3rd Taiwan-Germany Smart Machinery Forum

In order to continue the promotion of the exchange on technology and business opportunities between Taiwan and Germany, the German Trade Office Taipei held the third “Taiwan-Germany Smart Machinery Forum” on Friday, November 9, at the Labor Service Center of the Precision Machinery Park in Taichung .

The Taiwan-Germany Smart Machinery Promotion Forum was first held in Taipei during the Computex trade-show in May 2016, followed by the 2nd Forum at the EMO Hannover International Exhibition in Germany 2017.

This year, the forum took place during the Taiwan International Machine Tool Show (TMTS) and was organized by the Taiwanese Smart Machinery Promotion Office and the German Trade Office Taipei. Co-organizers were the Taiwan Machinery Industry Association (TAMI), Taiwan Machine Tool & Accessory Builders' Association (TMBA) and the Taiwan Automation Intelligence and Robotics Association (TAIROA).Furthermore, the German Institute Taipei, the Taiwanese Industrial Development Bureau and the Taichung City Government acted as advisory units.

The forum was opened by Dr. Ming-Hsin Kung, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Mr. Thomas Prinz, Director General of the German Institute Taipei, Mr. Guang-Yao Zhang, Deputy Mayor of Taichung City as well as Mr. Axel Limberg, Executive Director of the German Trade Office Taipei.

The focus of the forum laid on cooperation opportunities between Taiwanese and German companies in the field of Smart Machinery and Industry 4.0. Renowned experts from German and Taiwanese companies, such as Trumpf Co., Ltd, Siemens Ltd., Taiwan, Advantec, Bosch Taiwan and Toptek Automation Co., Ltd.,  shared their experience on the current state of cooperation between both sides and the growing implementation of industry 4.0. Examples of New IIoT Platforms in Tech Ecosystems, of new business models in 4.0 industry and of cooperation cases between Taiwan and Germany were presented and provided an excellent basis to discuss the future of Smart Machinery.

“Since Industry 4.0 and the ongoing digital transformation will further increase the demand for high quality machines and machine tools, German companies can provide products with an unmatched durability, making them the perfect match for the needs of Taiwanese companies in the times of digitalization.”, Axel Limberg, Chief Representative and Executive Director of the German Trade Office said during the Forum. Further, he emphasized Taiwan’s highly considered skills in electronic and IT sectors: “Taiwan, as a major powerhouse in the electronics and IT industry, can provide high tech products from these sectors to combine them with German machine engineering. Therefore, when working closely together and joining their forces, German and Taiwanese companies can not only create top-notch Industry 4.0 solutions to meet the current demands, but also take an active part in the development of the future of smart manufacturing.” Furthermore, Mr. Limberg also announced that the 4th Taiwan-Germany Smart Machinery Forum is going to be held in Germany next year.

The event closed with a panel discussion and a gala dinner in the evening. Consequently, the forum gave the participating companies an important B2B matchmaking platform to further develop business opportunities on international markets.

Future development of Industry 4.0 in Taiwan and Germany

Taiwan and Germany are both highly innovative, export-driven economies with many world market leaders, perfectly complementing each other to offer world class Industry 4.0 solutions. Taiwan currently aims to provide a new ecosystem for the smart machinery industry by building on previous successes in precision machinery, information and communications technologies. Over the course of ten years, Taiwan shall become a global research, development and manufacturing base for smart machinery, as well as a total solution provider for end-use applications.

Germany has been pursuing innovation objectives related to smart machinery since the enrollment of the High-Tech Strategy 2020 Action Plan. Industry 4.0 represents a major opportunity for Germany to secure its technological leadership role and establish itself as a smart machinery lead market and provider. In Germany’s advanced manufacturing landscape, Industry 4.0 can drive productivity gains of 5 to 8 percent on total manufacturing costs over ten years, totaling USD 107 billion to USD 180 billion.

German-Taiwanese Business Relations
Taiwan is Germany’s fifth most important trading partner in Asia, and Germany is the most important trading partner for Taiwan’s economy in the European Union. According to the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs, the bilateral trade volume between Taiwan and Germany was USD 15.6 billion in 2017. The machinery tool industry connects the two countries’ supply and demand, so it is a great example for strong German-Taiwanese business relations. Taiwan imported USD 1.5 billion worth of electrical machinery, equipment and parts thereof from Germany in 2017. This accounts for 16.3% of all imports from Germany