Thursday, August 9, 2007

Composite exposure through conversation

François @
If you read heading and scratched your head, please allow me to explain. I came to Taiwan with no direct manufacturing experience or knowledge of what were composite(carbon fiber, fiberglass, kevlar-based etc.) products. For that matter many of the brand name quality products made in Taiwan totally missed my radar. Hold on-I need to clarify. The products didn't miss my radar the fact that they were made in Taiwan did. Prior to coming to Taiwan and working for a US-owned sporting goods factory I never noticed the fine print on all the fishing rods, golf shafts, tennis rackets, bicycles,etc. The Made-in-Taiwan was a real eye opener to me and caused me to think differently towards Taiwan products and capabilities and what was the nationality of a branded-product. I'm digressing here and promise to get back to brand nationality at a later post.

So how did conversation get me involved in composite product manufacturing? Well it started with a trip to Lukang while I was still living in Taipei. That was one of my first trips way outside of Taipei into the Taiwan countryside. I got to Lukang and toured around checking out all the temples, basket makers, temple lantern and paper fan makers,etc. I loved the place and was happy to get away from the stress of Taipei even for a couple of days. On the way back some guy parked his car, got out and said,"ahh, people." I understood knowing he meant other English speaking westerners. Turns out he didn't speak any Chinese or Taiwanese and certainly didn't read any either.

I showed him around, found out he was the GM of the above mentioned sporting goods factory and got a ride up to Taichung with him. Seemed that old traditional style Taiwanese houses with 3 sides and a courtyard was our contact point. I mentioned I loved them and he countered with, "well if you come work for us, we have one on the factory grounds in Tantzu." We continued our conversation over dinner parted company and stayed in touch. Within 6o days I moved down to Taichung and began my experience with composite fiber production and production control.

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