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Hiwin Announces Aggressive Expansion for Robot and Brake Servo System Production

Oct 03, 2013 | By Ken Liu

Hiwin Technologies Corp. will spend NT$20 billion (US$666 million) in three years to add production capacity for industrial robots and automotive servo brake systems, according to chief executive officer (CEO), Eric Chuo.

Chuo says the company's efforts in developing presence in industrial-robot and servo-brake system markets have begun paying off, which is the main reason behind the announced expansion. The company has begun volume production of single-joint articulated robots and Cartesian-coordinate robots and pilot production of multi-joint articulated robots. Thanks to orders from 3C (consumer electronics, computer, and communications) manufacturers, spider robots will begin generating revenue for the company this year. Furthermore, the company will begin shipping wafer robots sometime in 2014.

Chuo estimates robot sales to increase to account for 15% of revenue for 2014, up from 10% for 2013 and 6% for 2012. Hiwin's Hiwin Mikrosystem Corp., a manufacturer of linear motors and motion-control systems, is also expected to see revenue shoot up 80% from 2012's NT$1.2 billion (US$40 million), to at least NT$2 billion (US$66 million) in 2013, thanks to increase in robot sales.

Medical robotics
The company has also made some progress in medical-robotics, to experiment with prototypes by the end of 2013it has co-developed with the Show Chwan Memorial Hospital in central Taiwan for micro-invasive surgery. The leg-rehabilitation robot it develops in cooperation with the China Medical University in central Taiwan will be verified by the end of 2013, which is estimated to take one to one-and-a-half year.

Also, the bathing robot being co-developed with the Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospitals will be verified at the end of 2013 while the arm-rehabilitation robot being co-developed with the National Cheng Kung University in southern Taiwan will be verified in 2014.

Hiwin offers linear slideways and ball screws for such robots as its specialties.

The company is also upbeat about its servo-brake business, reportedly winning orders to make key components of servo-braking system for German and Italian first-tier carmakers from 2017 to 2025, with these carmakers replacing hydraulic-brakes with servo-brakes in next-generation models. Chuo points out that the order volumes are considerable to motivate his company to open new facilities.

The company's expansion plan calls for bidding for 52,880 square meters at the Taichung City Precision Machinery Innovation Technology Park to open a new factory, which is scheduled to be completed and start production in 2016.

Also, it will accelerate the construction of a factory at the Chiayi Dapu Industrial Park in southern Taiwan in addition to rearranging a factory in Yunlin County in central Taiwan to make room for robot production.

Its main facility for servo-brake production is planned on a 20 hectares at the Central Taiwan Science Park, scheduled to begin production in 2014.


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