To help build the high-end gear manufacturing center in Taiwan, Chung Cheng University 40 million-dollar technology transferred to the company at Minsyong Industrial Park
With the new technologies including the electric vehicles, manipulators, precision medicine, etc., being launched to the public and having drown a lot of attention, other emerging technologies are also catching up with the trend in directing people’s foresights. The making of high-precision gears is exactly another kind of star coming out to shine on the world stage of high-end technology. Chung Cheng University (CCU) has established the AI automation production line to demonstrate gear manufacturing for many years, its recent movement of passing that technology on to a company located at the Minsyong Industrial Park expecting to break the long term monopoly of high-end gear machine market by European and American business giants could be regarded as a great example. At the technology transfer ceremony on the 20th of May, a contract was signed by Dr. Zhang-Hua Fong, CCU President, and Mr. Kevin Chien, Chairman of Advanced Gear Machine Technology Co., Ltd. (AGMT) at CCU, allowing AGMT to officially become one of the start-up company under the academic-industrial cooperation scheme of the university. AGMT has invested to construct a big factory in Minsyong Industrial Park and promises to transform the Chiayi region to be a national manufacturing center of high-end transmission components in the future.
In the past, the production cost for the transmission components was quite high because then Taiwan\'s gear making industry relied heavily on the external machine supply, especially when referring to the high-tech involved top quality gears that often used as the key components for the products from areas of different emerging technologies, from the electric vehicles, automated robotic arms, to products of across the fields of green energy, national defense, precision medicine equipment, etc. At that time, these gear cutters and gear grinders which used specifically for manufacturing high-end helical bevel gears were usually imported from Europe and the United States, and costing a fortune to get. The asking price for those machines could easily hike up over 30 to 40 million TWD per set; but this is not the only downsides of the business as it might take a long time for the machines to be delivered and the maintenance of these machines would be difficult to proceed, too. On top of that, the software for high-end precision gear manufacturing industry was in fact totally controlled by foreign companies under this kind of condition.
Therefore, with the funding support from the Industrial Value Creation Program for Academia of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), CCU Precision Transmission Lab led by Dr. Fong, the president of CCU also known as the ‘Father of Gears’, joined forces with the machine tool team from CCU Advanced Institute of Manufacturing with High-tech Innovations (AIM-HI), by using gear-making specific intelligent software in combination with the unique analysis technology on machine dynamic and static status, to develop special equipment for new generation gear manufacturing. CCU optimistically stated that the finalized equipment system will be expected to muscle for the relevant markets of AI precision gear production, earning the market value up to one billion Taiwanese dollars. In the signing of contract on the 20th of May, CCU agreed to invest 40-million-dollar worth technology-exchanged stocks in AGMT and became the shareholder of the company. This is by far the most valuable technology transfer case in CCU.
The CCU ‘Next-generation CNC Software-Hardware Integrated Gear Manufacturing Technology’ that signed off to AGMT can be widely applied in the industries of automobiles, industrial robot, precision mechanical transmission, etc. Dr. Fong predicted that through this cooperation, the high-end gear machine tool system developed by CCU team will be brought out into productive practice, removing the restrictions on equipment availability for Taiwanese gear industry, thus, enabling Taiwan to produce high quality precision gears itself without relying on the imports too much from major European and American manufacturers.
Chairman Chien of AGMT also pointed out that since CCU has a leading position in gear transmission research in Taiwan, he is very optimistic about the university\'s technological findings and has a strong belief in its prosperous future. At present, the company has set up a big commercial production base in Minsyong Industrial Park. It expects local talented youths from Chiayi who are interested in the mechanical transmission industry to join AGMT. Mr. Chien hoped that through such cooperation between the two parties, the technological levels of domestic machine tool industry can be uplifted to help increase the international competitiveness of relevant Taiwanese industries.
For quite a few years, CCU has been creating many services regarding gear design and modeling software design. And in recent years, under the planning of CCU president Fong, the university has built great connection with nearby Minsyong Industrial Park by providing those services in accordance with specific needs of the member companies in the park. CCU disclosed that the CCU R&D center, AIM-HI, initially aimed at setting up an AI automated production line to demonstrate gear manufacturing to study how the computer programs can be applied to improve the standards of precision components in the manufacturing process, and to create billions-NTD worth of annual output value. Meanwhile, CCU strived to strengthen students’ ability to do basic computer programming more independently, in order to avoid the restrictions in technological development when using the application software package. To date, through the signing of the contract, it indicated that the technology developed by CCU has finally reached its maturity to be released to the industrial market. Such achievement will not only create job opportunities for CCU teachers and students, but also help the gear manufacturing relevant industries in Taiwan to upgrade, transform, and shine on the world stage.