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Taiwan Makers of Mechanical Components Tap Niche Market
2nd August, 2006

Eyeing the massive business opportunities for special-purpose machines, Taiwan?s manufacturers of mechanical components and parts, including Hiwin Technologies Corp. and Hota Industrial Mfg. Co., are hastening the pace of developing special-purpose machines.

Hiwin Technologies Corp., Taiwan?s leading manufacturer of linear-motion components, is preparing to tap the special-purpose machine-tool market as it has recently completed the research and development of high-precision grinding machines. The company said it would introduce wafer-slicing machines sometime in August. If everything goes smoothly, the company will be the first domestic producer of mechanical components to enter the sector of semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Over the past two years, Hiwin has been building two new factories each in Yunlin Technology Industrial Park and Taichung Precision Machinery Technology and Innovation Park. After these new factories are completed, the company will see combined production facilities amount to 1.08 million square feet, along with its old production facilities located in Taichung Industrial Park, island-wide, with annual output reaching NT$40 billion (US$1.23 billion at US$1:NT$32.5).

With the expansion in production facilities, Hiwin aims to develop ino a world-class manufacturer of precision machinery and components. Focusing on the production of such linear-motion components as ballscrews, linear motors and actuators, Hiwin said it has got involved in the production of machinery. To avoid competition with customers, the company would focus on the production of specialized precision grinding machines which will be mainly sold to foreign marketplaces.

Thanks to the efforts made by its in-house research and development team, Hiwin recently announced it has debuted wafer-slicing machines which will be delivered to customers in the middle of August.

Eric Y.T. Chuo, president and CEO of Hiwin, said his company would see semiconductor and TFT-LCD (thin film transistor-liquid crystal display) panel manufacturing equipment account for over one-third of its overall sales in the next few years.

Specializing in the development and production of gear-cutting machines and gears, Hota has successfully developed precision gear-shaving machine that is in compliance with such strict Japanese and German standards of JIS and DIN.

With designs meeting customers? requirements, Hota?s newly developed gear-shaving machines have won orders from several manufacturers of automobile parts of Japan, and a manufacturer of motorcycle parts of India.

Hota targets to challenge sales of 20 units of gear-shaving machines with sales value estimated at NT$80 million (US$2.46 million) this year. In addition to gear-shaving machines, Hota is also developing two new product lines, including gear-hobbing machine and chamfering machine, which will be introduced to the market sometime in 2007.

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