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Written by Chen Ren-yi (陳仁義); March4, 2019

President Hsiao of Forwell is the current chairman of the committee of metal forming in TAMI. In the press conference of TIMTOS 2019, he said that due to the trade war between China and the US, the world economy is affected, so business owners hold their steps on investment. Among the markets, China itself is afflicted more and it is believed that China will utilize means to stimulate the domestic market. Taiwan’s machinery suppliers also focus on the Chinese domestic market, so the influence would not be obvious. On the other hand, metal forming suppliers whose business is highly related to the electronic industry would be influenced by this trend. Manufacturing industry in China is much advanced in the developed of smart machinery, robot technology, IOT, and AI compared with Taiwan, so they may improve their industrial productivity by adopting automation technology. The adoption can also reduce cost as well as increase competitiveness. As a result, the demand for automation is growing in the near future.

President Hsiao stated that, the Taiwan’s metal forming machinery suppliers, while they also have their branches in China, have adopt smart manufacturing technology in the mainland by the wide application of IOT. This effort even includes the remote surveillance system for their external supplier chains, thus establish an integrated ecology of smart manufacturing. Their production lines contain onsite surveillance of forming machines in the manufacturing sites, which are connected with education program, occupational safety project, manufacturing facility, procedure management, and after-sales services via the IOT technology. With the transcendental management, their Taiwan headquarters will follow the steps to accelerate the management in Taiwan.

Hsiao further emphasized that, since Taiwan’s metal forming machinery suppliers has been developing the servo pressing machine for over a decade, which is much advanced in technology and added value compared with conventional mechanical press machines. Now the major consumers are from Japan and Europe, and the numbers are growing. Sensor is a key component in the smart servo press machines, so it is crucial to foster talents in processing simulation software and data collection algorithm. Moreover, talents with cross-disciplinary training are vital for the development of smart manufacturing. Their roles in the industry ensure Taiwan’s leading pace in the world.

President Hsiao pointed out that, forging and shearing machines are mostly applied in the sectors of automotive and motorcycle, general machinery, and electronics, while automotive industry occupies around 70% of the applications. According to the statistics of government officials, the export valueof Taiwan’s metal forming machinery from Jan to Nov, 2018, is about 530 million USD, which represents a decline for 5.3% compared to the same period in 2017. And the major export areas are China, the US, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Turkey. Among these nations, Taiwan’s export to China is declined by month due to the trade war effect, while the export to the US is growing by month.

President Hsiao predicted that, the economy in 2019 may be mild at first then go up later. After the destocking in the first two seasons, the demands for smart and automatic machinery will come in the second half of 2019. Regarding the new Southbound policy, India and Vietnam may be the two areas that grow significantly; with 1.2 billion population, it is believed that India, will be the next China. Meanwhile, the upgrade trend of automation in Turkey and the USA is also spectacular.

In regard to the trade fair business, there are metal forming suppliers who build VR database based on their products. These suppliers are able to present the quick die change system and the automation operation details to trade visitors via the VR technology, which saves a lot of resources for machinery suppliers whose products are heavy, huge, and tall.

On the other hand, metal forming machines are confined to Hall one of TWTC due to the limitation of space arrangement; press machines are with large body, heavy weight, tall height, so Hall one of TWTC is not ideal for the forming series as a trade show venue. At the show, many press machines can only present their specifications via papers, and such static presentation cannot present the full capability of the machines. President Hsiao urges government to build a venue especially for metal forming machines which can load more than 10 metric tons per square meter, or with a total loading capacity of 100 metric tons. With the upgraded loading capability, Taiwan’s forming machines are able to present more to the international visitors, and thus the orders may be much more stimulated.