Taiwanese machinery and technology
Throwing caution to the wind The slowing down of China’s economy, Europe’s debt crisis and high US unemployment are not deterring Taiwanese machinery companies from expanding. Speaking to PRA’s Editor Tej Fernandez, the companies say they have been enjoying higher growth this year, though most are cautiously optimistic of the future. not have many customers in the Asian country. While it expects to chalk up a turnover of US$7.7 million this year, the company is projecting a higher growth of 25% next year, based on the new product lines.
Mould maker maintains its edge With almost 85% of its output exported, mould maker Pass Card is in an enviable position. But it needs to maintain its edge by continuously enhancing its capabilities. The Taichung-based company’s product range includes PET preform, cap/closure, IML and interchangeable moulds.
Forwell displays innovative streak Though Forwell Precision Machinery relies on a large customer base in China, it does not expect the slower market to affect its business, according to its President Xiao Wen Long. “We are expanding our market to countries like India, South Africa and Turkey.” Set up in 1987, the company produces quick die change systems that can be adapted with various mould clamping systems for punch presses, injection moulding and die casting machines. Its facility in Ningbo, China, assembles the equipment with parts coming from its facility in Taiwan, where it also maintains a R&D centre.
Pass Card’s Sales Manager Chad Huang says the company is continuously innovating its product range to keep up with market trends
To keep up with the competitive market, it is now expanding into moulds for producing test tubes. “We are undertaking R&D on a new generation of high-end moulds for the medical and cosmetic industries,” said Chad Huang, Sales Manager, adding that Pass Card has its own in-house research facility. It is also making a thinwall mould for a customer in Sri Lanka that will use it on a Swiss-made Netstal injection moulding machine for a packaging application. “Research is our strong point, not cost or manufacturing capability. Through R&D, we are able to optimise designs for different products,” he added, explaining that the intricacies of a mould design extend from its function of blowing a preform to how to reduce the footprint, weight and logistics costs for customers. As a result of its R&D, the company has been able to develop a 48-cavity mould for caps/closures and 32cavity mould for a hotfilling application. “We are ready to expand in this sector, too, and will be able to supply 72 cavities, if there is a request,” added Huang. This is a far cry for the company that specialised only in producing moulds for wide-mouth containers when it was started up 14 years ago. These were mainly exported to the US and Canada. “ To d a y, o u r m a i n e x p o r t m a r k e t s a re Vi e t n a m , Thailand, the Middle East, Africa and the US,” said Huang, adding that the company is at the moment immune to the overheated Chinese economy since it does
Forwell’s President Xiao Wen Long standing outside the company’s new facility in Chang Hua that was set up three years ago
Born into a peasant family, Xiao’s is a classic rags-toriches story. He started his career as a technician with Kenda Tire and worked his way up the ladder to become a design engineer. He left after nine years to set up Forwell. Xiao says he developed 100 different equipment designs while working with Kenda. This innovative spirit is evident at Forwell that has close to 40 patents (the company spends up to NT2 million a year to maintain these patents). “Several companies have similar products but we are a leader in the business because of the quality of our systems and because we are able to provide solutions to customers’ problems,” claims Xiao. This year, the company developed a multi-injection 5
I n j e c t i o n M o u l d i n g A s ia • o c t o b e r / N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 1
Plastics and Rubber Asia October-November 2011 electronic issue