Anwell Technologies Ltd.
Overview: Ten years of Growth
Anwell Technologies Ltd. was established in 2000 with a capital of USD 100,000. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong and has three production facilities in China. It is an integrated manufacturing solution provider for the optical media, solar cell and OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) industry. Anwell's core technologies include thin film and vacuum coating.
Today, it is one of the world's top five blank media manufacturers and the second-largest manufacturing equipment supplier for the optical media industry. Anwell employs more than 2,000 people worldwide and since 2004, the company has been listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. In 2012, the company registered a revenue decrease from USD 185 mn (2011) to USD 172 mn (2012). 32 percent of Anwell's revenue was generated from the solar sector, 60 percent from the media products and the rest from equipment manufacturing.
Going forward, the importance of the solar sector could grow, as the Chinese government plans to increase the countries green energy production and therefore provides long-term governmental funding support.
Internationalization Strategy: The World as its Key Market
From 2005 onward, Anwell advanced its internationalization ambitions by establishing sales networks all over the world, including the US, Germany, Brazil, Australia, India and Thailand. As an addition to these sales networks, the company also operates two distribution centers, one in the US and one in Panama. Thus, the company's products are available in more than 60 countries nowadays. In 2012, Anwell generated more than 70 percent of its revenue in overseas markets.
In 2012, Anwell generated more than 70 percent of its revenue in foreign countries
When Anwell entered the solar market, it simultaneously established solar projects in foreign countries. The latest project was realized in Thailand in 2012, where Sungan, a subsidiary of Anwell, built an eleven megawatt solar project. Previously, Anwell runs projects in Germany, India and Greece.
R&D and Intellectual Property: R&D with governmental Support
Anwell established its first R&D center in the same year as it was founded, a fact that illustrates the central role of R&D in the company's business. Anwell believes that persistent R&D and process engineering will provide the best solutions. Until now, the company has filed more than 500 patent and utility model applications worldwide.
In 2012, Anwell achieved significantly lower production costs, which was a consequence of the company's R&D optimization efforts in different process technologies for its solar and media products. The research on its OLED and solar industry is supported by various academic and scientific research institutions.
Going forward, Anwell's R&D division will continuously be supported by the Chinese government. This funding support will mainly be used for new developments in the solar sector, as China has high green energy ambitions. Therefore, over 30 R&D projects are already planned.
The following graphs represent Anwell's patent and utility model applications. The main difference between a patent and an utility model is the durability and the strength of protection. Patents are protected for twenty years, while utility models are only protected for ten years. Thus, an utility model can be described as a weaker form of patent.
The first chart illustrates the patent and utility model applications over time. Anwell filed its first applications in 2005, five years after the company's establishment. From 2005 to 2008, there is slight increase in the number of patent and utility model applications. In this period, Anwell did not register more than fifteen applications per year. In 2009, the number sharply increased and reached a record high of nearly 100 applications in 2010.
The next chart depicts the distribution of Anwell's patent and utility model applications across different geographical areas. The majority of its applications were filed in China. Despite the fact that the US market was very important at the beginning, no application was registered here in the period 2008 to 2010. Patent and utility model applications filed at the worldwide patent office (WIPO) became more important with time. This could be the result of the internationalization strategy of Anwell, where it is not focusing on a single market anymore, but serves the whole world with its products.
The next two charts show the distribution of patent and utility model applications across different technology areas. The most important one is semiconductors, followed by surface technology, coating and audiovisual technology. As a consequence of Anwell's business in the high-tech sector, the company filed more strong protected patents than utility models.