Taiwanese industry demand for curtain walls has increased enormously in response to architectural trends. There are approximately 2,200 curtain wall and metal door and window companies across the country, with an estimated industry value of NT$ 72.3 billion. About 30% of these are located in Kaohsiung, where an industry cluster has emerged around the Daliao Hofa Industrial Park area. Because the curtain wall and metal door and window industries require relatively large manufacturing space, they have gradually migrated south from northern Taiwan. As curtain walls demand modular assembly and lightweight materials, standardized mass production can significantly shorten construction timelines, hopefully becoming the key to gaining an edge in the market.
Structural assembly of curtain walls currently relies heavily on the experience of master craftsmen. This combined with a lack of structural and design assessment data makes it impossible to confirm testing standard conformance during the development phase. Many repeated alterations and redesigns are therefore required, often resulting in a waste of materials and time. Through the jointly run “Program for Technology Innovation and Value of Local Industries with Academia and Research as the Driving Force,” the Department of Industrial Technology, MOEA, and the MIRDC have established the “Digital Curtain Wall Structural Design Simulation and Analysis System.” By digitizing hardware during the preliminary manufacturing phase and incorporating this into assessment of the manufacturing process, the system can increase product precision, shorten development times and bolster overall structural safety. The simulation system contains structural (wind pressure resistance) and functional (air and water tightness) simulation analysis modules, as well as features for optimizing structural design. Using the system, MIRDC developed a standard unit curtain wall that is 10% lighter than current market equivalents of the same size and strength, thus further meeting industry demands for lightweight curtain walls.
In recent years, Kaohsiung's Hofa Industrial Park and Dafa Industrial Park have gradually evolved into centers for the curtain wall and metal door and window industry chains. To improve the quality of curtain wall industry talent and bring the industry further towards certification, the National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology (NKUST) and the Fortune Institute of Technology (FIT) will channel their resources to train curtain wall talents. In conjunction with the MIRDC's cross disciplinary research and development capabilities and industry field certification, together they will help improve curtain wall industry quality and technology transfer in southern Taiwan. Moving forward, MIRDC and the Association for Kaohsiung Association of Aluminum Doors and Windows Management will jointly establish an exclusive curtain wall testing and certification service center, working together to increase value added in the curtain wall industry and carry it towards future traditional industry reputation.