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Electrical & Home Appliances(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 05,2006)

Magic Machines

Making a chocolate fondue or popping popcorn is easy with Blue Electro Int'l Ltd's electric chocolate fountain (left) and antique-look popcorn maker

New products and new features that meet the diverse needs of consumers worldwide are a must for Hong Kong's prolific manufacturers of electrical and home appliances.

For example, Blue Electro Int'l Ltd is a leading manufacturer of party items such as chocolate fountains, melters, drink fountains, popcorn machines, cotton candy machines, crepe makers, yoghurt makers, blenders and citrus juicers.

Utilising 17 years' experience in household electrical products, the company manufactures both its own designs and OEM orders. Production takes place at its 120,000-square-foot, 500-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.

"Our hottest lines right now are our 20-model chocolate fountain range and 15-model popcorn machine range that includes hot air and professional versions," says manager Molly Choi.

"Our biggest markets are the US and Europe, while we expect growth in areas such as Asia and the Middle East."

Blue Electro's product prices are available on request for minimum orders of one full TEU delivered 45 days after receipt of letter of credit or deposit.

New features are also a critical component in the success story of Best Joint (HK) Ltd, according to general manager Tommy Kwan, whose seven-year-old company specialises in heaters, fans, ovens and toasters. "Some 70% of our business is heaters, including fan, halogen and convection models," he explains.

Exemplifying its commitment to quality design is one of Best Joint's newest products, the BC-220L, 2.2kW infrared smokeless barbecue launched at the end of 2005.

"This is a new concept, which uses a carbon fibre heating tube to cook food free from smoke," Kwan explains.

With three power settings - low, medium and high - and three adjustable grilling heights, the indoor barbecue features a large rectangular grid and bottom drip tray.

"The barbecue has a protective guard, a 60-minute timer, and a thermal fuse to protect against overheating," Kwan adds, noting that a smaller, lower-powered BC-160L model is also available.

The BC-220L is available for US$33-40 per unit for a minimum of one FEU per model delivered 45 days after order confirmation from Best Joint's 50,000-square-metre, 800-1,000-worker factory in Zhongshan on the mainland.

Kwan says that some 80% of Best Joint's production is OEM, while the remainder is its own Million Host brand. "Europe takes 50% of our production, with other major destinations including Australia, Japan, Russia, Chile, South America and the US," he reveals. "Eastern Europe is also a new market."

Europe is also the leading market for Firmstar Household Appliances Ltd, which manufactures tower fans, metal fans, air-conditioners, dehumidifiers and air-cleaners, as well as wine cellars, outdoor barbecue gas grills and portable coolers and warmers.

"We export some 60% of our products to Europe, although we ship worldwide," says general manager Sophie Ho. "The US is an important market and South Asia is generating an increasing amount of enquiries."

Firmstar's catalogue includes nearly 100 designs, although most of its work is OEM orders produced by 2,000-3,000 workers at partnership factories in Zhongshan and Foshan on the mainland.

"We have more than 50 models of tower fans alone, and introduce new designs every year," explains Ho.

She adds that customers are looking for "high-end" products in new, slimline, elegant designs with multi-features such as ionizer functions on fans. "We also produce fans with air-purifiers and remote controls," says Ho.

Firmstar's JH-SFI slim, one metre-tall fan features a sliding control panel with a remote control unit inside, an LED display, silent operation, an eight-hour electronic timer, three speeds, an optional ionizer and a natural wind function.

Ho says the fan utilises a patented internal oscillation technology, has high wind velocity and low electricity consumption and provides a 70° wind angle.

FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$10-30 for fans delivered in minimum orders of one FEU 30-45 days after order confirmation.

The company, which manufactures its own Firmstar brand, is also developing new carbon fibre heater designs. "One model is already available and more will be coming soon," Ho advises. "We also manufacture mobile air-conditioners that don't need to be installed, ranging in size from 7,000-12,000 BTUs."

Also specialising in fans and heaters is 17-year-old Housely Industries Ltd, which focuses on OEM work and offers more than 20 own-product models to importers, chain stores and department stores.

Fans account for about 40% of the company's business, with heaters taking the remainder. "Our products match modern European styles and boast new and interesting features such as oscillation, three speeds and remote controls," claims sales supervisor Ivan Li.

He says the ISO 9001-certified company's latest heater is its outdoor patio quartz model, which has passed waterproof and safety tests. "Prices range from US$30-40 per unit FOB Hong Kong for minimum orders of about 1,000 pieces, or one TEU, delivered 30 days after receipt of letter of credit," Li adds.

Housely's products are manufactured at a 2,000-worker, 800,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan.

"Europe accounts for 70% of our production and the US 20%, with 10% going to other markets including the Middle East, Australia and South Africa," Li reveals. "New markets include South American countries such as Argentina and Brazil."

These newer markets will join established export destinations in benefiting from Hong Kong manufacturers' expertise in providing sophisticated, quality electrical and home appliances at competitive prices.


Contact Details:

Best Joint (HK) Ltd
Units C-D, 6/F
Centre 600
82 King Lam St
Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2771-6667
Fax: 852-2332-9319

Blue Electro Int'l Ltd
No. 3, 4/F
Crown Ind Bldg
106 How Ming St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2357-9818
Fax: 852-2357-9921

Firmstar Household Appliances Ltd
Units B & C, 9/F
World Tech Centre
95 How Ming St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2341-5381
Fax: 852-2343-1100

Housely Industries Ltd
Unit 1901, Tower A
Hong Kong Worsted Mills Ind Bldg
31-39 Wo Tong Tsui St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2481-8070
Fax: 852-2480-4372

Polarmax Ltd
Rm G2, 3/F, Phase 2
Kaiser Estate
51 Man Yue St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2521-0990
Fax: 852-2521-7949

Saro Worldwide (HK) Ltd
Unit A, 8/F
Cyber Centre
3 Tung Wong Rd
Shau Kei Wan
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2581-9258
Fax: 852-2581-3014