Taichung, Taiwan — Sometimes simpler is better.
At least that's the view of Chumpower Machinery Corp., a blow molding machine maker from Taiwan.
"We try to develop comprehensive systems, but not every customer will need smart machines to this level," Bush Hsieh, managing director of the company, said. "We need to satisfy different demands from different customers."
And while the company has an intelligent Industry 4.0 system, at K 2019, the centerpiece of Chumpower's stand was a single-stage blow molding machine making beer mugs out of Tritan.
"We might pour beer in them," Peter Pan, vice general manager, said with a smile at the company's headquarters in Taichung in May, as it was preparing for K in Düsseldorf, Germany. "We haven't decided yet."
The SS70 is a workhorse blow molding machine for Chumpower, and all key components are sourced from Europe, Japan or the United States, according to Michael Lee, manager of the sales department.
"We don't use parts from China to ensure performance," Lee said.
While the press is a simple single-stage blow molding machine, the company also showed its Bottle Viewer technology. The technology allows users to monitor production information, production history and machine status in real time from mobile phones or a computer. The Bottle Viewer technology also has service reminders built in.
"It's about the collection of data and management of big data," Hsieh said. "It's not about manless operations."
Hsieh said smart machinery is the obvious next step for Chumpower.
"We build a good machine, a reliable machine," he said. "But now we ask the machine to be smarter."
Chumpower has been purposeful in attempting to sell into emerging markets, including moving into Africa over a decade ago.
"A lot of African buyers come to the K show," Hsieh said. "We show them that we can solve their problems."
Chumpower has one factory in Taiwan and two in China. The two in China mainly serve the Chinese domestic market and the Taiwanese factory sells globally. The Chinese plants produce older, first-generation technology, Pan said.
"When we sell the machines in China, they always copy our machines," Pan said of the Chinese. Chumpower always keeps the latest technology in Taiwan, he said.
The company produces about 100 machines a year and has a mold building business as well.
"We design the molds ourselves. We build the molds ourselves. We test the molds ourselves," Lee said. "When the customer gets the mold, he can run the production immediately."
The company sells into the bottled water market along with various pharmaceutical and cosmetic markets.
Lee said a lot of their customers are companies that try lower-cost solutions in China and turn to them for better quality.
"We have customers that come back," he said. "They used Chinese machines, but now they want high-end machinery. They can't afford European machines, so they look for Chumpower as a solution."
For the future, the company is looking at a four-in-one machine that integrates beverage filling production into a single system. It will integrate the injection, blowing, filling and capping machines into one system. Lee said they are likely two years away from selling the system.