Home > Flexibility, focus and drive: the future for manufacturing Part Two

Flexibility, focus and drive: the future for manufacturing Part Two

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The conclusion to Isaac Leung's investigation into the potential future of manufacturing. To read the first half of the article click here.

Diptronics can be considered a niche manufacturer, specialising in the production of switches used on circuit boards. Its products are used by Siemens, Bosch, Omron, Fujitsu, NEC, Mitsubishi and other big players.

Diptronics is responding to the cloud trend by diversifying its product offering to focus on LED-illuminated tactile switches, which are commonly used on server boards.At its factory in the Wugu District of New Taipei City, Diptronics runs a complete production line turning raw materials into finished products.

Product development, metal plating and punching, plastic moulding and injection are all done in-house.

Diptronics is also the only switch manufacturer which also produces its own LEDs.

Due to the cleanroom and labour requirements, the LEDs are manufactured in the company’s production line in Suzhou, China, then integrated into the switches in Taiwan using Diptronics-designed proprietary production equipment.

Post-assembly, the switches are run through testing equipment, including operational force testers which assess the resistance, stroke and return forces of the switches; and contact resistance testers which check the electrical properties of the switches when in the off state.Integrated quality control and inspection at Diptronics production line.

Xrays allow non-destructive inspection of metal parts within the switches, while a 3D measurement system checks the switches’dimensions from multiple sides simultaneously.

Selected parts are also put through a reflow oven to ensure the switches remain operational after surface mounting processes.

Driving towards green automotive
As global regulations continue to drive automotive manufacturers to reduce emissions and boost the energy efficiency of their vehicles, manufacturers in Taiwan like K.S. Terminals and Excel Cell Electronic (ECE) are pivoting towards this growing market.

ECE is increasing its emphasis on its line of relays, which are deployed in the electronic control modules used in the automotive industry.

Unlike mass production factories in China which only deal in large quantities, ECE is focusing on growing its market by directly providing small sample scale products to automotive design houses in the US and Europe.

With its self-designed production machines, ECE is able to quickly reconfigure its capabilities and produce small runs of highly customised products.

It is now working to improve the specifications of its products to meet the more stringent requirements of the automotive sector.K.S. Terminals, which makes terminals and connectors, has made in-roads into the electrical vehicle space, having developed connectors for electrical car trials in cooperation with other Taiwanese companies, as well as Nissan and Toyota.

Directly stamping out the metal connector components from reels of copper, brass and steel, the company’s factory requires just one worker to tend to four machines, due to the high degree of automation.

Waste metal from the stamping process is collected in big bags and sent back to the raw materials supplier for recycling.

Finished products are checked in a test lab specially built for automotive terminal testing, with machines that imitate driving conditions with wind, dust and moisture tests, as well as ozone aging, high pressure water spray and bending stress tests.

Technology and access
The 39th Taipei International Electronics Show (TAITRONICS) will run from 8 to 11 October at the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall in Taipei.
It will be co-hosted with the Broadband Taiwan and the Taiwan International Cloud Technology and Internet of Things Show.

This event will host 750 exhibitors over 1,400 booths, and is expected to attract 45,000 visitors both from Taiwan and internationally.

The three shows will serve as a platform for exhibitors and visitors to explore business opportunities, and also discover the latest technology and innovation. The organisers (TAITRA) will also host procurement meetings for trade and government buyers.

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