I first visited Taichung in Taiwan about 15 years ago with my oldest son Huon, looking for a woodlathe to complement our growing range of woodturning accessories. I had very little understanding on how everything was made there. I can remember visiting the first factory and it was very old and thought to myself am I doing the right thing. Well some things have changed a lot and some factories I visited recently have changed very little, but they all produce great products and it depends who they make the product for, to how fancy the office and factory look.
Some factories are right beside the rice paddocks.
We were trying to track down a particular product and this company has no website, so google is no use. We asked quite a few people and no one knew, then just by chance we visited a factory that made bigger machines and he knew the factory we were looking for. When we arrived the factory was old but they have been making the same product for over 20 years and have customers worldwide and the owner is approx 55 years old and he does not need to change anything because he is very successful. Another factory I first visited 15 years ago has moved out of the original factory and now has a 2 huge factories making many products for the big North American and European customers.
We caught the bus from Taipei City to Taichung approx a two and a half hour trip and arrived right beside The Evergreen Laurel Hotel, I have stayed here many times and it is very centrally located. The hotel has quite a large lobby and it seems that many buyers of woodworking machinery worldwide stay here, I have met people from India, Spain, Germany, England, USA and South America. I had a forward booking for 6 nights at approx A$110 per night which is approx half the advertised rate. The hotel has a great buffet breakfast with a large choice of western and local food.
Saturday night I had dinner with a friend about 3 blocks away at a place called “Smooth”. I had some great western food with a few local taiwan beers. Sunday we visited the local jade market and picked up a few items, later we checked out a camera store and they had all the latest products. I do really like the great range of food available in Taichung and I sampled a great range of local and japanese food, I just love the raw fish and sharkfin soup.
Monday morning we started early and visited a few factories making products for us.
Our tablesaw production run being checked before shipping.
Our 18” Bandsaw production
Our 5hp Cyclone
The spindle sander having its inspection before shipping
Many of the factories now have the second generation taking part in the management and production of the products. Most of the children have attended college or university overseas and they bring a new outlook with some focusing on sales, machine design and production methods. The bottom line is that they need volume to make everything work properly.
Variable Speed Drives
Around 8 years ago the inverter drives started being fitted to some of the higher end woodlathes, today many machines have this option and on this trip I saw spindle moulders, drill presses and sanders with them attached.
One of our containers being loaded for the trip to Australia
The containers arrive at Currumbin
The future looks good for the woodworking machinery market in Taiwan as they have a very good supply network of parts manufacturers and they seem to be able to control the quality better then China.
It has come to our notice that there are quite a few bad copies of our Dayacom pen parts being offered for sale in Australia. As always if the price is too cheap beware they are copies. Only Dayacom pens come in a plastic bag with the name DAYACOM stamped onto the bag and we offer a 100% guarantee.
It seems it is also stating to happen overseas, please read the below file from the respected IAP forums.
We have just received an email from IAP about our Dayacom products of Jr. Gent pen kits.
Re Jr. Gentlemen pens kit were original created by Dayacom in 2003 but copied everywhere.
We do hope that such a report from IAP could help us to announce with most of wholesales and end users to refuse buying copied products from China.
The Baron pen were also copied from Dayacom’s Jr. Gent I pen kit. Please respect Dayacom’s original creation and refuse to buy from those copiers.
——- Original Message ——- From: “testingandreviews” <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 11:30 PM Subject: Jr.gent kit
I am the product testing and review manager on a large forum and lately I have been noticing a trend of bad reports on the Jr. Gent kits. It would appear that they are being knocked off (poorly) by a company in china at www.penkits.com.cn . I just wanted to be sure you were aware that this is taking place as most of our members are very happy with your product quality. Thank you, Neil Pabia Testing & Reviews Manager International Association of Penturners http://www.penturners.org
My good friend Angus Lee from Dayacom Industrial Co picked me up from the hotel at 10.30am, his office is very close by. A little history about Dayacom is that they made completed pens for a few years and one day a company from USA, Crafts Supplies USA sent them a fax asking about pen parts for woodturning, well the rest is history they are a very well known pen parts supplier worldwide. We contacted them in 1993 and have had a long term relationship to this day.
Once we arrived at the office we discussed the design of a few new items we have and also saw the finished samples. The office and work area is quite small but the output is huge with orders being filled for companies all around the world.
The design starts with Agus Lee doing a detailed drawing and he has told me he often thinks about the design while walking each morning. Once the design is drawn, various computer designs are made then the tooling is made and production starts. To make one pen many small parts are needed and they are made at a factory then shippied for plating then retuned to the warehouse around the corner.
Once an order is received the girls on the production line inspect every item very closely and anything that is not to Dayacoms high standard is rejected. They are then packed into protective bags and finally put into export cartons for shipping to the customer. One supplier once asked could he get a cheaper lower quality pen and the answer was no as how could the girls inspect and pack high quality one day then lesser quality the next.
After discussing the new products we went for lunch down the road to a beautiful Japanese Restaurant. Angus told me that a few customers prefer MacDonalds as they can not eat the asian style food. For me one of the highlights of traveling to Taiwan is the vast amount of different style foods. I remember my first visit and I ate pigs intestine then frog legs and also have tasted snake. I must say the seafood in Taiwan is beautiful. I have eaten from the small corner vendors right up to 5 star restaurants and have never had food poisoning or upset stomach.
After lunch we returned to the office and discussed various matters, then Angus invited me to a exclusive massage clinic where I received a foot massage then reflexology examination and finally a pressure massage. Well the out come was expected, lose some weight, drink less and do more exercise. I was not sure at this stage but tomorrow would prove that this was right. After the massage we ate a a local noodle bar then returned to the hotel.
The next morning Angus picked me up from the Hotel and we went on a hike in the mountains approx 30 minutes away. Last August when I visited Taiwan we had planned to take a hike but the weather was terrible so we had to cancel it to this visit. I think I was better prepared in August as I had been doing lots of walking at Currumbin Beach.
Ok the first 15 minutes were hell trying to walk up a very steep mountain and I thought I may have to retire, but I kept going and it got a little easier. We finally reached the top and had refreshments then returned. This mountain is still a volcano and may erupt in the next few years.
We returned to Taipei City had lunch at a local restaurant and then was dropped at the Bus Station and I caught a bus to Taichung, more on that later.
I first traveled to Taiwan 16 years ago with a few names and no idea really what to expect. One of the names we had was Dayacom given to me by a friend in USA. More about this later as we visit the factory and show the production.
The day began early as we left Currumbin at 5.30am and traveled to Brisbane airport, the usual check in , immigration and finally our plane left for Taipei at 10.25am. We are quite lucky living in Queensland as we have direct flight from Brisbane to Taipei. I normally fly with Eva Air as they offer good service and reasonable pricing.
I arrived in Taiwan at 5.15 local time which is 2 hrs behind Brisbane time. It was a very good flight and I felt relaxed. The airport is approx 1 hr from the city of Taipei, I caught a airbus into the city at a cost of NT$90 approx A$3.50 very cheap compared to Australia. The bus dropped me off within 1klm of The Grand Hotel and I caught a taxi to this large landmark hotel that overlooks Taipei City. Taxi fare was NT$90 again very good value it was peak hour in Taipei so it took a little longer then normal to reach the hotel.
The Grand Hotel had been booked for 2 nights by Dayacom and it seems that the local business people always get a better rate. The hotel cost was approx $145 per night very reasonable for Taipei City. If anyone does travel to Taipei it is worth staying just one night as this is really a unique hotel on a very large piece of land. On a clear day the view is very interesting with the Taipei 101 the tallest building in the world standing out. I had to taste the local Taiwan beer and have a light meal before going to bed.
The next morning I got up very early as my body clock was still on Australian time, anyway a large buffet breakfast is served in the hotel with a large choice of western and Asian foods so I enjoyed myself and bumped into a couple from Coolangatta, it certainly is a small world.