cens logo

Furniture Hardware Makers in Taiwan Share Insights

Jan 05, 2011 | By Steve Chuang

Keeping an eye on stylish design helps one maker to be competitive

Taiwan's furniture industry was also shaken by the global downturn in 2009, turning out only US$1.359 billion of furniture and related products, compared with US$1.680 billion posted in 2008, according to statistics from the Taiwan Furniture Manufacturers' Association.

Despite the global economic recovery, the furniture hardware sector in Taiwan is rebounding with less momentum in 2010 than sectors as high-tech and other globally competitive traditional manufacturing industries as hand tools, machinery and auto parts. However many industry insiders are optimistic about 2010, especially the ones who were forced to shut down operations or lay off staff in early 2009.

The following four furniture hardware makers talk about their survival strategies, means to sharpen competitiveness, and adaptations amid challenging market conditions in recent years.

Four Winds
Four Winds Corporation is an ODM (original design manufacturer) founded in 1978 and headquartered in Taipei, northern Taiwan.

Initially an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) of parts and accessories for low-end furniture, the company has focused on sustainable development, consistently cultivating R&D capability over the past decades through learning-by-doing, according to the president Marcellus Shen.

Exporting most of its output globally as ODM, this maker offers furniture hardware and fittings, including slides, locks, various hardware as shelf fittings and swivels, catches and latches, hinges, sliding and folding door fittings, utility hooks, mirror fittings, handles and knobs, decorative hardware, casters etc. Also notable is that the company supplies own-brand products, having built footholds in a number of countries.

Improving Lifestyle
Religiously believing that furniture also enhances lifestyle, Shen says that his company develops each piece of furniture hardware with an eye on style, designing even mundane parts to differ from competitors'.

Showing his company's hot-selling decorative handles, Shen says that each one is made of aluminum alloy and precisely lathed to render integral form, blemish-free surface and compactness for attractive aesthetics. In fact the series are regarded as luxury hardware in some markets for their amazingly deft craftsmanship.

Also proud of the company's casters, Shen says that they are mainly for use in household and office furniture, all featuring optional colors and materials to meet different user demand. The FMF75 slim twin-wheel caster, for example, is noted for its stylish design with colorful body made of specially processed material that is also durable. Although more expensive than typical casters, they are perennially popular among the company's products.

Shen Shan

Shen Shan’s wide product range has been built over 30 years.Shen Shan’s wide product range has been built over 30 years.
A maker renowned for its consummate manufacturing capability is Shen Shan International Glide Mfg. Corp., established in 1981 in Taichung, central Taiwan.

Having been producing plastic injected furniture parts for nearly 30 years, Shen Shan supplies a variety of plugs, casters and related accessories, as well as a series of hardware, which are exported to Australia, the U.S., Germany and Canada.

Very Professional
The managing director Wu Sen-mao says that Shen Shan has built a solid name as a competent, reliable manufacturer in Taiwan, which has consistently focused on improving production capability, manufacturing and warehouse equipment. In addition, Wu stresses that having in-house molding capability is also a competitive advantage, which helps to boost production efficiency and flexibility to stay ahead of rivals.

Besides, the company is noted for having ample knowledge about material characteristics of industrial plastic, including PVC and PE, says Wu, emphasizing that the company is therefore capable of advising customers at every stage of a project, playing a key role to help customers stay within budget, achieve optimized product performance, and tweak product characteristics to suit different markets.

Showing its diversity as a world-caliber supplier and building its profile, the company has ventured into producing healthcare hardware and related accessories, which call for more advanced production technologies and facilities. Wu says that the company's devotion to enhancing manufacturing is a way to win customer trust, adding that Shen Shan has created mutually beneficial partnerships with customers, making the firm able to weather the tests of economic cycles and industrial changes over the decades.

Meng Nung
Supplying aluminum alloy items gives Meng Nung a solid competitive edge.Supplying aluminum alloy items gives Meng Nung a solid competitive edge.
Established in 1988 in Changhua County, Meng Nung Enterprise Co., Ltd. is a furniture hardware maker known for above-average R&D capability.

Supplying a wide range of furniture hardware and parts, including handles, storage racks, towel racks, tissue holders, and aluminum alloy parts, the maker exports most of its output to Singapore, Japan, the Philippines, Germany, Italy, and the U.S., according to Chen Ching-mu, the proprietor.

“Price competition is tough for us these days and Chinese makers are formidable at the game,” says Chen. To counter this problem, the company is adopting a popular strategy by moving upmarket, producing not conventional, low-priced items but high-end aluminum alloy hardware and parts. The belief is that underselling Chinese makers typically lack the know-how, facilities to turn out high-grade items.

To that end, the company has spent several years and considerable resources studying such alloy and related processing technologies, says Chen, adding that “processing such metals requires a lot of know-how and defects are hard to detect until you've finished electroplating.” Failure to see defects in time, of course, adds to the cost of manufacturing.

The firm uses special surface treatment to render aluminum-alloy furniture hardware stylish and streamlined, making them suitable for decorative hardware on merchandise display racks. This is the reason behind the product line's long-standing popularity.

“Compared with foreign rivals, Taiwanese furniture hardware makers have a competitive edge in quality, production, and price. And demand for furniture exists everywhere, so as long as we follow trends closely, we'll always find market niches,” says Chen.

Chang Mei
Chang Mei is a veteran handle maker in central Taiwan.Chang Mei is a veteran handle maker in central Taiwan.
With a history of about 25 years, Chang Mei Co., Ltd., established in 1984 in Changhua County, is a veteran supplier of brass handles and knobs.

Since its inception, the company has been an OEM specialized in cabinet knobs, handles, legs, towel hooks and related accessories, over 95% of which are exported to the U.S., Europe, Japan, Australia and Latin America, according to the president Yang Lien-chu.

To maintain competitiveness, Yang says that the company has worked with colleges and universities to research applications of material formulas, such as zinc alloy and aluminum alloy. Also the maker is eco-sensitive, improving processing technologies to be eco-friendly and turning out hot-selling handles without lead content.

In addition, the seasoned maker has completed integration of production lines in- house to enhance production efficiency and flexibility, setting itself apart as a supplier who cares to improve the status quo. “With integrated production, Chang Mei can more effectively control product quality than before, without having to outsource production that can be unreliable, to win customer's trust as a capable supplier,” says Yang.

Insiders' Views

Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...

Paul Master offers high-quality chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks. (Photo courtesy of Paul Master)

Paul Master Builds Reputation with Auto Chassis and Engine Parts

Nov 18, 2019

Founded in 1980, Paul Master Auto Parts Co. is headquartered in Taiwan, a professional manufacturer of chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks including forklifts. General Manager Terry Liang said the company has its own professional design department, which provides customized products and specifications for global buyers, including automobile steering and...


Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Sep 04, 2019

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...

Industry In-Focus

ITRI Forms Industry-Gov Alliance for Universal EV Charging Platforms</h2>

ITRI Forms Industry-Gov Alliance for Universal EV Charging Platforms

Sep 29, 2020

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has allied with around 50 firms and government agencies to develop electric vehicle (EV) batteries technologies, seeking to roll out a standardized platform and allow EVs of different brands to use the same batteries. The alliance aims to cultivate the island's EV industry and offer customers a more diverse selection of charging options to choose...

Latest PCB Industry Report NTI-100 Shows Growing Asian Reach</h2>

Latest PCB Industry Report NTI-100 Shows Growing Asian Reach

Sep 23, 2020

Global PCB NTI-100 2019 Fabricators report from the research agency heavyweight N.T.Information showed companies with over USD$1 billion revenue have increased compared to 2018. The report, annually compiled by Dr. Hayao Nakahar, showed in 2019, 122 fabricators were listed reporting revenue over USD$1 billion, an increase of four companies compared to the 2018 list. The report also found more ...

Surgical Masks: the New Battleground for Textile Industry</h2>

Surgical Masks: the New Battleground for Textile Industry

Sep 22, 2020

With most of society worldwide becoming more and more accustomed to wearing masks in the post-pandemic era, it has become a must-have accessory, attracting domestic textile firms into production. Traditional textile firms, such as Eclat Textile, Makalot, Far Eastern New Century, Everest, Roo Hsing, and QVE, have begun making masks, reports say. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to fewer consumers ...

Supplier News

Sheh Fung owns three factories, one of which located in Mituo District, KaoHsiung primarily focuses on packaging and heading.

Sheh Fung Screws' Profitable Q3 Prompts Goal for NT$2 Billion Sales by Year-End

Sep 24, 2020

■ Huang Chih-ming Located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Sheh Fung Screws Co., Ltd focuses on manufacturing three categories of screws: self-drilling screws, painted screws, and wood screws, often found in wood construction, sheet metal roofs, wood footpath, and DIY home decor applications. Currently, the U.S. is the firm's primary market, making up 64% of sales, 7% for Europe, 6% for Asia, and 12% for...


Chipboard Screw, Special Wood Screw, provided by Shuenn Chang Fa

Quality Fastener Maker Shuenn Chang Fa Shows Resilience with Sales Boost

Sep 24, 2020

■ Huang Chih-ming Taiwanese quality fastener manufacturer Shuenn Chang Fa Enterprise Co., Ltd.'s (SCF) presented exceptional ability to adapt to challenging times amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike other firms, SCF leveraged its production strategy with its new plant, and even saw sales performing better than expected. SCF’s newest factory expands the original 10,000-square meters factory g...


Stainless Steel Screws, provides by Ray Fu Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Ray Fu's Reliable Fastener Quality for Clients Bolsters Q4 Sales

Sep 24, 2020

■ Huang Chih-ming Ray Fu Enterprise Co., Ltd. is a Taiwanese professional exporter for various fasteners and steel wires. Along with its parent company Chen Nan Iron Wire, both firms are located in Kaohsiung City of southern Taiwan. Ray Fu manages a wire rod storage, spheroidizing annealing furnace, pickling surface equipment, wiring drawing machinery, and fastener forming machine. While the C...


Industry Reports

Functionality and PPE in Spotlight at Upcoming TITAS Expo on 10/13</h2>

Functionality and PPE in Spotlight at Upcoming TITAS Expo on 10/13

Sep 30, 2020

The upcoming Taipei Innovative Textile Application Show (TITAS) is entering its 24th edition, with 803 booths, 356 exhibitors from 11 countries, including Taiwan, Sweden, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, the U.S., Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China. Innovation, environmental-awareness, and products gearing towards the post-pandemic market are the focal points at TITAS. The five ...

Samsung's Potential Mini/Micro LED Partnership with Taiwanese Firms</h2>

Samsung's Potential Mini/Micro LED Partnership with Taiwanese Firms

Sep 28, 2020

The world's leading memory chip and smartphone maker Samsung Electronics is looking for potential display technology partnerships in Taiwan, specifically for mini/micro-LED industry applications. Local media Economic Daily News reported Samsung was partaking in a private project with LED driver IC supplier Macroblock Inc., a move signaling the Korean group's further ambition in the mini/micro-...

Strong Global Trade Rebound for Two-Consecutive Months: CPB</h2>

Strong Global Trade Rebound for Two-Consecutive Months: CPB

Sep 28, 2020

Since July, global trade volume continues to rebound, signaling economies' restarting in a bid to make up the worldwide lockdown this spring due to the pandemic. In a report released by the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the CPB World Trade Monitor in July grew 4.8% compared to June, the largest increase since the bureau began compiling statistics in 2000. This is slightl...

Exhibition Highlights

Stable Development and Popular Fastener Show in China</h2>

Stable Development and Popular Fastener Show in China

Sep 11, 2020

Driven by market prospects, domestic and international exhibitors actively prepare International Fastener Show China in Shanghai on November 3-5, 2020. Suffering from global epidemic and quarantine nearly half year, exhibitions are hot and popular in mainland China. Thousands of visitors join and visit the exhibitions with inquiries, and are eager to know new technology. Domestic and inter...

2020 Medical Taiwan to Host In-Person and Virtual Events</h2>

2020 Medical Taiwan to Host In-Person and Virtual Events

Sep 10, 2020

2020 Medical Taiwan is slated to kick off on Oct. 15 to Oct 17 at Nangang Exhibition Hall 2. Aside from events at the show, show organizer Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is also hosting the “Medical Taiwan Virtual” online edition at the same time due to travel restrictions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual edition will present 200 exhibitors and over 700 medic...

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 reveals online tools to navigate current trends and post-pandemic opportunities</h2>

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 reveals online tools to navigate current trends and post-pandemic opportunities

Sep 01, 2020

Ms Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, reflected that: “As the industry starts to spring back from the effects of COVID-19, we believe that highly influential platforms like Automechanika Shanghai play a crucial role rejuvenating the market. It is our mission to help players unlock their potential. Therefore, we are continuing to realign our resources by utilising new d...