value added features. By ensuring their customers receive the best possible CNC machines, Dugard are able to secure a loyal client base who look to them for repeat business year after year.
There is also a great amount of rigorous testing carried out before any machine leaves the Dugard warehouse and machines are repeatedly tested for accuracy and operational performance. Occasionally, advanced tests are also carried out to asses mechanical error and alignment and so throughout every stage, quality control is undertaken ensuring full CE conformity.
For more than 30 years now, Dugard has maintained its position of being one of the largest importers of CNC machines in the UK and it has one of the largest sales forces to match.
Value for money and quality is Dugard's philosophy and their customer service team is also a key priority. Their large network of service engineers are factory trained and can carry out breakdown visits across the country. Should anything go wrong with your machine, these trained engineers will aim to be with you the very next day and fixed at a record speed.
To see the full range of Dugard machinery on offer you can visit their Head Office in Hove where demonstrations can also be provided.
Harrison Lathe Machine Tools - Harrison Machines
Available in the UK from RK International
Harrison Lathe Machine Tools have a world-renowned reputation for great quality and reliability, not to mention their rigid and hardwearing guarantee. All of their lathe machine tools are built to withstand heavy-duty and rugged use and they are built to last for many years.
Among the most well known Harrison machines are the V Series lathes, offering top quality standards and precision performance. These lathes also meet strict international safety standards as well as the latest European CE requirements. Their efficient performance gives them added reliability and they are amongst the most popular machines on the market.
The V350 is a high-speed, but compact lathe built to handle the small to mid-range turning requirements faced by many modern toolrooms, production workshops and in some cases, educational environments.
The V390 is another sophisticated lathe providing maximum cutting performance and improved machine capabilities. It has a fine finishing ability ensuring total customer satisfaction across a range of production areas.
What unites the V series range of Harrison lathes is their cutting speed ability and fine finishing, both of which enable complex tooling for almost any modern production requirement.
Harrison M series centre lathes are also world renowned, guaranteeing many years of top quality performance with limited maintenance requirements. In addition to these key selling points, the Harrison M series lathes are also more than capable of providing extremely fine precision turning which make them a key market player.
The undeniable ease of use with these machines offers clients a great deal of choice for every application from training and education to handling large oil pipes and there is a huge choice of ancillary and optional equipment. Making even the most complex components manageable.
In 2006 a worldwide review saw the radical step in the development of the Colchester-Harrison brand. This initiative encompassed both Colchester and Harrison CNC lathes into a range which would also include Vertical Machining Centres previously sold under a different brand. By combining these well known British brands customers now have the advantage of a broad range of quality CNC machine tools from one single source.
Hwacheon Lathes and Multi axis Turning Centres
Available in the UK from Ward Hi Tech
Overseas exports make up over 40% of machine tool giant, Hwacheon's total sales and they are all set to celebrate their 60th anniversary this year.
Founded in 1952 in the city of Gwangju, Hwacheon is one of the three largest makers of machine tools in Korea and most of their overseas customers are based in Europe or the U.S. with India acting as their major buyer in Asia.
Its chairman, Seung-gwan Kwon founded the company and before becoming a successful entrepreneur he started his career as an apprentice molder. Kwon named the company “Hwacheon Machine Works' in 1951 during the Korean War, the prefix ‘HWA' indicates fortune whilst the suffix ‘CHEON' translates to stream.
Not only were they the first company to introduce machines that were used to build other machines, Hwacheon has been said to have built the ground for Korean industrial revolution.
Towards the end of the 1950's, Kwon set himself the challenge of building a lathe which was particularly significant considering at that time there were no lathes made in Korea.
By 1959 Kwon succeeded in building his first belt-driven lathe, thus sewing the seed of Korean machine tool industry. From this moment on the company began to grow in size and continued to make machine tool history when making an NC lathe in 1977.
Approximately 200 machine tools are built by Hwacheon and these can cost between tens of thousands of US Dollars to hundreds and thousands. Even though many of their competitors are producing many more hundreds of machine tools, Hwacheon pride themselves on paying close attention to the quality and efficient of their products and give this more value than immediate gains.
Most of their clients are within the auto industry and include the likes of Hyundai and Kia Motors although their biggest customers are electronics giants, Samsung. Samsung's sub-contract companies also make up a big proportion of Hwacheon's clients and over half of the mold cutting machines they make are sold to these subsidiaries.
One of the advantages of purchasing a Hwacheon machine tool is the 60 years of experience that comes with it. This knowledge and know-how translates into a very high standard of quality.
Hwacheon are not afraid to exploit new markets and in the early 1990's they took the decision to build specialized machines for processing molds. This proved to be a great decision as they now make around 60% of all Korean mold cutting machines.
Although not widely known to the public, Hwacheon is a major player in the Korean machine tool industry and its impact and growth within this field cannot be denied. After reaching overseas sales in 2006 of over 50 million U.S. Dollars the number looks set to reach 100 million this year.