Taiwanese injection press maker Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co. Ltd. and Japanese controller maker RKC Instrument Inc. have formed an alliance to develop an improved controller for FCS' AF-series hybrid molding machines.
Speaking at Chinaplas, held May 21-24 in Guangzhou, an FCS executive said the deal will let the company target firms in Asia that typically would buy Japanese or other higher-end presses.
While it will market the machine broadly, one particular target is Japanese-owned firms in China, Thailand and other spots in Southeast Asia, said John Hsieh, vice manager of FCS' global logistic head office, at its Tainan, Taiwan, headquarters.
The company makes its own controllers for the AF series, but the models from Tokyo-based RKC will let FCS control temperature better in the injection barrel, he said. FCS currently is prototyping the AF-series model with the RKC controller.
Better temperature control will help FCS machines compete in markets such as manufacturing light guide plates used in liquid-crystal-display screens for big-screen televisions and mobile phones, he said.
Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese firms all compete in that market, but Japanese firms often have the newest technology, he said. He predicts it will be challenging to sell Taiwanese machines to Japanese firms.
``I think you can say it is very difficult,'' said Hsieh. ``Japanese companies like to buy machines from Japanese companies.''
The company has sold some of its AF-series machines to a Japanese firm in Thailand, he said.
FCS said it also partnered with another Japanese firm, Fukuoka-based equipment supplier Fuji Seiki Co. Ltd., to develop techniques for light guide plate molding.
FCS Chief Executive Officer Jason Tsai said in a statement that because the local Taiwanese molding market has been declining for two years, the company needs to pursue a two-pronged strategy of producing machines in China to satisfy the domestic Chinese market, while building up its technology to target high-end customers.
It builds presses at two factories in mainland China and one in Taiwan.