March 28, 2024 | 17:43 GMT+7

Taiwan Goes All-In on Machine Tool Reinvention, Raising the Bar for Vietnam

Dinh Tran -

The island aims to stay ahead of industrial rivals by turbocharging smart and sustainable production while its top brass rallies behind machine makers' tech reinvention, challenging Vietnamese firms to keep pace.

Taiwan's Premier Chen Chien-Jen is one of many senior government officials at TMTS 2024 Opening Ceremony
Taiwan's Premier Chen Chien-Jen is one of many senior government officials at TMTS 2024 Opening Ceremony

The Taiwan International Machine Tool Show (TMTS) 2024 opened its doors this week at the Nangang Exhibition Hall, welcoming guests from various countries to witness the technological marvels and performances that marked the event's inauguration.

The presence of esteemed government officials, led by Taiwan's Premier and other key prominent figures, highlighted the government's strong support for the machine tool industry's advancement.

"President Tsai Ing-wen has proposed the Smart Taiwan Plan to enhance our national digital strength in AI, IoT and AR/VR," Premier Chen Chien-jen told the audience at the biennial show in Taipei. "We anticipate leveraging these innovative technologies as drivers of economic growth."

TMTS 2024 boasts an impressive lineup of over 600 exhibitors and 3,350 booths, attracting a diverse audience of international buyers and visitors. The show's theme, "Dual Axis Intelligent Manufacturing and Sustainable Future," underscores Taiwan's dedication to innovation and sustainability in the industry.

Taiwan's Premier Chen Chien-jen testing a machine (Photo: TMTS 2024) 
Taiwan's Premier Chen Chien-jen testing a machine (Photo: TMTS 2024) 

This strategic pivot has major implications for Vietnamese manufacturers looking to boost their own machinery capabilities and integration into advanced production networks.

Among those in attendance studying the moves in Taiwan (China) was Mr. Le Ky Nam, Vice Chairman cum General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Mechanical Industry, scouting opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises.

Green and smart manufacturing

"We must leverage innovative technologies like AI and IoT as drivers of economic growth," Premier Chen Chien-jen told delegates at the Show's opening. He also outlined policies to align local firms with net-zero emission goals through smart factories minimizing environmental impacts.

The high-level presence exemplified Taiwan's bet that mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution's digitalization and clean manufacturing capabilities is vital for preserving machinery's $33 billion export engine amidst supply chain upheaval.

With China's rise, geopolitical storms like the Ukraine war, and deglobalization headwinds, the island nation is turbocharging tech breakthroughs and green credentials to future-proof its machine tool champions.

Taiwan's Premier Chen Chien-jen and industry leaders (Photo: TMTS 2024) 
Taiwan's Premier Chen Chien-jen and industry leaders (Photo: TMTS 2024) 

"The dual transitions of digital and environmental sustainability must go hand-in-hand," remarked the presidential office's secretary-general Lin Chia-lung. "This dual axis of intelligent manufacturing and sustainable future is crucial for our industrial ecosystem."

The exhibitors showcased advances fusing smart innovations like AI, data analytics, industrial IoT and intelligent automation with solutions for energy efficiency, recycling and eco-design.

The sheer scale demonstrated the island's rapidly converging digital-sustainability capabilities now encompassing the entire production cycle - transforming Taiwan from component supplier to indispensable partner for next-generation smart green factories.

"We can no longer just be lean suppliers, but innovation leaders tailoring solutions for EV, robotics and renewables," explained chairman Patrick Chen of Taiwan Machine Tool & Accessory Builders' Association (TMBA). He outlined priorities like smart supply chains and modularized manufacturing as vital for "plug and play" flexibility.

Underscoring national commitment, Chen applauded 19 firms slashing over 1,000 tons of emissions through advanced processes. "Industry is our most powerful economic sustainability partner," the premier stated.

With semiconductor giants like TSMC invested in smart manufacturing, Chen aims to replicate that success across machine tools. By combining Taiwan's edge in integrated hardware-software from chipmaking with sustainable production, an ambitious vision is emerging to reposition the island as fulcrum of industrial transformation - creating hyper-efficient intelligent factories with negligible environmental toll.

For Vietnamese machinery firms looking to remain competitive suppliers and move up value chains, Taiwan's comprehensive digital-green reindustrialization drive signals the need for inevitable upgrades.

With Mr. Nam in attendance exploring opportunities, TMTS 2024 showcased the future his members must work toward - intelligent, sustainable and interoperable production aligning with ecology-conscious global markets.

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