March 31, 2023
The “2023 Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS2023)” was organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) from March 6 to 11, 2023. As the immigration restrictions due to COVID-19 were greatly eased in October last year, the show attracted a large number of visitors from overseas such as India, Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. Manufacturers of machine tools and related equipment from Japan also exhibited and held business discussions with local customers and distributors.
It takes about 4 hours to get from Narita International Airport, one of Japan’s major international airports, to Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan’s air gateway. Taiwan ranks fifth in the world in machine tool exports and seventh in production value. For the Japanese machine tool industry, Taiwan is very close in both distance and industrial presence. Many Taiwanese companies that supply parts and devices to Japanese MT builders also many of Taiwanese MT builders purchase parts and devices from Japanese manufacturers.
TIMTOS2023, the largest machine tool exhibition in Taiwan, was held in three halls: Halls 1 and 2 of the Nangang Exhibition Center in the suburbs of Taipei City and Hall 1 of the World Trade Center in the center of the city. The exhibition attracted about 45,000 visitors over the six days, with 1,032 exhibitors from 18 countries. Among them, 6,000 visitors came from overseas, including Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Turkey and Spain.
TIMTOS, which is usually held every two years, was originally scheduled to hold its previous exhibition in 2021, but due to the pandemic, the last one was postponed and held in February 2022. At that time, however, the number of overseas visitors was extremely low due to the strict immigration restrictions. This year’s event was the first in four years since TIMTOS2019 to accept visitors with almost no restrictions, with the exception of China, where political issues have made entry difficult.
On the first day of the exhibition, an opening ceremony was held in Hall 1 of the Nangang Exhibition Hall. From Japan, Dr. Yoshiharu Inaba, Chairman of the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association, and Akihiro Teramachi, Chairman of the Japan Machine Accessory Association, attended the ceremony.
James C. F. Huang, Chairman of TAITRA, the organizer of TIMTOS, expressed his gratitude by saying, “This year’s TIMTOS will focus on solutions for a more efficient, smarter and greener future. You are invited to see the latest proposals for digital twins, artificial intelligence (AI), collaborative robots and other technologies that will enable us to do more with less,” he said proudly. Larry Wei, Chairman of TAMI, commented, “We are pleased to see so many overseas visitors this year, and with more than 4,000 buyers registered for the event, we can expect a large number of orders. We look forward to working together to create a bright future for the machinery industry”.
Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan, made a special appearance to close the opening ceremony. “TIMTOS is one of the biggest events in the machine tool industry. The government and various industries attach great importance to TIMTOS. The Taiwanese government will further strengthen the machine tool industry by supporting automation and employment with a special budget,” she said emphatically. President Tsai also visited the venue and had dinner with industry representatives after the opening ceremony. This was President Tsai’s longest stay at TIMTOS since assuming the presidency.
Fair Friend Group (FFG) exhibited 14 models representing five Taiwanese and European companies. European manufacturers Sigma and Rambaudi have moved some of their products to their Taiwanese factories for assembly. Lin Miro, CEO of Machine Tool Business Group (Taichung), said, “We can learn a lot from the technologies of European manufacturers. We have invited engineers from Europe for training and have achieved the same precision as Europe used to”.
Patric P. Chan, Chairman of the Taiwan Machine Tool & Accessories Builders’ Association (TMBA) and General Manager of Yeong Chin Machinery Industries, said, “We are promoting the adoption of ISO 14955, 50001 and other international standards related to the environment. In addition, we are improving the accuracy of the digital twin to eliminate test processing and reduce material consumption.” He emphasized the company’s commitment to the environment.
Jui-Hsiung Yen, Chairman of Tongtai Machine & Tool, said, “The demand for large vertical lathes for wind power generation is strong. TT Group’s APEC showcased its new 5-axis horizontal machining center (MC), which attracted visitors with its cost-effectiveness and the machining capacity of its HEIDENHAIN NC equipment.
HIWIN, which exhibited in Hall 2 of the Nangang Exhibition Center, presented a sensor system that contributes to the predictive maintenance of ball screws. By preventing excessive lubrication, the system reduces environmental pollution. The company also exhibited a number of other highly original products, including a waterproof circular table for use with electric discharge machining tools and other equipment, and a low-profile stage device.
detron Machine, which manufactures a wide range of circular tables, promoted its products to visitors with five key points, including high basic performance, automation, and using AI and the Internet of Things (IoT).
In Taiwan, Japanese manufacturers are also focusing their PR efforts on the replacement demand for machine tools from Taiwanese manufacturers with those from higher-precision Japanese manufacturers, which is not a small number.
TAKISAWA is one of the Japanese manufacturers with deep roots in the Taiwanese market, as it has a manufacturing base in Taiwan. Its compact, high-precision machines are highly valued in the Taiwanese market. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its subsidiary Taiwan TAKISAWA Technology, the company held a celebration party during the exhibition, inviting 500 people involved in the company.
FANUC mainly exhibited NC devices and industrial robots as its main products. Machine tools were exhibited at an adjacent distributor’s booth. The FANUC booth featured a digital twin visualization of the operating status of machine tools equipped with its NC devices at the venue, as well as a demonstration of robot control using G codes similar to NC programs.
Yamazaki Mazak exhibited an automation system that combines a multitasking machine, robot and pallet changer. “Taiwan, like Japan, has a declining birthrate and a chronic labor shortage, so the need for automation is high,” said the person in charge of the exhibit.
Sodick exhibited injection molding machines, electric discharge machines, and MCs. The company’s deputy general manager said, “Inquiries for semiconductor-related products are strong. Mass production facilities are mainly located in China or other regions, and many companies in Taiwan are engaged in more advanced processing styles. We also hope to see many overseas visitors at the show,” he said.
Among the many Japanese manufacturers exhibiting their products, Yamazen stood out from the crowd. The company exhibited MC from Brother Industries, tooling and cutting tools from NIKKEN KOSAKUSHO WORKS, and other products.Akiharu Nagahama, President of NIKKEN KOSAKUSHO WORKS, commented, “In Taiwan, there are many manufacturers who actively use outsourced parts for rational and cost-conscious division of labor. The market conditions are not good, but we intend to promote our products for the automotive industry.”
At the “2023 Taiwan-Japan Business Conference” on March 7, there was a sense of resumed traffic between Taiwan and Japan. Eight Japanese machine tool builders and trading companies visited Taiwan and held business exchanges with about 20 Taiwanese companies. After the conference, some Taiwanese machine tool builders were selected for trial employment by Japanese machine tool builders.
TIMTOS2023 was the first international exhibition of its kind in four years, and exhibitors, buyers and users from various countries and regions as well as Japan and Taiwan deepened exchanges.
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