(China Times) Benefiting from the global economic recovery, Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) recently released Taiwan’s exports of machinery products from January to May 2014. With bearings, gears, and ball screw and such machine drive type components had a growth rate of 19.3 percent, while machine tool components products increased by 22.4 percent. Both categories greatly exceeded the growth rate of 3.1 percent of the machine tools category.
Yu Chin-kun, vice chairman of the TAMI believes that Taiwan’s machinery parts and components industry in recent years committed to upgrading the products and enhancing the accuracy, therefore the sales performance have soared not only in Taiwan and China, but there are also many developed and undeveloped markets in Europe, America, Japan, Southeast Asia, India and etc. The growth potential for machinery parts and components will exceed machine tools and become the rising star in Taiwan machinery industry.
Yu further pointed out that even Taiwan is only a small island country with a population just over 23 million people, but in recent years its annual output value of machine tools was able to maintain at around 5th or 6th, and export value at around 4th or 5th in the world. More importantly, Taiwan’s per capita GDP ranked 2nd (only behind Switzerland), CP value ranked 1st in the world. The machine tool industry cluster in central Taiwan as factories relies on one another. This cluster is a community where companies are interdependent and in close cooperation with efficiency operation with each other. Together this industry cluster is committed to make continuous improvements in terms of quality, cost, and delivery. This success can be credited to the four industry leaders in Taichung OR, YCM, Taiwan Litz, and Quaser along with over 40 parts and components suppliers, led to the formation of M-TEAM, as it has become the living textbook for the machine tool industry for countries around the world.
To promote Taiwan’s precision machinery industry improvement and catching up to Germany, Japan and other advanced countries, Yu stressed that the Taiwan government and academia have already teamed up. Many large precision machinery parks are being built in central Taiwan, such as Taichung, Dapumei, Erlin and etc. These parks provide opportunities for companies and investment firms to expand presence, increase capacity and productivity.
In addition, in the R&D area of multi-axis, complex, and automation and other high end machine tools Taiwan combined the power of industry, government, and scholars and researchers. Together they are promoting many large scale “technology professional plans”, from developing the prototypes to continually adjusting and testing based on the needs of different industry, then finally reaching commercialization.
As for the industry now needing additional precision machinery R&D personnel, through the Taiwan machinery industry promotion has gathered the attention of the government and finalized the establishment within central Taiwan’s National Chin-Yi University of Technology, school of machine tool. This institute is dedicated to fostering Taiwan’s precision industry’s need for senior R&D personnel, and encouraging qualified master and doctor degree students to enter the industry in order to enhance the R&D and manufacturing aspects of excellence of the Taiwan machine tool industry.
The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 (IMTS) in Chicago will begin on September 8th. It is among the world’s top 3 machine tool shows and its subsequent developments attracts the attention of precision machinery industry from all over the world.
In his analysis,Yu pointed out that the United States has been Taiwan’s machine tool’s 2nd largest export market. Although the U.S. machine tool market has gradually heat up, but Taiwan’s exports to the U.S. prior to May this year only reached US$ 160 million, 5 percent less than same period in 2013. It is visible that Taiwan manufacturers is facing competition from Japan and Korea as their manufacturers enjoy tariff free and exchange rates advantage. On top of that, the local U.S. manufacturers’ offers of cheap and easy payment plans, attracting buyers to purchase local made in U.S.A. machines, making it tougher for Taiwan manufacturers to compete.
Yu believes that Taiwan’s machine tools manufacturers must be prepared to break through and carefully separate the markets in order to identify its own niche. The current U.S. market is concentrated in the automotive, aerospace, energy, and medical material industries. From this point of view, the sales tactics should be focused on larger machine tools such as large horizontal and vertical lathes, large gantry machining centers, large grinding, boring, and milling machines. Taiwanese manufacturers must strengthen the development of these products in order to increase sales in the U.S. market. Quality control and customer service will be the keys to create brand reputation and gain repeat customers.