Delta Electronics Inc (台達電), the nation’s largest power supply maker, yesterday said it had established a new business division focusing on running “plant factories” in a bid to explore the agricultural market.
The company plans to open plant factories in areas that have poorer farming conditions, Delta chairman Yancey Hai (海英俊) told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting in Taoyuan County.
“The plan to open a plant factory is in its research and development stage, and it will be established in coordination with Delta’s fan, LED lighting product and automatic control electronic equipment departments,” Central News Agency quoted the company’s chairman as saying in a report yesterday.
Hai said Delta’s goal is to use plant factories to find new solutions that can help plants grow, adding that the company has targeted vegetables such as lettuce and parsley as research items.
The company’s new business focus comes as the public has become increasingly concerned about global climate change, shortages in the agricultural labor market and the use of pesticides.
Delta has established a research and development center in Taoyuan County and is seeking to integrate computing systems to precisely detect and measure temperature, humidity, sunlight and wind force at the future plant factories, Hai said.
“Delta’s plant factories will be an integration of photoelectric, radiating and automatic control technologies, as well as architecture, agriculture and livestock businesses,” Hai was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Delta is expected to ship power supply products used for medical X-ray generators this year, after it last year entered into the medical imaging equipment market, Hai said.
He added that the company has developed the world’s first “titanium-level” power supply for large servers for which it last year received orders from Google Inc, Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
He told shareholders that Delta expects to receive more orders during the second half of the year as the company is ready to launch new non-PC products in the third quarter of the year.
While Delta is transforming and diversifying its business, sales of PC-related products are expected to account for less than 20 percent of Delta’s total sales by the end of the year, he said.
Delta’s shareholders yesterday approved the company’s plan to distribute a NT$5.3 cash dividend per common share on earnings made last year.
Last year, Delta generated a net profit of NT$19.1 billion (US$642.77 million), or earnings per share of NT$6.68.