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Aiming to Expand the Market as an ULVAC Production Base in Taiwan
As ULVAC’s base in Taiwan, ULVAC TAIWAN INC. (UTI; Chairman: Mitsuru Motoyoshi [Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer of ULVAC, Inc.] President: Yu-Jer Tsai) has delivered more than 1,000 ULVAC systems, thereby supporting Taiwan’s electronic industry. In recent years, manufacturing in Taiwan has been decreasing, but ULVAC TAIWAN INC. is endeavoring to enhance its services, undertake unique research and development, and pursue market development. This edition’s VISITING ULVAC section has an interview with Yu-Jer Tsai (UTI President) and Stanley Wu (Vice President).
UTI was founded in 1982 with the aim of delivering sales and service operations for vacuum equipment. Initially, its sales and service operations were for components and small research systems. Until the mid-1980s, its main products included industrial equipment such as vacuum evaporation roll coaters and vacuum heat treatment furnaces.
In the 1990s, industries in Taiwan shifted to electronic parts and semiconductors in response to increased technical cooperation with Japanese-owned businesses and the start of a foundry business.
After 1998, investment related to flat panel displays (FPDs) increased rapidly, resulting in Taiwanese industries playing an active role as the base of production for the world’s semiconductors and LCDs.
UTI not only installed ULVAC systems, but also started its own production in Taiwan. It constructed a factory in Tainan, from
which it manufactured and delivered many systems.
Recently, however, the electronics industry in Taiwan has seen an increase in the number of company mergers and business startups overseas, and domestic opportunities for manufacturing have been decreasing.
Against this backdrop, UTI has been enhancing its manufacturing and production skills and actively pursuing initiatives such as enhancing its field services, undertaking unique research and development, and developing an organization that takes full advantage of diversity.
Enhancing Our Customer Support Business
UTI cannot succeed and survive in today’s increasingly intense global competition simply by delivering conventional customer services, such as repairing broken products and selling the necessary parts. UTI not only performs any necessary repairs, but also pays due attention to the customer’s needs at all times by proposing useful improvements and enhancements for them in a variety of ways.
UTI also works in cooperation with ULTRA CLEAN PRECISION TECHNOLOGIES CORP., a group company that delivers manufacturing, cleaning, surface treatment, and customer support services for vacuum system units and their parts. As a result, UTI’s customer support business in Taiwan is now essential to the Taiwan group.
Unique Research and Development
UTI mainly conducts its business in cooperation with large companies in major industries. However, it also focuses on smallscale projects that could easily be overlooked, and keeps a close eye on various new possibilities by actively working to identify new lines of business ahead of its competitors.
In addition, UTI is aggressively developing businesses in new areas that are directly linked to our everyday lives. Its employees contribute ideas for discussion, and these are eventually raised at a
directors’ meeting. Under this system, one idea is adopted every six months as a new research and development theme.
PROLAYER, the recording technology is one of these themes.
*You can see the article “Outstanding Vinyl Record”
Wu says, “We experienced a countless number of unsuccessful trials, but successful trials —even if they are few in number—raise the morale and motivation of employees. With themes that are deeply linked to our everyday lives, we are moved by being able to experience ULVAC’s technologies directly. The most important thing is develop your sensitivity —in other words, what inspires you. It is essential to enjoy development.”
We expect new areas of business to be increasingly created through the enjoyable development that is realized by fully demonstrating your sensitivity and experiencing things through your five senses.
Taiwan is a geographically compact island, so it is easy to provide support among the various different business areas, and members of the company’s upper management can visit domestic sites easily. UTI takes full advantage of these geographical advantages. Rather than dividing its head office, business offices, factories, and group companies into different frameworks, the company prioritizes the maintaining of a close network, cooperation,
communication, and operational agility.
UTI also cooperates with ULVAC group companies in China to support its Taiwanese customers with China-based factories. It regularly provides on-site support for such customers when necessary.
Tsai says, “Even if the work is undertaken by a different company, base, or department, it will always be ULVAC for our customers. It is important for us to integrate to be One ULVAC.”
Developing an Organization That Takes Full Advantage of Diversity
In recent years, an increasing number of women have entered Taiwan’s business society, and UTI employs many women too. Women are now playing important roles at our company, particularly in the business departments for materials and parts.
Since UTI originally focused on selling technologies, it mainly employed graduates with a science or engineering background or individuals with experience as engineers. UTI now actively employs graduates from humanities programs and persons in non technical areas as well, since they have high-level communication skills and a rich sensitivity that inspires others. UTI will continue responding to the dramatically changing business environment and diversifying customer needs by not only respecting and accepting differences, but actually making active use of them.
Deepening Communication through Recreation
To promote a sense of unity within the company, UTI is proactive in its efforts to hold a large number of events that provide an opportunity for its employees to get together. Such events include year-end parties, company trips, and CSR activities. In 2013, UTI held a sports day that boasted full attendance for the first time.
This event had been planned from scratch, but several hundred employees prepared and practiced for the holding of the event in a cooperative manner. Many employees said that this process helped to improve their sense of unity, and that the solidarity of the organization was enhanced by sharing feelings of joy and sorrow in a sympathetic environment. In March 2015, employees donated clothes to Corning Education Center, which
supports an independent lifestyle for senior citizens, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities. In return, they received a letter of appreciation.
I took up the post of president in 2006, so this is my tenth year in this role.
In UTI’s operations, we channel all of our energy into establishing a system for accomplishing our work as organization. Under this system, if one of the people in charge is absent, another person will support the project to ensure that the business operations continue smoothly.
To establish such a system, it is important that you support flexible activities by delegating authority and that you promote solidarity among the company’s employees. Given this, we believe that the holding of various company events and activities will also contribute to the establishment of such a system. Consequently, we will continue holding such events and activities.
We will make full use of the ULVAC group network, which covers not only Taiwan, but also the rest of the world. In doing so, we will continue creating unique groundbreaking technologies in Taiwan without sticking to conventional business frameworks. We hope that we can continue to count on the support of our stakeholders.