EMO Hannover, the world’s largest machine tool show, began in Hannover, Germany on the 16th. TAMI chairman Ko Pa-Hsi led a total of 206 Taiwanese precision machinery manufacturers to participate in the exhibition, which ranked the third largest in the world and the largest participating group other than European participating countries. Before the trip, he stressed that if China and the U.S. can reach an agreement for their trade conflicts, it will boost the confidence of global companies to continue investing in machinery and equipment. In addition, Taiwanese manufacturers have developed high-end machine tools such as five-axis machining machines, turning and milling centers for many years. In recent years, the Taiwanese industry has made greater efforts to develop in the field of industry 4.0 such as smart machinery and smart manufacturing. A variety of high-end, customized and intelligent single machines, production lines and entire plant equipment will be on display at this year’s EMO show. We are quite confident that we will get big orders of more than $1 billion. The following is an interview record
Q: EMO has the largest exhibition scale in the world. What is the situation of Taiwanese manufacturers preparing for the exhibition this year? What are your expectations for the exhibition?
A: EMO is an exhibition of machine tools that must be visited by the world’s major precision machinery buyers. This year, a total of 206 Taiwanese manufacturers signed up for the exhibition. With a total exhibition area of 21,052 m2, we are among the best in the world. Major exhibitors include FFG, Victor Taichung, Tongtai, HIWIN, GOODWAY , LITZ, YCM, FEMCO, WELE, Hartford, DAHLIH, CHMER. Among them, FFG’s exhibition scope even includes all the entire pavilions of Hall 14. The Taiwanese exhibitors will exhibit high-end and high-priced models and key components of machine tools, such as intelligent machine tools, fully automated production lines, gantry machines, five-axis machining machines, turning and milling combined machine centers. In order to meet the needs of the European high-end user market, it is estimated that it has the opportunity to obtain a large order of NT$30 billion.
Q: The Taiwan machine tool industry was affected by the China-US trade conflict, which led to a 9.7% decline in export value in the first half of the year. What are your expectations for the performance in the second half of the year?
A: Taiwan’s machinery industry production and export have grown by about 7-10% per year in recent years. In 2018, Taiwan’s machinery export value reached 27.4 billion US dollars, an increase of 7.2%. In 2018, the export value of machine tools in Taiwan reached 3.6 billion US dollars, an increase of 9.5%. However, affected by the China-US trade conflict, Taiwan’s machinery export value in the first half of this year was only 12.8 billion US dollars, down 5.9% from the same period last year. In addition, the export value of machine tools in the first half of the year was 1.3 billion US dollars, a decrease of 9.7%. From these data, it can be seen that the China-US trade conflict is a big crisis and has caused great damage to the Taiwanese machinery industry. As I see it, if China and the U.S. can reach an agreement for their trade conflicts.The stopped investment plan was restarted again, and delayed delivery also resumed. Due to the trade war, the previous investments in China from Taiwan or other foreign countries were also withdrawn and began to return to Taiwan or set up a “second production base” in Vietnam and India. In the next few years, we will strengthen the procurement of Taiwan’s high-end machine tools and intelligent, automated production equipment that are known for their good cost performance. Business opportunities are expected to continue for 5-10 years, resulting in a “shorter-term pain for long-term gain” effect. In this way, it will create a new wave of performance for the Taiwanese machinery and machine tool industry. If the boom of the machine tool can stabilize in the second half of the year, the annual export value will still grow by 5-10%.
Q: Germany is the first country in the world to promote Industry 4.0, and the results are excellent. And this time you bring a large group to participate in EMO, are you prepared to work with them to strengthen the competitiveness of Taiwan’s machine tool industry?
A: German machinery is known for its performance, precision, durability and smart manufacturing technology and capabilities. In order to improve the cooperation between Taiwan and Germany’s machinery industries, we have visited German Trade Office Taipei in this May. Both of us have conducted in-depth exchanges on the application and development of high-end technology. In addition, TAMI will also participate in the “4th Taiwan-German Smart Manufacturing Forum” held on September 13th in Stuttgart, known for its automobile manufacture. The forum was jointly organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the German government. The forum shared the latest business models and business opportunities brought by the latest development trends of smart manufacturing and digitalization of factories through Taiwan and German bilateral industry representatives. This will help Taiwan’s machinery industry to seize the huge business opportunities arising from the manufacturing trends and competition of future factories.