Nov 27, 2015 | By Alec
While many of our readers in the West might be fully hooked onto MakerBot or another brand, XYZprinting – a subsidiary of the Taiwan-based New Kinpo Group – has actually become the manufacturer with the largest shipments of 3D printers worldwide. The company, that is especially known for its very accessible Da Vinci line of 3D printers, first transitioned into 3D printing and intelligent manufacturing in 2013, and has since taken over a very large market segment. Simon Shen, CEO of a new business segment of the New Kinpo Group, further revealed that they are moving their production line for 3D printers from Thailand to Dongguan, in the Guangdong province in China in early next year, where the company will also start robot manufacturing.
Dongguan is, as experts on the Chinese economy will tell you, steadily becoming a gathering place for the robotics industry, and this move by the New Kinpo Group is definitely a big one for the region. Founded in 1973, it has a huge manufacturing empire that gathered an operating income of 230 billion yuan in 2014 alone. It’s main business model focuses on original equipment manufacturing and assembly, so it’s quite logical that 3D printers have become a part of that too.
Transition towards 3D printing began in 2007, when Simon Shen was serving as chairman of the New Kinpo Group. XYZprinting was founded in 2013, which focused on developing and manufacturing consumer grade machines, the first of which rolled of the manufacturing line in just eight months. It was brought to the market about a year after the company was founded. Since then, 3D printers have been shipped off all over the world. According to independent industry analyst firm Canalys Data, XYZprinting first surpassed traditional market leaders Stratasys in the US in terms of sales revenue, while they now own approximately 22% of the international 3D printing market – making them the world’s market leader in terms of shipments.
That’s very impressive in its own right, though there is one little downside to this explosive growth – XYZprinting isn’t yet profitable. Having only been in operation for just two years, Simon Shen was given a free hand in terms of financial and profitable requirements from the leaders at the New Kinpo Group, and was allowed to focus on volume, rather than profits. But with sales growing so explosively, the company is looking to become profitable by 2016.
The future industry layout, he says, is therefore becoming something he calls "XYZ +". According to XYZprinting ‘s senior international marketing manager for Greater China Huang Jiaoren, the company will focus on private consumer, commercial and industrial users over the coming years, and will seek to cover a wide spectrum of specialisms including cultural and creative education, biotechnology and metal manufacturing – going all the way from 3D printing to robots, intelligent wearables, medical and cosmetic products. In short, a wide range of electronic equipment that covers most of society. 3D printing, they add, is quickly developing to become a viable product for commercial-grade production and industrial manufacturing, which require higher precision and speed. Huang Jiaoren added that food 3D printers will also reach the Chinese and Taiwanese markets in the near future, which can 3D print up to twenty kinds of foods.
In the near future, Huang Jiaoren thus argues, 3D printed products will reach a variety of markets and products, and are expected to cover products worth as little as two thousand yuan all the way up to more than ten million yuan. The New Kinpo Group and XYZprinting are thus shifting their focus on 3D printing, and will initially be focusing on cultural and creative educational aspects of 3D printing (specifically for research and development). This also goes for their robotic products, that like the 3D printers can be used as practical learning and developing tools for students. In addition, specific robots are also being developing for game players and educational purposes, as learning tools for programming and assembly.
But, as they say, XYZprinting are definitely also looking at the fields of biotechnology and service products. In the latter market, XYZprinting will introduce robots that can be connected to home appliances or provide services in homes, supermarkets, shopping malls and other commercial sectors. In the biomedical field, instead, they will focus on more high tech applications, including for agricultural, medical and cosmetic purposes. XYZprinting is already working on a tissue bio 3D printer with a Japanese company.
In short, XYZprinting is ambitious and seems to have all the tools and sales they need to succeed. According to Simon Shen, their production levels for 3D printers are set to reach somewhere between 120,000 to 150,000 machines in 2016 alone, and they’re even aiming an ambitious expansion to 1 million units in 2018. This will in part be facilitated by the move of their production line from Thailand to Dongguan in China, where their robotic production line is already located and the 3D printed production line will be synchronized.
Shen further added that their business focus will be on China, partly because the market is large, the production technology is there and matured to handle both low-end and high-end 3D printer manufacturing. While China is still currently known for labor-heavy production, he believes that smart production and industrial 3D printers are the future of Chinese manufacturing. On the other hand, the company is also seeking to benefit from the Chinese government’s ‘Made in China 2025’ business climate. ‘In three years from now, Dongguan will become the world's largest 3D printing + robot production base,’ he concluded.
Posted in 3D Printer Company
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