In the final six months of last year, the situation wasn't too good for the Taiwanese machinery industry. According to the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) statistics, despite a strong first half of the year during which 2000's gains were built upon, the machinery industry had regressed 6% by the end of the year.
On a positive note, with half of this year now gone and the world economy getting back on its feet again, industry watchdogs, including TAMI, are feeling more upbeat, thanks to figures that show a marked improvement. "The figures we have for the first three months of this year are looking a lot better," says C.C. Wang, president of TAMI. "They show an increase over the same time last year so it looks as if this year will turn out a lot better. And at the moment, the entire industry is reporting strong figures. All the sectors are saying business is very good, especially compared to last year."
Increased investment is something that TAMI is beginning to witness. With an increase in market optimism, companies can now look deeper into the future. "Companies this year are really trying to shorten the length of time it takes from customers ordering new machinery to when it is delivered," says Wang. "In other manufacturing markets such as the U.S. and Europe, this period is often more than six months. In Taiwan, however, firms deliver within two months of ordering," he adds, stressing that if companies can reduce this further then they will become even more compe titive in the marketplace. By becoming more competitive, Taiwan hopes to recapture some of the success it had experienced in the past.
For the first nine months of the 21st century, Taiwan registered a significant 18.2% increase as compared to 1999 in outgoing machinery with total exports reaching approximately $9.2 billion. And while it was a great year for the sector as a whole, some companies had more reason than others to celebrate. The mold and die sector, for example, grew by 22%, while the textile-machinery industry outperformed all others with a 33% increase — its value reaching $512 million. Another winner was light-alloy machining centers for metals used to produce personal digital assistants (PDAs), cellula r phones, and notebook PCs.
What propelled the machine industry from its gains in 1999 to the achievements of the first three quarters of 2000 was Taiwan's cluster effect. It's a centralization of small and medium-sized firms producing a variety of products due to the close proximity of both suppliers and competitors. In fact, around 50% of Taiwan machinery is made in the central county of Taichung.
Ann Way Machine Tools Co. Ltd.
Ann Way makes products to precise specifications, such as JIS, DIN, ISO, CAT, and HSK, to meet its customers' requirements. To achieve timely delivery, the company maintains a variety of stock, including milling chucks, hydraulic chucks, balance cutters, collet chucks, and more.
Taiwan Ball Screw Ind. Co. Ltd.
A specialized manufacturer of ballscrews and linear ball bearings, Taiwan Ball Screw supplies a complete series of precision class ballscrews and rolled ballscrews (including high lead and miniature ballscrews). The company's products are applied widely in industrial machines, semiconductor machines, machine tools, measuring machines, robots, and others. The company quickly turns around high-quality, high-value, diversified linear-motion products.
Jarrer Co. Ltd.
Jarrer designs and manufactures a wide range of work lights, which may be used in variety of work locations, such as machine-shop areas and inspection stations. The quartz-lamp series is dust-proof, waterproof, and extremely safe and provide crisp, yet comfortable, soft illumination. The series includes a choice of long, medium, or short articulated arms to suit mounting-location space.
Another of Jarrer's lines is the circular fluorescent work light. This series has a magnifying lens on the head, creating a daylight effect that makes it ideal for extreme precision machining, assembly jobs, and medical procedures. Jarrer work lights are rigorously inspected before shipment. Each unit provides bright but soft illumination and has a long service life.
Hiwin Technologies Corp.
The E1 self-lubricating linear guideway is a revolutionary product that combines a lubricating device with a sealed oil supply designed into the linear guideway. A special oil tank and capillary action keeps the ball in the guideway moist via a drilled hole on the block. This design not only simplifies maintenance but also economizes space for the lubricant path. The E1 self-lubricating linear guideway is also a "green" product in terms of energy savings, lubricant consumption, and discarded lubricant pollution.
The Maxmill VMC-855's design shortens the distance between the operator and workpiece, making it easier to load and unload workpieces. Certified meehanite castings are adopted on main components. The end of all axes are preloaded to reduce heat transfiguration, and a fully enclosed cover is a standard accessory. The machine's positioning accuracy is 0.005/300 mm, and its repeatability is ±0.003 mm.