Increasingly, customers are demanding more automation
Published on : Tuesday 02-11-2021
Allen Hsieh, General Manager, Pinnacle Machine Tools, spoke to Jyothi Joseph, Industrial Automation.
Pinnacle Machine Tools specialises in 5-axis machining centres. What are the emerging trends here?
Our customers demand higher accuracy, and efficient machines for their job. They also request multi-functionality and machines with smaller footprint that occupy less space to maximise their productivity. 5-axis machines meet all these requirements. Pinnacle 5-axis machines are available in AX, BX and DU-series. The most popular is BX-series, which has good width and flat table, with easy to adopt fixtures and provide high accuracy, efficient machining on multi face parts.
What is the range of machines offered? Any recent launches?
Our feature products, AX and BX series, 5-axis machining centres, are the perfect choice for high accuracy machining. From small to medium-large size workpieces, they perfectly fit the needs. In addition, the DU series 5-axis double-column machining centre is our latest launch, which combines the 5-axis concept with large-size-workpiece-dedicated machining centre.
Customers today are highly demanding and ask for customised solutions. How does the company approach this requirement? Any case sharing in auto part application?
Our application engineers make careful study and provide solutions according customer needs. For 5-axis machine or VMC, we provide technical suggestions or turnkey solutions.
Among the new trends is hybrid machines with additive manufacturing solutions. Does Pinnacle have any such products?
The answer will be yes. The BX series like I mentioned earlier, it combines both milling and turning function, the work that once required 2-3 machines to complete now it only takes one single machine to get all the jobs done.
The pandemic has impacted all segments of Industry and calls for more automation. How compatible are Pinnacle machines for autonomous factory set-up?
Yes, it did. People may get CoviD-19, the machine, robot, fixture will not get the virus – no day off! We already setup BX-series VMCs with robot for autonomous operation.
How important is the Indian market for the company?
We have been doing business in the Indian market for 20 years, and it is a very important market for us.
What kind of distributor network the company has in India? Is there any direct presence and value addition locally?
We have been working together with our Indian partner, Autotech CNC, in Pune for two decades now, with over 1000 machines sold. We hope to find more partners in different regions to expand to other areas. Our target is to bring reliable Pinnacle machines, solutions and services to more Indian customers in the future. We also see a good potential for our product in the Indian market.
How is the present business environment?
Right now because of Covid-19 we have to find orders and then the materials, the prices are increasing due to high material costs. The delivery time was 2 months earlier and now it is 4 months or 6 months due to the logistics issues. Currently our delivery times are affected because of these factors and mainly the cost of steel, and logistics. Like many other economic activities even mining was disrupted by Covid so raw material supply was affected causing prices to go up. The problem of transport is a major issue now and especially in Taiwan because we have to buy raw materials from overseas, make the machines and then export to other countries. It's a tough time for Taiwanese companies.