Fri, Apr 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet plans ‘smart’ machinery hub

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Cabinet yesterday proposed plans to build an industrial park and a development center in Taichung to make the city a hub for the machinery and aerospace industries with an eye to tapping the Southeast Asian market as it develops the “smart” machinery sector.

Smart machinery is the use of technologies such as big data, Internet of Things technologies and artificial intelligence in the design of automated production lines and the production of precision machinery, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said.

Smart machinery technologies are to be tested in the machinery, aerospace, automotive, printed circuit boards and textiles indistries, which are key areas in the government’s “new southbound policy.”

“After the manufacturing and research capabilities of the industries are developed and tested, we hope to export whole factories and production lines to those nations,” Shen said.

The government is to build a smart machinery park in Taichung’s Shengang District (神岡) and a research and development center in Situn District (西屯) to make the city the capital of machinery technology, he said.

The 50-hectare Shengang park, which is to seek investors by the end of next year, is projected to attract 50 companies and NT$70 billion (US$2.29 billion) in investment, the Taichung City Government said.

The center — to be completed in 2019 — is to be part of the Taichung Gateway Park City project, which is to include an exhibition and convention center, an ecological park, a college town and cultural facilities at the site of the shuttered Shuinan airport.

“Taiwan’s machinery industry, though well-developed, still lags behind its Japanese and German competitors,” Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said. “It is envisioned that with the development of smart machinery, Taiwanese products can outcompete Japanese and German products to carve out a niche in the market.”

Smart machinery is a cornerstone to transition Taiwan’s industries and training in the field is key to the development of smart machinery technologies, Lin said.

The government is to form an academic alliance among 28 universities to improve research and development capabilities in the smart machinery sector, Shen said.

Smart machinery is one of the “five plus two” industries alongside an “Asian Silicon Valley,” “green” energy technology, biomedicine and national defense, plus a new agricultural paradigm and a circular economy, which together spearhead the government’s plan for industrial development.

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