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ANCA's predictions for 2023: China and Asia

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Denny Zheng, ANCA Greater China General Manager and Jake Farragher, General Manager – Asia look at the upcoming industry trends for the China and Asia markets.

The year of 2022 was a challenging one; with the post-epidemic era, China's industrial construction attracting worldwide attention, the Chinese tool market looking bright and ANCA's performance in China flourishing and reaching new heights. In this year, all our staff worked with one heart and soul to ensure smooth production for our customers by actively coordinating production and services under special circumstances such as sealing and control.

Since ANCA started its operations in China in 2003, it has adhered to the market demand and made positive contributions to the carbide tool industry in China. Since 2020, China has become one of the largest markets for ANCA's global installed base, with a total installed base of more than 2,600 units in ANCA China to date. We have continued to accelerate product updates and enhance service support, specifically launching the MX7 ULTRA, the first flagship model that can mass produce precision tools such as end mills with ultra-high precision and quality, which has been well received by customers for its outstanding performance. At the same time, the functions of the China Grinding Technology Centre and Parts Repair Centre have been fully utilised to provide a better after-sales experience and technical solution support for Chinese customers.

With the rapid development of the tooling industry in China, customers are demanding higher quality tools and faster automation, which is a great opportunity for ANCA. ANCA can take this opportunity to offer advanced technology and innovative products to its tooling customers to help more Chinese companies localise their tools and reduce their reliance on imported tools. Since the launch of ANCA's "Smart Factory" concept in 2020, ANCA has infused smart manufacturing into every aspect of a tooling company's production, from 3D simulation software to LaserUltra, an in-line measurement system, to RoboTeach, which makes robotic loaders easy to program and use. Each of the world-first technologies ANCA has introduced has been an iterative development, incorporating automation into the manufacturing process to significantly reduce production costs and linking grinding machines to the factory's ERP system to further improve efficiency.

Looking ahead to 2023, ANCA will focus more on how to help the development of China's tooling industry to reinvent itself, accelerate the level of automation and intelligence, and enhance its competitiveness in the global tooling industry market. We will increase our investment in the following three areas.

First, we will continue to leverage our product and sales strengths to expand our market share; improve our product development capabilities, continue to set up R&D centres in China, and increase the proportion of customised solutions and turnkey projects. We will also help more Chinese customers to tailor their solutions and increase the automation rate of their equipment and production lines by combining the needs of industry applications such as aerospace, medical and 3C.

Secondly, we will provide customised solutions for a variety of high-end and special products through joint development with our customers to achieve the transformation from a standard machine tool sales-based supplier to a solution provider. In terms of professional training, we are also exploring ways to cooperate with domestic government agencies, association organisations and major universities for specialised talent training in order to provide more talents for the tooling industry and to promote the rapid development of China's manufacturing industry through multiple measures.

Finally, we will continue to work together with our industry partners to help our domestic tooling customers to improve their automation and digitalisation levels, and to help the early realisation of Carbon Dafeng and Carbon Neutral.

Lately, Vietnam has commanded sufficient global attention for its infrastructural growth, industrial revolution and (of course) electric vehicles. Riding on the principle of valuing the people, ANCA is prominent in the country. The Vietnamese market is growing at a rapid rate for ANCA. We've probably gone from really not having a presence there ten years ago to now being one of our biggest markets in Southeast Asia. Plus, a lot of our customer base there are primarily Korean or Japanese businesses that have a footprint in the Vietnam market.

That is changing as I think the growth that we will see in the transition, not only from the electronics industry, which is quite strong in Vietnam with obviously Samsung being there, we also see the change with the automotive market with the introduction of locally made VinFast cars. Prior, a lot of the tooling or components were imported. Now, there is a change in that local source components for the cars — within Vietnam. I anticipate substantial growth in the automotive industry. The drive in Vietnam is obviously towards electric vehicles (EV), which is a really positive sign for the Vietnamese market. ANCA’s having a manufacturing facility in the region is also an advantage for the business.

To meet the needs of the growing EV market, ANCA manufactures a dedicated machine for grinding the class of tools, skiving cutters, used for production of the internal and external gears of EV drivetrains. The GCX Linear offers a comprehensive gear cutting tool package and is tailored to finish all operations for skiving cutters and shaper cutters in a single setup.

Growth in this region is not a blanket indication that ANCA is only focused on Vietnam. I see the shift into India and the growth rate in the republic is really quite vibrant. Many companies are moving out of the traditional China-based manufacturing, and looking for other areas. I believe Vietnam and India will be key growth areas for many. I am also observing substantial orders from India for ANCA, making the country its third largest market, and expecting more growth in computers, communications, and consumer electronics, moreover with the coming of locally-manufactured semiconductors.

ANCA has a range of grinding solutions suitable for diverse applications and markets.  A new generation of an affordable grinding solution, the FX5E Linear was showcased for the first time in India at IMTEX. A first step into CNC tool grinding, the FX5E uses high-quality, proven ANCA technology to enable premium CNC grinding for versatile applications at a lower cost.

ANCA stands by business diversification and expanding into new markets and industries. Diversifying is key — and as a company we are highly vertically integrated. For ANCA, a good example would be medical implants or medical manufacturing, which is a stable market. Combine this with having the right people in the right positions, you will be effective in getting your solutions out there, offering quality customer service and receive the much-needed traction while not limiting yourself to just one market.

2 February 2023