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President Hsiao of Forwell: Smart Manufacturing Plus Customization are for Mass Production

By Chen Ren-Yi (陳仁義); Commercial Times

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 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.

Hsiao pointed out that, in order to improve a production line for further automation project, it has to meet the basic requirements, such as being reasonable and standardization. However, most Taiwanese suppliers are just in the middle of the process, so President Hsiao suggested that they shall accelerate the procedure in a faster pace so that when the day of big data comes they are able to cope with it rather than being filtered by the trend.

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 emphasized the idea that, customization is equal to mass production, and pointed out that the goal of smart manufacturing is based on this concept. Now there are manufacturers with large scale of production working enthusiastically towards this goal. With a profound discussion, Forwell team is also working on it, and aims to develop a smart quick die and mold change system for the entire manufacturing plant. In the future, Forwell will realize this idea customization is equal to mass production.

Now Forwell has integrated quick die change system and quick mold change system. The former is for metalworking sector, while the latter is for plastics injection sector. The pioneering smart mold and die management system in Taiwan and China includes smart quick change system, automatic mold and die transmission system (automatic cart system), and automatic warehousing system, and automatic maintenance system. This system can do automatic change, transmission, carrying, storage, warehousing, and maintenance at one stop.

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