Getting up to Speed on the Taiwan Machine Tool Industry

Mr. Yueh-Chyou Wen, director of the Taiwan Trade Center in Chicago, offers insight on Taiwan's machine tool builders.


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At IMTS, Taiwan’s Femco introduced the HL-35DMSY CNC lathe with the company’s patented 23-station Durga turret. The new machine also features two spindles (each offering Y-axis movement) and 11 live tool stations.
Machine tool builders in Taiwan are striving to increase equipment capabilities while keeping unit prices down. That was clear when I visited Taiwan’s TIMTOS trade show last year. At IMTS, I was able to meet with Mr. Yueh-Chyou Wen, director of the Taiwan Trade Center in Chicago, and get an update from a handful of Taiwan equipment manufacturers about their businesses.
Here are a few interesting points.
  • Taiwan is the world’s sixth largest machine tool producer and fourth largest exporter.
  • Approximately 75 percent of the island’s machine tool production goes to the export market. Taiwan’s export sales of machine tools are estimated to hit a record high of U.S. $4.2 billion in 2012. Exports to the U.S. increased by 21.6 percent last year, ranking second to only China.
  • The machine tool industry is the country’s most important industry by value. There are more than 500 machine tool manufacturers in Taiwan, with most situated in the Taichung area.
  • Taiwan is among the world leaders in machine tool production despite its size. Taiwan has 23 million people living on an island with an area a little larger than the state of Maryland.
  • The 24th TIMTOS, scheduled for March 5-10, 2013, will feature 950 exhibitors and 5,200 booths. 
For more about what Taiwan machine tool builders have to offer, read this article about technologies I spotted at last year’s TIMTOS show.