Integrated systems efforts growing for Taiwan's Fu Chun Shin

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: October 18, 2013 1:40 pm ET
Updated: October 18, 2013 1:44 pm ET

Image By: Steve Toloken Benjamin Lee and Christine Kuo

Related to this story

Topics Machinery, China, K 2013, Business News & Features

Taiwanese injection press maker Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co. Ltd. (Hall 8B/A24-2) sees selling integrated systems of molding machines, robots and other auxiliaries, with FCS bringing it all to the customer, as one of its key paths forward.

The Tainan City-based company, which is Taiwan's largest injection molding machine maker, is using the K 2013 to introduce its latest SD-SV series, a 150-ton model integrated with a robot and other auxiliary equipment.

Beyond K, the company is also taking a "serious" look at investments outside its base in Taiwan and mainland China, likely Brazil or Indonesia. And it hopes to substantially ramp up sales in North America after signing a partnership last year with Maruka USA.

But its immediate focus at K will be on pushing its integrated systems.

"We are emphasizing turnkey solutions for our customers so this time in K we are showing a whole system, including the machine, mold, robot, conveyer system and even the cutting machine," said John Hsieh, area manager for the company.

"It's really strongly connected with customer behavior," he said. "For the past few years customers want to buy all their solutions from one supplier."

Such integrated systems make up 40 percent of the company's annual revenues of about $100 million, a significant jump from about 20 percent of turnover five years ago, when the company introduced its first in-mold labeling system.

At the time, much of its efforts focused around selling machines and molds, with not nearly as much attention paid to other extras like robots.

Today it wants to build partnerships with a broader range of equipment manufacturers but said it's unlikely to make those auxiliaries in-house, as some larger European competitors have done.

"We will not buy a company [and] we will not build a department by ourselves," Hsieh said. "Basically we would like to work with our suppliers, maybe a joint venture or maybe we can buy their stock. We'll cooperate in this way."

"We understand our situation," he said. "We cannot compete with Chinese machine makers on the cost side. We can only compete with them on our flexibility, on new developments and making our machines more stable than before."

At K, the company's servo-powered SD-SV machine will be molding an iPhone holder made with PMMA, with a 120-second cycle time.

The machine's Japanese servo and pump-switching control technology means it uses 40 percent less energy compared to traditional molding machines "when used under ideal conditions," FCS said. It said the long cycle time is meant to highlight the machine's energy-saving capabilities.

The iPhone holder is made with a highly-transparent grade of PMMA and it's manufactured without yellowing or bubbles, FCS said, to illustrate the machine's precise molding capabilities, including its unique screw design.

The SD-SV series is targeted at markets like housewares, food containers and car parts. The company hopes the new machines can help it navigate the ups-and-downs of the economy.

Its orders in the fourth quarter dropped, a casualty of slowdowns in global markets, including in China. It entered this year expecting more difficulties but found a pickup from an unexpected place – its local market in Taiwan.

"We got lots of orders from the Taiwan market," Hsieh said.

Some of that, he said, comes from local auto parts aftermarket companies.

FCS believes that its investments in developing better two-platen machines are paying off, as Taiwanese auto parts companies that previously would have looked to more established overseas suppliers of two-platens are now more comfortable with FCS designs, Hsieh said.

FCS said it has sold two-platen models worldwide, including in India, Brazil, China and Taiwan, and is trying to carve out a niche making its machines more customizable and lower-cost than other two-platen models.

They also found sales have been helped by more Taiwanese companies relocating their production from mainland China to Taiwan, as costs rise in China, Hsieh said.

"We have some information that maybe some Taiwan companies move back from China to Taiwan," he said.

FCS is also focused on growth outside mainland China and Taiwan. The company is considering additional investment in Brazil or Indonesia, beginning with a service center that could be expanded to a factory.

While details remain undecided it's a "serious" evaluation, Hsieh said.

The company currently has one factory in Taiwan and two in mainland China, with capacity to make more than 1,000 machines a year.

FCS is also trying to make a much bigger push into North America, where it last year struck an agreement with Maruka USA to sell FCS hydraulic machines in the United States and part of Mexico.

Maruka USA, which is part of Osaka, Japan-based Maruka Machinery Co. Ltd., has historically focused on selling presses from Japan's Toyo Machinery and Metal Co. Ltd.

FCS said the two companies believe they can sell about 150 FCS machines a year in North America by 2016, including within the supply chain of Japanese companies there who may be looking for other options, said FCS Director Benjamin Lee.

So far the two companies have sold 16 machines and 48 sets of molds, he said. The 48 sets of molds went to one Japanese customer's factory in Mexico.

"North America is not like Japan," Lee said. "In Japan, the injection molding machine maker, maybe 99 percent of the machines they produce are fully-electric machines. Even if they want to mold a bowl or a cup, they will use an electric machine."

But not so in North America, he said. He said the two companies have moved slowly to build their partnership.

"Maruka is a Japanese-style company – they are very careful with their reputation and machine quality," Lee said. "After 2012 and 2013, we think we are ready now to promote our machines with more energy in the North American area."


Comments

Integrated systems efforts growing for Taiwan's Fu Chun Shin

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: October 18, 2013 1:40 pm ET
Updated: October 18, 2013 1:44 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Bill Kent named Thermoformer of the Year

September 18, 2014 12:11 pm ET

Bill Kent flew 6 million miles in a 50-year career at Brown Machine LLC — where he began assembling thermoforming machinery on the factory...    More

Image

China's Polymax Elastomer launches U.S. production in Illinois

September 17, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Chinese materials maker Polymax Elastomer Technology Co. Ltd. has opened a North American production site and headquarters in Waukegan, Ill.    More

Image

Flexibility for complexity key for Brampton

September 16, 2014 11:26 am ET

Blown film machinery maker Brampton Engineering Inc. is well positioned to meet growing demand for complex film structures, highly customized...    More

Image

US plastics machinery market still gaining strength in second quarter

September 15, 2014 5:01 pm ET

UPDATED — U.S. plastics machinery shipments in the second quarter continued to outperform activity in 2013, according to data from Society of...    More

Image

Toy supplier sues maker in reshoring fight

September 15, 2014 3:18 pm ET

An Arkansas toy supplier is suing a Taiwan-based manufacturer for breach of contract and other civil allegations in a legal dispute that not only thre...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events