cens logo

Mask Makers Built on Taiwan's Machinery Industry Gets International Spotlight

Aug 20, 2020 | By CENS

TMBA’s mask-making team holds a meeting. (Photo provided by Hiwin Technology)TMBA’s mask-making team holds a meeting. (Photo provided by Hiwin Technology)
By Huang Wei-Shiou

Gov't Successfully Keeps COVID-19 at Bay with Teamwork
As news of the COVID-19 virus overwhelms the world, Taiwan's government acted quickly to increase investment in expanding the country's mask-producing volume to 60 machines. This mammoth effort was headed by domestic firms – Chang Hong Machinery and NCM Nonwoven Converting Machinery. The goal was to expand production to churn out millions of masks per day by March. The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) teamed up with Taiwan Machine Tool & Accessory Builders' Association (TMBA) to lead around 30 machine tool manufacturers, assembly factories and parts suppliers, as well as organizations like the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Precision Machinery Research & Development Center (PMC), Metal Industries Research and Development Centre and Textile Industry Research Institute Foundation. They formed the foundation of Taiwan's “national mask-making team,” a team with the goal of setting up production equipment for mask-making factories. ITRI also assigned personnel to oversee commercial rights of automating mask-making equipment and setting up machinery and production chains. The strong synergy bolstered the team's ability to roll out production equipment that could be put into use at once. Under non-stop efforts, the team was able to deliver 60 mask-making machines in early March, a feat that would normally take half a year to fulfill.
Caption: President Tsai Ing-wen oversees the finished mask production lines, expressing gratitude towards the machine tool firms that completed such an impossible task.Caption: President Tsai Ing-wen oversees the finished mask production lines, expressing gratitude towards the machine tool firms that completed such an impossible task.
Mission Impossible: 60 Production Lines in 25 Days?
However, as machine tool firms lack the expertise of producing mask-making equipment, TMBA Chairman Hsu Wen-hsien, Honorary Chairman Yen Jui-hsiung and PMC General Manager Lai Yung-hsiang set up talks to discuss assisting the MOEA to expand production lines. The plan was to shorten the timeline of producing and assembling mask machines from half a year to only one month, a feat that was considered impossible.

After compiling the needs from equipment providers and TMBA's resources, TMBA Chairman Hsu name the main three demands from machine tool industry members: the first being personnel support for assembling the mask-making equipment. The type of personnel also includes talent in electronics and electrical control to assist in power distribution, assembly and tuning. Secondly, the machine tool factories have first priority to process and resolve material shortage should they run out of materials during the production process. Lastly, once the machines are delivered, the machine tool industry will continue to offer support once production has stabilized, in consideration of a successful handover as well as eliminating any human errors.

Commenting on delivering the mask-making machineries ahead of schedule, TMBA Chairman Hsu said that European and Japanese firms all expressed disbelief: “it's impossible to deliver ahead of schedule.” Foreign companies didn't believe that it was possible to finish producing 60 production lines in 25 days, even if Taiwan was able to deliver, Hsu said. When those European and Japanese firms inquired about Taiwan's success, Hsu invited those firms to visit the island in the future to see for themselves.

The government requested for more production lines at the end of February as the pandemic worsened, making up a total of 92 production lines. All of them began operations on March 20, bolstering the country's production capability to 15 million masks daily. Taiwan's successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic launched the country back into international spotlight, and proved to be a “beacon of hope” for the industry in Advantech board director Chaney Ho's eyes. Ho suggested that Taiwan should consider offering a complete package of the mask-making production line to potential buyers, from raw materials, film, meltblowing equipment and other equipment, as well as inspection gear and processes. “The entire standard operation of mask making know-how, package plant export, are entirely a huge business opportunity for Taiwan's industry development, especially for the precision machinery industry.”

Package Plant Export: The Industry's New Hope
While Taiwan's machinery industry total output topped NT$1 trillion in 2017, due to the impact of the trade war between China and the U.S., firms that had the ability to do so quickly sped up its plans to implement smart manufacturing and smart machinery capabilities. A “package plant export” not only exports the machinery, including the primary equipment, but also the know-how to operate, maintain the machineries, essentially the packaging of the experience and product, services and technologies as a solution. Other characteristics of package plant export show it as a complex and time-consuming delivery process, as it includes tangible and intangible items to deliver to the client.

Singapore's 3M factories implementation of its N95 mask production lines was a case study of package plant exporting, showcasing three factors led to setting up a factory in the Southeast Asian hub: high security protection, a prime location as a global supply chain, as well as abundant local talent. The fight against the virus is often likened to military warfare, therefore the idea that mask materials have become as important as warfare resources isn't entirely outlandish. While Taiwan has donated masks, PMC General Manager Lai revealed during a livestream with Advantech, that the U.S. and Canada both received mask production equipment from Taiwan. As mask production chains in those countries were already broken, Lai pointed out these countries “didn't just want the equipment, but to rebuild the production chain locally.” Domestic firms should take advantage of this opportunity to improve their businesses, including implementing smart machinery into the package solutions. Smart features would include the visualization of data from the production lines and implementation of IoT for Machinery. “We can assist firms to set up the new features, and once domestic firms have trained up the necessary personnel, they could promote the solution globally. Package plant exporting is clearly a critical support measure,” Lai said.

Developing Taiwan's Manufacturing Industry Amid COVID-1
Hiwin Education Foundation Director Cho Yung-tsai believes that “a country's economy is built upon its manufacturing prowess” and that “precision machinery is especially the foundation of the manufacturing industry and a society's stability.” This COVID-19 pandemic has once again, proven the importance of manufacturing. After the ban on mask exports was lifted in early June, firms can continue to sell locally and overseas. Members on Taiwan's “national mask-making team” have expressed excitement, emphasizing Taiwan's consistent quality and general positive feedback from overseas markets. An example of the trust in Taiwan's firms: several mask-making firms saw overseas clients order over a hundred thousand boxes of masks in one go.
Caption: Taiwan’s machinery industry, talents, corporate values and production standards show great potential.Caption: Taiwan’s machinery industry, talents, corporate values and production standards show great potential.


Industry Reports

Photo courtesy of CENS

Taiwan's Machinery Export/ Import Statistics in Jan. 2020

Export Machinery Saw -15.4% Export Growth Compared to Jan. 2019 Imports Grew 7.8%, machinery Products See Big Challenges Ahead in 2020

Aug 20, 2020

By Wang Cheng-Ching (TAMI Association Affairs Consultant)Translated by Chao Ting-Yu 1. Machinery Equipment Exports In Jan. 2020, Taiwan saw a slump in its machinery exports. Outbound value was reported at USD$2.05 billion, a -15.4% growth compared to the growth in the same period as last year. In Taiwan dollars, export value was at TWD$61.5 billion, a -18% growth compared to the same period...


Photo courtesy of CENS

The Current Status and Development of Taiwan's Machine Tool Industry

Aug 20, 2020

By Huang Hsiao-Ting (Taiwan Machine Tool & Accessory Builder’s Association) Translated by Chao Ting-Yu The world’s economy saw huge turbulance last year due to the U.S.-China trade war, with tariffs becoming an important negotiation tool, and severely impacted Taiwan, as it is an export-oriented economy. Despite the first-stage talks at the end of 2019 between China and the U.S. that would hav...


Photo courtesy of CENS

COVID-19 Poses an Opportunity for Taiwan's Auto Industry

Aug 13, 2020

Due to the severe circumstances caused by COVID-19 pandemic, Hyundai Motor became the first global automaker to shut down operations outside of China. Its subsidiary Kia Motors also announced that they are considering to halt production due to its supply chains. South Korean mid-sized automaker Ssangyong Motor Corporation has also suspended operations in its factories. South Korea's automotive in...



Industry In-Focus

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel</h2>

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel

Jun 05, 2020

Brazil’s new crown pneumonia epidemic has rapidly increased. Brazil’s Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer, is facing an out-of-control impact. The market is worried that iron ore production and sales will be affected. new highs. Experts from Sinosteel (2002) evaluated that steel prices will rise steadily under the effect of rising costs, with a promising outlook. According to a legal p...


Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan</h2>

Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan

Jun 01, 2020

Apple is considering to invest over US$330 million in a factory in northern Taiwan to manufacture both LED and micro-LED displays for its iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and other new devices. Apple is teaming up on the new factory with Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, and Taiwanese LCD panel maker, AU Optronics. The plant will be located in the Longtan branch of the Hsinchu Science Park and Appl...


Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19</h2>

Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19

May 18, 2020

What the epidemic showed was the amazing flexibility of Taiwan's machine tool industry. Taiwan, which has allowed the semiconductor industry to specialize in the past, has finally realized that these machine tool industries with amazing strength are the "invisible champions" of Taiwan's economy. In early February, three companies -- Habor Precision, Tongtai Machine & Tool and Taiwan Takisawa -...



Supplier News

Johnwayne Industries Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Auto parts, auto body parts, auto exterior parts, motorcycle parts, motorcycle tuning parts…</p>

Johnwayne Industries Co., Ltd.

Auto parts, auto body parts, auto exterior parts, motorcycle parts, motorcycle tuning parts…

Aug 14, 2020

Founded in 1987, Johnwayne Industries Co., Ltd. is a major trading company in Taiwan specializing in supplying a comprehensive range of auto and motorcycle parts and services for customers, suppliers and end users. Under the guiding principle of "trustworthiness, mutual-assistance, and appreciation," Johnwayne is dedicated to providing highly professional and flexible services to meet the diff...

JOHNWAYNE INDUSTRIES CO., LTD.


Lih Dah supplies a variety of brake pads, brake linings, brake shoes.

Lih Dah Brake Lining Ind. Co., Ltd.

Disc brake pads for sedans & RVs, brake shoes for motorcycles & ATVs, Clutch shoes, brake linings

Aug 14, 2020

Since founded in 1973, Lih Dah Brake Lining Industrial Co., Ltd. has been well recognized in the global market with its high-quality brake system parts and friction materials for wide-ranging applications. Lih Dah's product catalogue includes varieties of disc brake pads, brake shoes, scooter and ATV brake linings, and clutch shoes with different specifications and sizes, applicable to passeng...

LIH DAH BRAKE LINING IND. CO., LTD.


Hsin Lien Sheng Machinery Co., Ltd.</h2>

Hsin Lien Sheng Machinery Co., Ltd.

Aug 14, 2020

Founded in 1998 by a group of industry veterans generally with over 20 years of expertise in production and development of hydraulic presses, Hsin Lien Sheng Machinery Co., Ltd. is today a world-caliber, highly reputed supplier of such machines. Hsin Lien Sheng’s product lineup encompasses a hydraulic deep drawing press, 180°reversing type spotting press, hemming machine, high-speed hot/cold f...

HSIN LIEN SHENG MACHINERY CO., LTD.



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...

PAUL MASTER AUTO PARTS CO.


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...



Exhibition Highlights

FURNITURE CHINA 2020 To Offer Digital Sourcing Under The New Normality</h2>

FURNITURE CHINA 2020 To Offer Digital Sourcing Under The New Normality

Aug 14, 2020

With the year 2020 announces its entrance, new revolution overwhelmed the mode that most businesses used to be run upon, physical activities are being transformed into virtual ones, under this new trend, the exhibition industry is showing its resilience towards adversity to fit in this new normality. Travel bans and flights suspensions caused by the pandemic have imposed huge obstacle in foreign ...


Koelnmesse (Beijing) Co., Ltd.

Announcement on Postponement of China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020)

Jul 10, 2020

In view of the continuous spreading of COVID-19 all over the world and the latest epidemic prevention requirements of China and the government of Shanghai, in order to guarantee the health and safety of exhibitors, purchasers and professional visitors, China National Hardware Association and Koelnmesse have prudently decided to postpone China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020) from Augu...


Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration</h2>

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration

Jun 16, 2020

This year, Automechanika Shanghai continues to serve the entire automotive value chain by offering opportunities for information exchange, marketing, trade and education. Both vertically and horizontally, from OE, vehicle production to the aftermarket, it incorporates all elements of manufacturing, supply networks, services, new business models and information technology. Companies across the...