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Excetek Technologies to Diversify Into 3D Printing Equipment

Apr 23, 2015 | By Ken Liu

Compiled By KEN LIU

Excetek Technologies Co., Ltd., a well-known manufacturer of computer numerical control (CNC) wire cutting machines in Taiwan established in 2006, has decided to diversify into the manufacturing of metal-additive manufacturing equipment, or 3D printing equipment, in the wake of considerable media coverage that has brought to light vast applications of such technology, which is especially practical for small makers in prototyping without having to invest in costly tooling.

The company will develop and build the machines at a 7,590-sq-meter manufacturing site that was recently unveiled in Taichung, central Taiwan, where wire cutting machines will also be made.

The new plant, also housing the corporate headquarters, is designed to generate revenue up to NT$1 billion (US$32.25 million) a year by 2018 with investment of around NT$300 million (US$9.67 million), when the company also plans to float stocks on the island's over-the-counter market.

Fund-raising in 2014
In March 2014, Excetek made initial public offering (IPO) on Taiwan's Go Incubation Board for Startup and Acceleration Firm (GISA), the capital-raising platform for small-cap companies with creative ideas.

Excetek was founded in 2006 with paid-in capital of NT$121 million (US$3.90 million), with the machine-tool maker Yeong Chin Machinery Industries Co., Ltd. holding a controlling 35 percent stake.

Excetek specializes in CNC wire-cutting machines, CNC electric discharge machines (EDMs), and small-hole drilling EDMs for making molds or tooling, with CNC wire-cutting machines accounting for as much as 80 percent of the company's sales, EDMs 10 percent and small-hole drilling EDMs 10 percent.

The company's machines are now available in 30 countries under its own “EXCELTEK” brand, with about 50 percent of shipments going to the United States and Europe, 30 percent to mainland China, and 20 percent to Asia ex-mainland China.

Among the company's prominent customers are the printer maker Epson America Inc., the household-appliance maker LG Corp., the aircraft repairer Evergreen Aviation Technology Corp. and the contract-electronic manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.

Last year, it generated consolidated revenue of NT$370 million (US$11.93 million), contracting around 12 percent from a year earlier and yielding after-tax net income of NT$2.09 per share.

Revenue to rise 25 percent 
Industry executives project corporate revenue to rise 25 percent or so year on year, to NT$460 million (US$14.83 million) by the end of this year, based on optimistic outlook foreseen by chairman, R.C. Chang, who says production capacity has been booked earlier than planned in the first quarter and orders are being taken for the second quarter.

The chairman ascribes the impressive orders mostly to the rising demand for automotive and household-appliance molds driven by steady  increase in demand for cars and electronics products worldwide.

Chang concedes that Japanese, European and American manufacturers have long dominated the global market for wire-cutting machines, which involve precision technology and advanced know-how, but his company has managed to break into the market and build a name. He also ascribes the company's success in the market mostly to three factors: having complete range of product, capability in building tailor-made heavy-duty machines, and linear motor-driven machines.

The smallest machine it builds is one with 350mm spindle traverse along X axis and the biggest with 3,200mm, versus most of the company's competitors suppling machines ranging from 350mm to 1,500mm. The company's biggest machines come with 1,000mm in Z axis travel, compared with 600mm supplied by the company's competitors.

Award winner
Excetek has proven its capability in making tailor-made heavy-duty machine with the R2000 wire-cutting machine for processing turbine-engine blades, which won the Taiwan Excellence Awards in 2013 for superior processing performance.

The maker also won the Taiwan Excellence Award last year for its linear-motor-driven machine, which boasts plus-and-minus 2 micron in tolerance.

Chang stresses that wire-cutting machine calls for integration of mechanical, electronic, electrical technologies and software, in which his company has specialists with 10-some years of experience.

He says the company invests significantly in R&D of key components every year, hence enabling the maker to turn out machines that are qualitatively equivalent to those from globally big-name suppliers in functionality and processing capacity.

Investing sizably has paid off in the form of the smart remote-monitoring software for wire-cutting machines, the world's biggest combo-type wire-cutting machine V3280, and the V500GL linear- motor-driven wire-cutting machine not to mention the R2000.

Besides investing in R&D, the maker also, three years ago, deployed a program to boost production efficiency while cutting costs.

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