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Smart Machinery Development Program
Organization: Department of International Cooperation        Publish Date: 2016-10-31 11:51
Source: Straits Business Monthly (No.298, October 2016)

Taiwan's machinery industry possesses competitive advantages in terms of advanced manufacturing technology, closely connected up, mid and downstream sectors, and well-developed clusters. According to International Trade Center statistics, Taiwan's wood-working machine and machine tool exports ranked fourth globally in value last year.

However, the recent industry trend is away from concentrated mass production and toward customization, which enables quick response to market demand and rapid development of new products. Furthermore, Taiwan faces a shrinking workforce and more intense global competition, resulting in a need for adjustments to industry structure and development directions. The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen has therefore launched a policy of promoting the development of five key innovative industries, including the smart machinery sector. The Ministry of Economic Affairs has mapped out a "Smart Machinery Development Program" that is aimed at assisting machinery manufacturers in developing total solution capacity, as well as at spurring the upgrading of industry.

So-called smart machinery integrates precision machinery and smart technologies, such as robotics, IoT, big data, cyber physical systems, 3D printing, and so on. It features a range of intelligent functions, such as fault prediction, precision compensation, automatic parameter setting, automatic scheduling, and so on. Smart machinery can carry out "total solution" smart production, enabling Taiwan's precision machinery industry to produce small amounts of diverse products, customize production and respond to market demand with flexibility, thereby strengthening the sector's international competitiveness.

The "Smart Machinery Development Program" includes the strategies of "connecting locally," "connecting with the future," and "connecting with the world":

"Connecting locally":

The Taichung area is the center of Taiwan's precision industry, so it has been selected as the location for developing a global smart machinery hub, with connections to Changhua, Yunlin and Chiayi. The resources of the central and local governments will be integrated along with the capacity of academia and research organizations in developing the hub, which will include testing sites, convention centers, and so on.

"Connecting with the future":

In response to unfolding trends, efforts will include developing more advanced technology and establishing systematic solutions capacity, for example, developing industry logistics technology. The development of various industries will also be promoted, including the aerospace, advanced semiconductor, intelligent transportation, green vehicle, energy, machinery equipment, electronic information, foodstuff, textile and other sectors, as will be the development of turnkey solutions capacity. In addition, field trials will be conducted to verify operability in preparation for export of systems integration solutions.

"Connecting with the world"

Smart machinery sector exchanges with Europe, the United States and Japan will be enhanced, advanced technologies from abroad will be introduced, and cooperation with major international manufacturers will be engaged in. In assisting enterprises to tap international markets, focuses will include the marketing and export of systems integration solutions, machine tools and aerospace sector smart machinery.

The Smart Machinery Development Program aims to combine cross-departmental resources to develop technology application and service capacity, in order to create the next wave of growth momentum for the Taiwan machinery industry and enable it to achieve annual production of NT$1 trillion, as well as to accelerate industry upgrading. The ultimate goal is to transform Taiwan into a global smart machinery R&D and manufacturing base.
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