cens logo

Global Uncertainty Impacts Hardware and Hand Tool Events

Feb 01, 2021 | By Tingyu Chao

▓Stephanie Chao and Plumbing Association of Taiwan

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many global hardware shows faced the inevitable result of either being canceled or postponed to a later date. Yet, institutions in Taiwan were able to carry on, as usual, seeking new ways to assist and consult the industry.

When the Taiwanese government postponed school openings at the high school and lower levels in the early stages of the outbreak last year, the Plumbing Association of Taiwan assisted two local firms to give back to the society. These two firms donated useful hardware to help students combat viruses and maintain hygiene, specifically for junior high and lower-level students in Changhua County. Chang Yi Shin donated 200 sets of automatic sensor-type faucets (market priced at NTD$3.16 million) that combine soap and water, and Tar Li Hardware's donation included 200 manual faucets (market priced at NTD$ 865,000).

The Plumbing Association of Taiwan teams up with local Changhua companies to donate plumbing hardware for schools. (Photo courtesy of the Plumbing Association.)The Plumbing Association of Taiwan teams up with local Changhua companies to donate plumbing hardware for schools. (Photo courtesy of the Plumbing Association.)
Plumbing Association visits top Japanese company TOTO’s facilities. (Photo courtesy of the Plumbing Association.)Plumbing Association visits top Japanese company TOTO’s facilities. (Photo courtesy of the Plumbing Association.)

To assist in leveraging local companies' R&D capabilities, the association also teamed up with Changhua County Government to visit Japan's top hardware brand TOTO's headquarters and R&D center based in Tokyo in Nov. 2019, before the pandemic's outbreak. Out of TOTO's four factories, the delegation group visited the one factory with complete automatic and smart production capabilities, which is also the only plumbing hardware factory with automized chains in the world at present. At the same time, the Plumbing Association also visited the headquarters of the Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA) with the aim to understand more about JQA's testing, verification process, and whether it allows certification results from overseas laboratories. There is increasing demand in the industry to enter the Japanese market, however, all related products must obtain JQA certification before it can be sold in Japan.

Plumbing Association listens on to a presentation at JQA headquarters. (Photo courtesy of the Plumbing Association.)Plumbing Association listens on to a presentation at JQA headquarters. (Photo courtesy of the Plumbing Association.)

The Changhua County Government also opened the "Taiwan Plumbing Industry Center" to buoy industry development, in cooperation with several industry-related institutions and organizations. The center would serve as a one-stop platform to offer services ranging from assisting domestic firms in advancing technologies, design consulting, inspection and certification, and brand marketing towards overseas markets.

On the other hand, the 2020 Taiwan Hardware Show (THS) and International Metal Technology Show successfully commenced, which wrapped up on Oct. 15, 2020. Economic Daily News (CENS) is a long-time supporter of the hardware industry in Taiwan. CENS exhibited at Booth No. H11/G12 to help the few international buyers and domestic visitors source quality products. Contrary to past events, CENS saw an increase of domestic trade companies seeking quality products to recommend to their overseas clients, signaling that businesses will still find a way despite travel restrictions. CENS provided on-site sourcing services and issued the "Hand Tools" trade magazine, showcasing Taiwan's quality suppliers in the industry. For buyers who cannot travel, companies can still get in touch with CENS to obtain paper copies of the trade magazine.

Photo courtesy of CENSPhoto courtesy of CENS

What's Next in 2021?
As much as industry observers and enterprises worldwide hoped otherwise, the pandemic is likely to continue into 2021, as the outbreak situation largely depends on how successful and quick vaccination is rolled out to the masses. What would this mean for trade shows around the world?

A look at the world's largest trade fair organizer Messe Frankfurt could offer some insight. While the organizer had hosted 13 large-scaled fairs in China since the pandemic began, as early as in September 2020, Messe Frankfurt had already announced revamping its spring 2021 schedule. Messe Frankfurt reported they would cancel in-person events at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds between January and March 2021. Media outlets report that this is despite Messe Frankfurt's exhibition venues offering a relatively safe environment for an enclosed space without being exposed to a higher risk of infection, as its halls can be replenished with fresh air.

Photo courtesy of CENS.Photo courtesy of CENS.

In the hardware industry, the U.S. National Hardware Show (NHS) is still slated for May in 2021, despite having faced postponement and cancellation in 2020. NHS 2020 eventually came in the form of its first-ever pure virtual event. The NHS Virtual offered exhibitor showrooms, built as an exhibitor directory of suppliers and manufacturers. Visitors can use the same tool to search for vendors and their newest products. Show organizer Reed Exhibitions also set up the "NHS Connects" platform, its newest NHS digital year-round platform made specifically for the hardware and home improvement community. The platform offers direct appointments with exhibitors, and users can catch up on industry news or product demos and launches over the Internet.

Taiwan's Hardware Association Continues Forward
Taiwan Hand Tool Manufacturers' Association (THTMA) Chairman Huang Hsin-de has told EDN that key values and vision are crucial factors in the hand tools industry development in Taiwan. With the pandemic outbreak's ferocity, hosting international hardware trade fairs became much more complicated and led to cancelations, Huang said.

Whether the same would occur in 2021 remains to be seen, however much like international trade exhibition organizers, THTMA continues to work tirelessly. For instance, in September 2020, the association opened its second headquarters in Taichung and accepted valuable donations from notable enterprises to bolster the services provided for its members.

For example, China Steel Corporation (CSC), experts and professors from the Taiwan Society for Metal Heat Treatment (TSMHT) offered heat treatment training sessions for hand tools, Huang had said. TSMHT Honorary Chairman and Taiwan Nakazawa General Manager Hung Chou-hung also donated invaluable instruments for the association. These instruments range from metallurgical microscopes, metallurgical cutting machines, and metallurgical mounting press, metallurgical grinding and polishing machines, amounting to around NTD$2 million in value. The Industrial Technology Research Institute has also offered expertise in using AI to analyze metallurgy.

The new instruments and technologies being implemented have infused a new optimism. Huang said due to the pandemic, the association would be seeing a hardware show without international buyers flowing in for the first time. As the saying goes, "amid every crisis lies great opportunity."

Industry In-Focus

Local auto parts suppliers brace for Q3-Q4 demand surge</h2>

Local auto parts suppliers brace for Q3-Q4 demand surge

Jul 19, 2021

Taiwanese auto parts suppliers are preparing for the surge in demand in Q3, prompted by the reopened economies overseas and improving auto chip shortages. Suppliers are already reaping the benefits. However, other shortages, ranging from workers and raw materials, could also challenge and disrupt supply chain resiliencies, a situation shared by many different suppliers in varied industries. Fo...

CSC chairman Wong Chao-tung. UDN File photo

Machinery and steel stakeholders open communication channels to ensure material supply

Jul 16, 2021

State-owned China Steel Corporation passed an internal solution on Thursday to adjust steel sales for domestic and outbound markets to help Taiwan's machine tool industries maintain a consistent supply of raw materials. Machine tools and the machinery industry were impacted by steel suppliers stocking up, causing price increases or even suppliers refusing to sell—meetings between the Industria...

Photo courtesy of Reuters

Auto parts, machine tools, textiles hit hard in continued global container shortages

Jul 14, 2021

Global shipping shortages, capacity shortages, and port congestion issues are expected to continue until the second half of this year. Industries including machine tools, auto parts, and garments impacted by port congestion have reported full production capacity yet unable to ship at all due to the shipping shortages. Auto parts supplier Tong Yang Group (TYG) reported that their storage has be...

Industry Reports

Photo credit: UDN

Gov't business climate monitor signals fifth booming month

Jul 28, 2021

The National Development Council's business climate monitor signaled a fifth consecutive red light in June, with its index just one point less than in May, an optimistic outlook of Taiwan's economic situation. Council director Wu Ming-hui said the current domestic economy is continuing to warm up. Despite the localized COVID-19 outbreak throughout May and June, the manufacturing industry was n...

Photo courtesy of UDN

E-commerce giants turn to chartering shipping containers ahead of peak Q4

Jul 26, 2021

The U.S. consumer market is preparing for peak season in Q4, and this has led to a situation where global entities are charting shipping containers to ensure delivery. International e-commerce giant Alibaba recently announced that it would begin operating a chartered shipping route initiative between East Asia and the U.S. western coast. Each week would see around 3,000 TEU and a monthly 12,00...

Photo credit: UDN file photo

ASEAN-bound exports hit all-time high

Jul 21, 2021

The Economic Ministry Department of Statistics' latest statistics showed a booming performance for export orders in June, specifically from the ASEAN region, amounting to a record-breaking USD$5.45 billion and an over 40% annual increase. The government report also highlighted that major export destinations in the U.S., China, Hong Kong, and Europe saw new highs in terms of comparing same-mon...

Supplier News

Tair Wang Enterprise Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, restoration parts for classic cars, auto parts and accessories, hardware parts, and all kinds of high-quality die casting products.</p>

Tair Wang Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, restoration parts for classic cars, auto parts and accessories, hardware parts, and all kinds of high-quality die casting products.

Jul 20, 2021

Founded in 1978, Tair Wang Enterprise Co, LTD. is a zinc die-casting manufacturer with ISO 9001 quality certified. With the excellent reputation as a professional OEM manufacturer, Tair Wang has actively expanded its businesses abroad in the past 15 years by providing high-quality products and services for the clients. Currently, Tair Wang provides the parts for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle...


Plastic Packaging Producer Young Shang Transforms Biz with Smart Solutions</h2>

Plastic Packaging Producer Young Shang Transforms Biz with Smart Solutions

May 17, 2021

Entering its 52th year since opening its business, Young Shang Plastic's focuses on improving its production technologies and product quality. As a packaging producer, Young Shang passed FDA approval for making 100% recyclable plastic bottles from poly grain raw materials. The company has sold tens of billions of plastic products through production processes compliant with ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO2...


Home Resource Has Reached the Final Round of the iF DESIGN AWARD 2021!</h2>

Home Resource Has Reached the Final Round of the iF DESIGN AWARD 2021!

May 12, 2021

The international top-class panel of 91 experts has selected Home Resource to take part in the final round of the iF DESIGN AWARD 2021 for the design of the Halo Wireless charging pad with bedside lamp. As a result, Home Resource has successfully made the cut in one of the most important design competitions in the world and qualified for the iF Final Jury. In the second and most important roun...


Insiders' Views

OmniEyes CEO and Co-Founder Chun-Ting Chou. (Photo courtesy of OmniEyes)

OmniEyes' AI Technology Paves the Way for Traditional Industries' Digital Transition

Dec 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the industries' timeline for implementing digital transformation. However, the how's and what's of applying new technologies and improving the added value to existing products and services can be daunting. Three professors from the National Taiwan University College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science founded the startup company "OmniEyes," basi...

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...

Hong Kong Lighting Fair(Spring Eidition) Exhibitor TUYA showcases the latest application of Bluetooth mesh.

Latest Bluetooth Tech Updates Geared for Smart Lighting, Cities and Wireless Devices

May 07, 2019

Founded in 1998, Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is a non-profit trade association that oversees Bluetooth® technology. As it supports more than 34,000 member companies, the Bluetooth SIG promotes collaboration among its members to create new and enhanced specifications, extend technology, drive global interoperability through world-class product certification programs, and develop brands ...

Exhibition Highlights

International Fastener Show China 2021 is always going up </h2>

International Fastener Show China 2021 is always going up

Jul 16, 2021

With an exhibition area of 42,000 square meters, there were breakthroughs of the scale and level for International Fastener Show China 2020. IFS China gathered 725 renowned enterprises and set up 1936 booths, attracting 36,080 visitors including 4212 overseas visitors from 53 countries and regions in 2020. For last edition, IFS China 2020 boasted an active participation of overseas equipment ...

One month-long COMPUTEXVirtual kicks off this week with keynote speeches</h2>

One month-long COMPUTEXVirtual kicks off this week with keynote speeches

Jun 01, 2021

The 2021 Taipei International Computer Show (COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2021) kicked off its #COMPUTEXVirtual online exhibition on May 31, peppering online keynote events throughout the one-month event. Intel Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Michelle Johnston Holthaus led the opening keynote speech, sharing how the rapidly accelerating digital transformation can release a new era of inn...

2021 INTERMACH presents an important platform for business opportunities.</h2>

2021 INTERMACH presents an important platform for business opportunities.

Apr 08, 2021

The 38th edition of INTERMACH presents an important platform for business opportunities. The show features the latest industrial machinery and technology that meet industry's needs today including Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Robotic Arm technology. There will be advanced machinery technologies that enhance production potential and effectively reduce costs; along with meetings, s...