In a joint effort to foster talent between the industry and academia, HIWIN Technologies Corp. generously donated a state-of-the-art six-axis articulated robotic arm to the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering under the College of Engineering at ISU on July 4, 2023. With this donation, HIWIN aimed to empower the younger generation with access to top-notch equipment, allowing them to gain valuable expertise throughout their four-year university journey. In gratitude for HIWIN’s generous support, ISU held a donation ceremony to express its appreciation for the invaluable contribution provided by HIWIN.

Established in 1989, HIWIN Technologies Corp., known for its HIWIN brand, has been marketing globally with its headquarters located in Taichung. HIWIN primarily focuses on the research and manufacturing of critical components and sub-systems for transmission control, positioning itself as a leading brand in the world of transmission control and system technology. HIWIN’s Assistant General Manager Jun-Liang Wu stated that by donating the robotic arm, the industry’s influence could be extended to the campus, allowing more students to cultivate diverse professional abilities during their academic journey. He believed that the establishment of the Intelligent Design and Manufacturing Center at ISU would help foster students’ learning and research in the field of intelligent manufacturing. President Chen expressed delight in the support from HIWIN, which allowed the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering to embrace advanced applications of intelligent design and manufacturing. ISU was profoundly grateful for HIWIN’s support, especially for the joint efforts of industry and academia in nurturing intelligent mechanical talent.

HIWIN, an international heavyweight enterprise, is the second-largest brand globally in transmission control and system technology. HIWIN has consistently won the Taiwan Excellence Gold and Silver Awards and ranked among the top 25 Best Taiwan Global Brands for three consecutive years. In addition to its remarkable expertise in the industry, HIWIN has established the HIWIN Educational Foundation, which is dedicated to nurturing talent in the realm of precision machinery. Notably, its HIWIN Thesis Award offers a grand prize of NT$1 million for the first-place winner and an opportunity to visit a professional exhibition and exemplary manufacturers in Japan. This prestigious award has been hailed as the “Nobel Prize” of the mechanical industry and has become a benchmark in industry-university collaboration.

The donation ceremony took place at ISU’s Smart Design and Manufacturing Center, where a million-dollar six-axis articulated robotic arm was showcased. With utmost precision and under the expertise of faculty members and students, the robotic arm flawlessly executed CNC machine loading and unloading, showcasing its superior technological capabilities and delivering high-quality performance. The versatile six-axis articulated robotic arm finds applications in handling, welding, and assembly tasks. When paired with the HRSim (HIWIN Robot Simulation) arm simulation software, it offers offline programming that efficiently tackles and resolves common challenges encountered during arm operations, such as singularity, out-of-reach positions, joint limits, and collisions. This integration streamlines the teaching of paths, boosts learning efficiency, and enhances convenience, effectively reducing the time needed for system feasibility study and implementation. HIWIN’ robotic arm not only demonstrates intelligent loading and unloading actions on CNC machines but also offers students an opportunity to explore the construction of automated virtual environments, engage in practical robotic arm operations, and experience the seamless integration of virtual and real-world scenarios. This cutting-edge technology significantly bolsters ISU’s educational goals in adopting innovative technology.

The Intelligent Design and Manufacturing Center at ISU consists of two main centers: Flexible and Intelligent Manufacturing Center and CNC Machine Center. It stands as a fundamental Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure and serves as a guiding educational platform for students to delve into the realm of Industry 4.0. The Intelligent Design and Manufacturing Center not only fosters hands-on and innovative teaching approaches but also provides relevant departments with a versatile manufacturing platform for teaching, research, and management. Presently, the Center has already achieved tangible benefits through substantial industry-university collaboration, such as applying medical assistive devices at E-Da Hospital, participating in solar-powered drone competitions, and designing and developing intelligent electric vehicles. Furthermore, the Center has also incorporated AR/VR technology into its machine tool teaching design. Looking ahead, the Intelligent Design and Manufacturing Center envisions even closer collaboration with the neighboring Renwu Aerospace Park, fostering productive industry-university partnerships and serving as a vital technical training base for enterprises, ultimately creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.

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