Industries ranging from electronics to aerospace depend on precision machine tools to create high-quality parts and products such as industrial equipment, medical appliances and defence apparatus. Global players, such as Boeing, Airbus, GE, Toyota, Ford, Emerson, Oerlikon, Kubota and Komatsu, have come to rely on machine tools manufactured by Goodway Machine and Awea Mechantronic - Taiwan's leading computer numerically controlled (CNC) lathe and machining centre experts - to produce their key components and parts.
Goodway is Taiwan's largest and most advanced manufacturer specialising in the development and manufacturing of CNC turning centres. Goodway ships more than 1,500 units to more than 30 countries annually, with exports growing steadily at 20 per cent.
Recognised as a high-quality machining centre specialist since its establishment in 1986, Awea Mechantronic merged with The Goodway Group in 2001. It is among the few machine tool companies listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Headquartered in Taichung, the group intends to build more factories in Dapumei, Chiayi and Wujiang, Jiangsu, and has already expanded its manufacturing endeavours to Hsinchu, Shanghai, Suzhou and the United States.
"The synergy between Goodway and Awea allows us to add more value in the machine tool industry," says chairman Edward Yang. "We offer a wide range of complementary products under one roof. Such combined strength propelled the group to become Taiwan's No1 machine tool manufacturer in terms of sales and service."
A self-made entrepreneur, Yang witnessed how Taiwan's machine tool industry flourished throughout the decades. He founded Goodway in 1975 with a vision of creating a name in the turning centre segment. Sharing his passion for the industry, Yang formed committees in the Science Park in Taichung and helps companies in the same field become equally successful. As the first chairman of the Machine Tool Alliance in Taiwan, he also works with the government and communities to promote Taiwan as a leading machine tool supplier.
Sales for both Goodway and Awea have increased dramatically since the merger, drawing from combined supply, networks, research and development (R&D) and other resources. Fusing more than 30 years of expertise and investment capability, R&D is one of the areas that has benefited tremendously from the merger. Both companies hold numerous local and international patents and have been recognised with Taiwan Excellence in Research and Innovation, Good Product Design and Industry Technology Development awards.
"We have the capability to hire more R&D engineers and develop innovative products," Yang says. "With two companies, we save a significant amount on costs, allowing more attention to be directed towards performance and reasonable pricing. We can create custom-made machines - from the smallest to the largest in the industry - that feature higher efficiency, quality and accuracy."
The group anticipates exports to be fuelled by the fast-growing automotive industry, and stable sales from the agricultural industry. The group intends to infiltrate key emerging markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and the mainland. Goodway and Awea are also keen on broadening their network of 70 agents worldwide and seeking more merger and acquisition opportunities in Taiwan and on the mainland.
Accounting for 45 per cent of the global machine tool market, the mainland ranks high on Goodway's and Awea's list for further expansion. Both companies have been active in the region for more than 17 years with a growing market share among domestic and multinational customers.
"We have shown our commitment to mainland China by building local factories and service centres closer to our customers," Yang says. "We look forward to reinforcing such dedication with our continued growth in the region."
On a global scale, the group is intensifying operations in Europe and the United States, which bring in about 50 per cent of total revenues. Goodway and Awea are also pursuing Japan, where the popularity of their products is gradually growing. Their strategies include maximising large-scale production, developing more customer-focused products, raising brand recognition, forming global strategic partnerships and building a stronger marketing system worldwide.
"Our target is to become among the top 10 players in the industry globally. We are working hard to solidify our reputation, and will work extra hard to attract more customers," Yang says. "Germany and Japan are the leaders in terms of quality, but Taiwan is No1 in performance-to-price ratio. Goodway and Awea aim to uphold this position and to raise Taiwan's profile as the machine tool hub of the world."