To get a smooth and flat surface out from one of the hardest metals known to man is no easy task. And miniaturisation phenomenon happening within today’s market, it makes the task of shaping such steel even harder. This however prompted the development and creation of TCG8, a milling workstation equipped the ability to saw, grind and shape at miniature scale with high precision and the cutting wheel blades made from high quality diamond compound, the world’s hardest material is used for cutting materials such as tungsten carbide, second hardest material in twelve different ways.

The cutting wheel blades use high quality diamond compound which allows it to operate at exceptionally high temperature. Which is good because with high temperature it enables the workstation to be more productive. And the cutting wheels are able to last longer compared to the current standards.

The development and creation of tools such as TCG8, which used in manufacturing process is a delicate and complex matter. During the development, materials chosen for the tool needed to be robust, resilient and strong in order to withstand operation stress and able to penetrate and cut steel, silicon, and metal.To ensure the end product will able operate flawlessly, the tool must meet the extremely precise specifications and micron-perfect finishes. These strict requirements are placed to avoid unwanted incidents from occurring as even small error could render the tool useless and harm the technicians using it. The engineering of TCG8 is exceptionally fine, we at SIRIM decided to equip TCG8 with a microscope and an imaging system allow technicians to see the tiniest details with clear vision and up close. Details of the material will able available for technicians to view on screen in form of digital interface and with such clarity, the level of errors and defects on the finished product are lowered.

TCG8 workstation also designed to be mobile friendly and easy to be use, these two factors open up opportunities and possibilities for the more rural society to develop and to sustain their livelihood. TCG8 is small enough in size to be fit in a van or any other vehicles with sufficient space and it only require single phase electric power to be run. To operate TCG8, only requires some training and a little practice, then anyone can take it home, start operating it on their own and begin producing high precision tungsten carbide tools and parts for Malaysia’s currently burgeoning E&E sector. With current rate for tungsten carbide costing between USD 10 and USD 30 a piece, TCG8 make for an attractive reason to start a new machine cooperative (or more familiarly known as ‘koperasi’ in Malaysia). This reason is in tandem with The National Cooperative Policy 2011-2020 as it would like cooperative or ‘koperasi’ involved in more high value, high skill economic activities in order to protect their members from the competitive pressure of the private sector.

Although semi automated cutter and grinder are still fairly new to Malaysian industry and might take some time to fully develop and educate the Malaysia’s market and talent pool. This human capital gap however can be swiftly filled by providing short courses on TCG8 offered in vocational schools, engineering schools and other training centers. Thus, SIRIM is currently focused building ample TCG8 talent pool by promoting TCG8 training programmes to educational institutions around the country.

The TCG8 training courses will be in the form of two weeks practical training module that focus on precision grinding technology which would fit in nicely into any machining and engineering course.

Students and individuals trained to operate TCG8 will have very good prospects in Malaysia’s high value economics future. TCG8 is expected to be deployed and widely used to supply components to the automotive, electronic, oil and gas, and aerospace industries which rely on micronperfect tungsten carbide tools and endmills. Hence, the government spare no efforts in expanding by attracting investments within these sectors as high precision tools are going to be very high in demand.

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