The Development of Global Woodworking Machinery | Dr. Bill Hung



Global woodworking machinery market has been settled down 

Hung, the president of Boarke Machine, indicated that global market has been settled down, which will not change within 3-5 years. For new markets, so far, there has no case showing steady growth. If we take a look back with Taiwan’s decades of woodworking machinery market analysis, we will see the sales hit peak from domestic market. Then the drop of domestic market supported the growth of Indonesia market. Next the market turned to Malaysia, Thailand, China. Recently the market moves to Vietnam due to the movement of Taiwanese furniture manufacturers. Currently Vietnam might near the top. In the future, perhaps, everyone would turn to India market. It’s not too hard to find the regular pattern.

The trend of machinery

Hung shared his perspectives about future development of global woodworking machinery industry. He said there will be three orientations. The first is greater proportion of  CNC computerization, for the requirement of Industry 4.0. The second is automation of product line, reducing labor cost and increasing efficiency. And the third is the automation of stand-alone machinery, which is also for reducing labor cost. 

For instance, Industry 4.0, the most popular topic in the industry, inspired Taiwan’s woodworking machinery companies cooperated to develop integrated product lines; W-Team is one of the achievements. Another example is the automation of stand-alone frame saw equipment. With the combination of feeder, uploader, and laser scanning technology, frame saw have great improvement in both performance and automation. Not only the laboratory cost decreased, but also the precision improved. This is the trend of machinery development. In short, the keypoint for the future of woodworking machinery are easy-to-use, lower laboratory cost, and higher performance.

The trend of business strategy

Hung said European companies has changed their business strategy to group management, such as Homag and SCM. This type of transformation has proved to be succeed, more examples included Biesse and Weinig. Because it’s impossible to develop high automation and CNC, with the concept with Industry 4.0, in small scale. Take Taiwan’s W-Team for instance. Though the product lines completed, companies get confused about which company should be responsible for sales, service and integration. On the other hand, some companies may not retain their know-how. But if every company stays in the same group, company will have willing to invest the development. When mentioning business scale, Hung said: “Take Taiwan for example, if each company has business scale with 100 millions NT dollars, ten companies will be one billion NT dollars. The scale will have chance to develop primary high automation production lines. However, compared to groups in Europe, whose business scale are around 4 to 5 billions NT dollars each year, Taiwan’s companies still have a long way to go.

Market segmentation

Besides the improvement of equipments, Hung reminded the necessity to examine market segmentation. For instance, China’s furniture industry has been widely using modern equipments, decreasing the demand of stand-alone machinery. Perhaps machinery suppliers could change their market to Latin America or Africa, because these areas haven’t fully automated, where CNC or advanced equipments are still not popular. Also, the demand might be various in highly developed market. Thus, the marketing strategy should be different. 

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