Investment Opportunities of the Automation Engineering Service Industry in Taiwan

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1 Investment Opportunities of the Automation Engineering Service Industry in Taiwan Along with the trends of aging society, declining birth rate and decreasing supply of labor force, the demand of automation have gradually emerged from various industries in Taiwan. Meanwhile, facing the measures undertaken by other countries with aim to elevate added value of industries and productivities, Taiwan government has promoted the programs on intelligent automation thus further drive the demand for automation-related services. Besides, the Taiwanese automation industry possesses excellent capabilities in a wide range of services including automated warehousing, material handling, automobile assembling, semiconductor / LCD monitor manufacturing, testing and inspection, and the automation of dust-free factory, etc. Given the advantages of high cost-performance ratio and high quality, the Taiwanese automation equipment are competitive in China and ASEAN markets, which is helpful for automation service providers to capture the emerging business opportunities by cooperating with Taiwanese equipment manufacturers. Hence, Taiwan s automation engineering service industry does have the potential of attracting investment. I. Reasons to invest in the automation engineering service industry in Taiwan 1. Taiwan possesses a comprehensive supply chain of machinery industry. The annual gross industrial production of precision machinery cluster located in central Taiwan is about NT$ 900 billion. 2. The demand of automation has increased due to the trends of industrial transformation, sophisticated production process of high-tech industries and shortage of workforce in some labor-intensive sectors. 3. The Ministry of Economic Affairs promoted the "Intelligent Automation Industry Development Program ( ) ", expecting that the annual production value of the intelligent automation industry would reach NT$ 1

2 2.6 trillion in The Executive Yuan promoted the policy of Three Industries with Four Transformations with the aim to transform the industrial structure. The key initiatives such as Making Manufacturing Industry Service-oriented and Making Service Industry High-tech are helpful to promote the development of automation engineering services industry. 5. The Executive Yuan held the Strategic Review Board meeting on Productivity 4.0 and selected nine key areas such as 3C, machinery and metalworking to implement related measures. Along with introducing the advanced technologies like Internet of Things, big data, robotics, the annual productivity per capita of manufacturing industry is expected to exceed NT$ 10 million in II. The future investment opportunity of automation engineering service industry in Taiwan From the domestic demand side, the trends of aging society, declining birth rate, decreasing supply of labor force and rising minimum wage have huge impact on labor-intensive industries and SMEs. Hence, intelligent automation is not only critical for solving the challenges, but also the important element of improving productivity. In other words, facing the urgent needs of industrial automation, the demand for automation engineering services has gradually emerged in Taiwan. In the past, the automation practices of Taiwan business primarily focused on the development of machinery and equipment. According to the trade statistics (as Table 1), Taiwan s automation equipment mainly exports to the Asian countries. The proportion of China reached up to 27.1%, indicating that China is the major export market of Taiwan s automation equipment. On the other hand, the booming business opportunities of automation are expected in China. In particular, the lack of workers, high labor turnover rate and rising wage, all force companies to engage in automation so as to cope with the challenges. In addition, the exports of Taiwan s machinery to ASEAN markets are also expanding, esp. Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia. Based on the high quality automation equipment, investing in Taiwan s automation engineering services 2

3 will be helpful to grasp the emerging ASEAN markets of automation. As to exporting to the US, Japan, Germany and other developed countries, the Taiwanese machinery industry appears to enjoy a sound performance as well. It indicates that supported by the competitive machinery industry, investing in the Taiwanese automation engineering services investment is able to further explore the markets of developed economies. Table 1 The Taiwanese Machinery Industry s Exports, Units: US$ thousands; % /2013 Rank Country Export Export Ratio Value Value Change 1 China 5,841, ,775, USA 3,589, ,225, Japan 1,254, ,202, Vietnam 905, , Thailand 700, , Indonesia 632, , Germany 629, , South Korea 527, , Philippines 473, , Malaysia 470, , Source: TAMI III. The advantages of automation engineering service industry in Taiwan The precision machinery and ICT technologies that Taiwan manufacturers possess have achieved the world standard. Factors such as the following all facilitate the development of intelligent automation and autonomous systems in Taiwan: 1) a comprehensive supply chain structure, 2) the high level of acceptance that 3C suppliers are willing to try new technologies and 3) a list of automation solution providers with strong R&D momentums to develop high end automation system technologies such as IC and FDP are also available. In addition, through integrating machinery equipment, design and 3

4 engineering services, along with the government initiatives such as Making Manufacturing Industry Service-oriented, Making Service Industry High-tech and Productivity 4.0 with the aim to transform industrial structure, the Taiwanese automation engineering services industry is expected to strengthen. The Taiwanese providers of the automation engineering services possess excellent technological and integration capabilities. The leading service providers include Formosa Heavy Industries, China Steel Machinery, Marketech International, United Integrated Services, Chung Hsin Electric & Machinery Mfg., Mirle Automation, L&K Engineering, and so on. Their annual revenue has far exceeded NT$2 billion (as Table 2). These companies mainly engaged in automated production lines, automated engineering services, automated storage systems, automated inspections and automated assembly lines. Besides, they also operate business on automated production for electronics, optoelectronics and semiconductor products, along with the equipment for testing and inspection. Table 2 Size of the Providers of Automation Engineering Service Industry in Taiwan Revenue(NT$ billion) >2 1~2 <1 Source: ITRI/IEK Company Formosa Heavy Industry, China Steel Machinery, Maketech, United Integrated Service, Chung Hsin Electric & Machinery, Mirle Automation, L&K Engineering, Gallant Precision, Lumax, Kenmec, Usun Tec., Ace Pillar CHANG TYPE, Utechzone, Aurotek, All Ring, E&R Engineering Favite, Hiwin Microsystems, A-tech system, ChenFull etc. As analyzing the current status of the automation engineering service industry in Taiwan and their integration and manufacturing abilities, the industry in Taiwan is far superior to their counterparts in other countries. Whether it is automated storage and retrieval systems, automated material control system, automated equipment used in manufacturing, product delivery or storage processes, automobile assembling, production of semiconductors and LCD displays, testing and inspection and automation in dust-free factories, the automation engineering service industry can expand to an ideal level with 4

5 technological integration, professional task division and integration with ICT technologies. Thus, given the business model featuring superior cost advantages, advanced technologies, and integrated applications as well as support from the government for developing the intelligent automation engineering service industry, the automation engineering service industry in Taiwan should definitely be considered as an ideal investment choice. 5

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