18 Jan 2006
Determined & Dependable(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 01,2006)
See-Plus Industrial Ltd
|Buyers of See-Plus Industrial Ltd's components are largely local and Chinese mainland-based electronics manufacturers|
"From start-up, most of our business comprised low voltage switches, jacks and sockets," says operations director Eric Tang.
Success brought its rewards, and Tang says that the firm has added wholly-owned plants in Shenzhen and Shanghai.
"The total factory floor space is now about 30,000 square metres, while the workforce, depending on order levels, averages more than 1,500," Tang says.
The production spread and capacity means the firm can now offer at least 500 different types of switches, jacks and sockets at any moment in time. "In 2004, the total output from all production lines reached 352 million pieces," Tang says. "Switches accounted for 75% of the total, DC power jacks 13%, phone jacks 11% and AC sockets 1%."
About half of the manufacturing processes are automated. "For example, we have now automated the inserting of pins, which used to involve a lot of demanding, hands-on attention - especially for high-end components," Tang says.
The full electro-mechanical line-up at the three plants includes metal pressing machines, automatic lathes, plastic presses, grinding machines, drill presses, wire cutters, electrical discharge machines, switch-life testers, voltage-proof testers and other accurate instrumentation.
"The most common raw materials used are metals such as iron, copper and silver - the latter two being used for electrical contacts that commonly have one silver face and one copper face - while some switches require steel for the tiny bolts," says Tang. "Apart from metals, we also use various plastic materials for different kinds of knobs and casings."
Buyers of See-Plus' components are largely local and Chinese mainland-based electronics manufacturers. "While about 20% of production goes to overseas clients, the quality is the same, and our entire production process is monitored with all due regard to ISO 9001 standards," Tang says.
He says that new, modern production lines turn out push button and hook switches, as well as miniature- and regular-sized slide switches. Other items include AC power, button/knob slide, side-knob horizontal and micro switches.
"However, we tend to concentrate on low-voltage DC components in the 15-30V DC low-current range," he explains. "We sell in biggish quantities, about 500 million items a year, while our minimum order requirement is for 5,000 pieces per model. However, we can also do batches of 100 items depending on the item and the terms."
Tang says the firm is very comfortable working to clients' specifications. "Our engineering and R&D departments will ensure we produce perfect samples," he states.
Competition from mainland rivals is strong, and Tang notes that the prices of raw materials tend to vary month by month. "This is especially true for metals, with wide fluctuations in prices over the past 18 months."
Tang says that hiring labour can be difficult when big orders arrive. "There is a bit of a labour shortage in the southern industrial zones and we are fortunate to have plants further north."
On the client front, Tang says that See-Plus seeks out new customers by attending trade fairs and exhibitions - as many as 10 shows a year on the mainland alone. "In October 2005, we also visited Taiwan," he says, "but we have not attended many shows in Europe and travel there only every two years."
The See-Plus motto is "Strive for perfection and advancement", and Tang says this is allied closely with tight quality control. "Our name is only as good as we make it," he says, "and we try to make it as consistently good and respected as we can."
It seems See-Plus has the determination and focus to keep excellent components and parts rolling off the lines for years to come.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
See-Plus Industrial Ltd