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The Largest Fastener Supplier to Saic Volkswagen - The Boltun Group: Continuous Technological R&D to Make Taiwanese Brand Shine Bright
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Boltun Corporation has been dedicated to the R&D and production of weld nuts since its establishment in 1988. It is also said to have dedicated itself to the automotive industry since the 1st day of its business. The business of the Boltun Group has expanded from Taiwan to China. In 2015 the revenue of the Group reached up to NTD 15 billion. Its main clients include well-known car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Ford, Chrysler, GM, and Mercedes Benz. President Mark Wu said humbly, “For the past 28 years, every employee of Boltun has been dedicated to developing new products, introducing new technology, and continuously enhancing quality and defect-free rates, in order to satisfy customers’ demand and facilitate development of the company.”   

Expanding Business to Wind Power & Playing a Leading Role in High Value-added Fasteners
President Wu said that the 1st reason that Boltun started to manufacture wind turbine fasteners was due to a client’s inquiry and the 2nd reason was due to the need for diversified corporate development to avoid the risk of focusing all sales activities in a single industrial segment.  Accordingly, when there is any chance to expand business to other segments in addition to automotive fasteners, Boltun will always take time to assess the feasibility. If it is positive, an R&D project will be planned and implemented soon. All R&D projects of the company must be monitored at all times. When any of them is efficiently processed or being done better than expected, more resources will be invested for accelerating the progress and enhancing the effect.
Taiwan shows the 5th largest fastener production value in the world. Considering the future industrial development, President Wu thinks that Taiwan definitely has to invest in the R&D of high value-added fasteners. However, he also noted that high value-added fasteners are with 3 features: (1)The technology of mass production is not mature yet, (2) Materials and procedures must be certified, which may take a long period of time, (3) The market for these products is usually dominated by a few manufacturers, resulting in higher entry barriers and obstacles to develop customer relationship. President Wu said that the development of high value-added fasteners is a long term investment and will need long term dedication, too, so if anyone expects to see positive feedback in a short time, he will be definitely disappointed. As a result, when a company wants to develop high value-added fasteners, a discreet discussion must be finished, which means directions & strategies for the long term development of a company must be determined first to make sure all invested resources are not wasted at all.

Following the Trend of Industry 4.0 to Boost Capacity
Boltun has been continuously implementing the efficacy improvement project for Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in recent years. With the idea of production in specific plants and specific lines, it re-arranged the manufacturing procedures of products and upgraded its facilities. In terms of the investment in advanced technology, Boltun has become one of the few Taiwanese companies that has introduced Industry 4.0 into its plants. In Germany it has set up a new automated lightweight alloy fasteners plant, which multiplies its capacity; In China it has also set up a similar plant with the advanced technology and facilities from its German subsidiary, making it the 1st specialized aluminum alloy bolt manufacturer in China. In addition, Boltun cooperated with its client and adopted warm forming technology and equipment to develop the crankshaft cams for the next-generation high-efficiency motors. With the current cold/hot forging technology, Boltun will continue to upgrade its technology and manufacturing capability.
In terms of focused markets in its marketing, Boltun’s revenues in China and Europe both increased, due to the continuous growth in Chinese market in recent years and the acquisition of its German subsidiary. Boltun’s revenue is from Europe (40%), Asia (33%), and America (27%), of which the proportion is not exactly the same as the real market demand. President Wu said, Boltun will reinforce its investment in N. America in the future. In addition to strengthening marketing, expanding local warehouses, and upgrading instant delivery & engineering service, Boltun will be also active to correspond to customers’ demand. Setting up a plant in N. America to make its supply & service more complete may also possibly become one of its future investment plans.

Many a Little Makes a Mickle
In terms of corporate competitiveness, President Wu said, “My personal experience, acquisition, strategic alliance, labor division & integration are merely ways or tools to enhance competitiveness. However, the key point lies in whether a company owner has the ambition, commitment, and passion for the industry. Corporate competitiveness will not be improved all of a sudden only due to the acquisition of a company. That one was competitive yesterday doesn’t mean he will be still competitive today, as competitiveness keeps changing and may be influenced by external factors. Enhancing competitiveness is an attitude of living and a corporate culture evolved from years of development. There is no shortcut to being competitive, which is especially true in the fastener industry. Just remember: “No Pain, No Gain.”
With years of effort of all the employees and clients’ long term support, Boltun has shown stable growth in the sales to 4 major car manufacturers in Europe, USA, China, and Japan. President Wu said with confidence, “Boltun is proud of being one part of Taiwanese fastener industry. We’ll continue to be innovative, dedicated to the R&D of technology, develop new markets, and make our contribution to promote Taiwanese superior products to the world.”


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by Konnor Lee, Fastener World