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Rayon

Rayon Headquarter Taiwan
rayon@ms1.hinet.net

Rayon European Distribution
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Mike Wang

Rayon, a Success Story

A conversation with Mike Wang, founder and principal developer of Rayon

What was the most important step in founding your company? Mike Wang doesn’t have to think long: "The next step was always the most important one." When Wang took his first step with the company Rayon in 1990, he never would have let himself dream of someday being among the top developers of industrial, serial communications in the world. Rayon products today "are even found at the center of data transmission in the Bank of China," Wang reports, not without pride. In the meantime, the Taiwanese company has merged with Global View Co Ltd and Bit-Rayon Group in China, thereby achieving a total capital of over 30 million USD.

Although the name Rayon contains the words "light" and "ray," the company is not much in the public eye: "As a worldwide exporting OEM manufacturer, innumerable people work with our products without ever learning our name," Wang surmises. "Today in Asia and the USA there are probably only a few people whose data have not been in contact with our interfaces. Our PC know-how doesn’t stop with your German machines, either," he laughs.

When one looks closely at the Rayon logo, "you see hidden here the mission statement, ‘Engineered to Connect,’" says Wang. The 47-year-old openly admits his pleasure in complex eastern philosophy. The logo of Global View Co Ltd is a bipartite semicircle. "In eastern philosophy this is a symbol for growth." Rayon has "connected" as the third member of the Global View Group via a third section in the existing logo of the Group. Wang says, "The red color of the rising sun makes it clear that Rayon provides the energy that allows the semicircle to become round."

The fact that today we can expand interfaces as a matter of course, without having to open up the PC to do so, is due in great part to the pioneering work of Wang and his engineering crew. "In his time, any hardware expansion required a new installation of the entire driver environment. A large Australian computer firm that had heard of the expert reputation of our company in Taiwan, which was still very young then, suggested developing cards with their own intelligence," explains Wang. These cards would be able to be inserted easily into the existing software environment. At the end of the development work we had the A 640 Multi-Port-Serial Card. With double performance and eight times more ports on board than was usual at the time, this card made computer history. Even today, the A 640, with some modifications such as the 3.3V technology, is still a classic that is purchased often.

The product palette today extends from the simple 2-port card to the 64-port card for RS 232 and RS422/485 to the serial via Ethernet IP servers. Galvanic separation is optional in all products and interfaces. Intelligent cards work with their own high performance RISC CPU with 133 MHz of MIPS or ARM. For these units there are also Software Development Kit (SDK) Systems. "With this the scope is practically unlimited for customers to do their own expansions and developments," says system developer Wang happily. "Our industrial customers plan their production facilities for decades. They appreciate the fact that our timely developments do not come at the cost of flexibility." Manufacturers of discount wares cannot manage the balancing act between innovation and tradition, thinks Wang. "The marriage of chips and drivers stops here for just one season."

The requirements of industrial customers are not always fulfilled with run-of-the-mill products. Well thought-out special developments are often needed, Wang says. "Manufacturers that are merely soldering factories need to pass on this one. Our greatest capital, therefore, is the knowledge of our employees. The 15 engineers of our development department learned their trade with us from the basics on up. We are proud to say that our own employees can be counted among the best educated in the branch. Our slogan, "Rayon – Engineered to Connect" describes not only our products, but also the people who work here."