Taps are notoriously complex to manufacture but that isn’t deterring Thai manufacturer SK Precision, which is building its capabilities to be the first domestic supplier of taps to the domestic market in Thailand.

The Thai Government understands that manufacturing will be a key driver of the country’s long-term economic growth and has been encouraging companies to establish facilities in their territories through tax and other incentives. As a result, the country today has flourishing automotive and aerospace sectors that require suppliers.

SK Precision has around 50 people working two shifts servicing their traditional market of cutting carbide tools and PCD tools.

“We have been operating for over 20 years and know the local Thai market intimately,” says Tibordee Srikul, President of SK Precision. “We saw an opportunity in the tap grinding segment as until now companies could only source taps from overseas suppliers and that means longer lead times of up to three months and higher cost. Our customers want just-in-time products so they can reduce stock and inventory costs. Having a local supplier who can deliver taps in a short period of time helps them achieve a more efficient supply chain.

“Taps are a difficult tool to manufacture. A complex application, the geometry and tolerances requirements take a lot of skill and knowledge to produce. At SK Precision we like a challenge and saw the combination of a gap in the market and a new application as something we could make a success.”

Single set-up tap manufacturing

Srikul did not want to be restricted to producing just one type of tap, so after extensive market research, the company purchased a Tap X Linear from ANCA Tools.

ANCA was the first machine manufacturer to deliver to market a single set-up machine for complete tap manufacture. Continuing this tradition of industry firsts, ANCA now offers the TapX Linear range of machines – the first single set-up tap grinding machine with LinX linear motor technology on X, Y and Z axis. TapX Linear finds the perfect balance between proven designs combined with ANCA’s newest technologies.

The rigid bisymmetrical column design on the solid polymer concrete base has been the foundation design of ANCA machines over the years. Now, in addition, ANCA’s new LinX cylindrical linear motors and linear glass scales are fitted as standard on X, Y and Z axis for proven and unsurpassed long-term reliability and accuracy.

The result is a superior machine that ensures customers will meet ever-increasing market demands of precision tap grinding. TapX machines are purpose built, with tooling, coolant delivery and automation specifically for production grinding of all types of taps, from M3 up to M50, whether in high-speed steel or carbide. Clever tooling design means change over from one tap type to another can be done in minutes, not hours. This delivers greater flexibility in tap production and results in increased productivity and reduced costs.

“Our investment in capabilities, both in technology and experience, means we can now produce special and standard taps locally,” says Srikul. “But that is only the beginning, in the future I want to produce spiral tap, point taps and hand taps and forming taps.

“For me and my team it is all about attitude. We are always looking to the future to keep up to date on what technology and market trends are emerging. I like a challenge and I knew that there was great opportunity I could take advantage of. My philosophy is to take on a challenging market and develop it. Attitude is everything and that is how I make sure I am successful – I believe I can do it!”