【Reported by Song Jiansheng, Economic Daily News】
Forwell is a leader in the manufacturing of Quick Die and Mold Change Systems, and this year they have launched a transformation effort. Chairman Xiao Wen Long said Forwell will set up both operational headquarters in Taiwan and mainland China, on one hand to expand their international market reach and on the other hand to make inroads into the domestic mainland market with the group planning to be listed on the GEM (Growth Exterprise Markets) market by 2017. In response to market trends, Xiao Wen Long said Forwell has been pursuing the development of automated factory equipment, such as die and mold clamps, to now developing their current mold cart system, mold automatic storage system, which will now all develop further into a complete “mold management system” and welcome a new era of automation equipment. Headquartered in Puxin, Changhua, Taiwan, Forwell is a cross-strait leader of rapid quick die change systems. Their products consist of various quick die and mold change systems, PCB Fine Piercing Systems, clamp systems, etc… By successfully marketing the “Forwell” brand worldwide, they have now accumulated more than one thousand clients including Foxconn, AU Optronics, Hitachi, Haier, Konka, and other leading manufacturers.
Group Revenue Target of NT$2.5 billion by 2018
Currently Forwell has consolidated revenue of about NT$450 million with an annual increase of about 10%. With the completion of the new plant in Huai’an which will start operations in October, the estimated annual revenue increase will be NT$500 million, with up to NT$700 million increase after the first year, with at least NT$500 million being generated by growth in the mainland market. Due to this forecast growth the Forwell Group think it is reasonable to set a revenue target of NT$2.5 billion by 2018. Xiao Wen Long mentions that Forwell has now entered its 27th year of operations and in order to achieve the Group’s development goals, Forwell will start organizational changes this year. Besides new headquarters in Taiwan, a new plant in Jiangsu Huai’an is close to completion and will become the new headquarters for mainland China. Furthermore, both of these headquarters will work as a team, move forward together and aim to achieve great cross-strait success. The new plant in Huai’an which will become the new mainland headquarters will have a floor space of 13,000 ping and a planned investment of $NT 350 million. This facility will house the “molding division”, “stamping division”, “3C division, and “manufacturing division”. These four divisions will each have their own mold management system demonstration areas, to showcase their range of products. As for the Taiwan plant, this year Forwell aims to invest about NT$50 million for plant expansion and to purchase new equipment, while pushing sales to growing markets such as Turkey, India, Indonesia, and Brazil.
Exchange Rates Influence Orders, Need for Government Flexibility
Currently Forwell operates in 9 locations in mainland China, including Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Kunshan, Huai’an, and Ningbo. In order to continue expanding their mainland market share, this year they plan to tap into the Northeastern part of China, including Tianjin, Shenyang, Qingdao, and other cities, while a presence in Wuhan has already been established. Xiao Wen Long noted that in Europe, North America, and China, their economies are set to warm up in the future. Last year, Taiwan’s machine tool exports declined about 16%, in a large part due to exchange rate issues, such as the Yen and Won which have both been greatly devalued. When Taiwan’s machine tool competitiveness subsided by 20%, the result of orders to South Korea and Japan suggest that the government should implement a more flexible exchange rate policy. Xiao Wen Long stressed that rapid changes in the global economy, with China’s rise in labor costs have led manufacturers to increasingly demand automated production which has made Forwell’s products more competitive.
Mold Management System to Debut in Q3
It is worth nothing that Forwell’s newly developed mold management system is expected to be officially released in September of this year at the Taipei International Plastics & Rubber Industry Show. This mold management system includes two systems, mold storage and mold maintenance. This allows mold management from zero to many. Xiao Wen Long mentions that in the past the lack of mold management system vendors to support hundreds or even thousands of pieces for a mold, making it very difficult to suitably assemble a mold, with normal mold changing taking between 2-3 hours. With Forwell’s dedicated research and development they are able to offer mold changing solutions that can rapidly complete mold changeovers within 3 minutes. In addition, the software of the system supplements the warehouse management as it also supports the operation of maintenance equipment that allows molds to maintain optimum operating conditions, as well as reduce operating costs and uncertainties for manufacturers. Xiao Wen Long says that Forwell’s development process includes retooling (clamping), mold cart systems as well as mold storage. Now it is possible to upgrade products in line with the vision of the management level and customers can completely tailor their mold change systems to meet all of their needs. Looking to the future, Xiao Wen Long said Forwell continues to focus on the future in addition to the development of rapid change professional mold management systems. Furthermore they have excelled in the R&D of automation and management systems, with the aim of gradually advancing in the direction of industrial robots which is Forwell’s corporate vision for sustainable development.