20 July 2005
Focusing On Success(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 03,2005)
Vol 3, 2005
Focusing On Success
Sun Shines Through
Mainstar Industries Ltd
|UK, Japanese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong electronics manufacturers trust premium transformers from Mainstar Industries Ltd|
The 14-year-old company's current product range includes modem transformers, toroidal chokes, EMI line filters, switching power transformers, choke coils and EL lamp transformers.
However, Mainstar's current success has not been without a few missteps, such as the time it made what seemed like a logical move into the market for AC/DC adaptors.
"We produced adaptors a few years ago, but found that there was a lot of competition in that area and decided accordingly to focus on our strengths in transformers," admits assistant sales manager Karen Huang.
Today Mainstar tailor-makes premium quality transformers for major electronics manufacturers, supplying customers in the UK, the US, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
"We manufacture mostly small transformers for electronic applications, including audio products and computer power supplies, and design products according to customer requirements," Huang explains, adding that customers generally provide a basic outline of the functions they are seeking. "Our engineering team has more than 20 years' experience in this field, so they can give professional advice."
Panasonic is one of a number of household names among those customers, although Huang prefers not to name others who buy the company's products through trading companies.
Although Mainstar does some business in Asia - notably Japan - she says marketing strategy is focused mostly on Europe and North America, where quality rather than a low price is the first priority.
The company's 60,000-square-foot factory at Zhenlong on the Chinese mainland employs around 300 people and can produce approximately two million units per month, using raw materials sourced in Taiwan, the US and Japan.
"Because our products are tailor-made, we only order the materials after we receive order confirmation from the customer," Huang says. "Delivery can usually be arranged in 30-70 days, although if very rare materials are required it can take longer - up to 100 days - but that is quite rare."
Mainstar prides itself on providing excellent customer service, responding to customer queries within 24 hours and producing specific product samples in 7-10 days.
The company's audio transformers, communication/modem transformers and common-mode EMI line filters are available as custom or standard parts.
However, high frequency transformers and power transformers that conform to UL, CSA, VDE and CSE standards are custom-built, as are high-frequency chokes and PCB type power transformers.
Production is automated in some areas but remains labour-intensive in others, and according to Huang is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, owing to the manual nature of processes such as coil winding.
However, the relatively low cost of labour on the Chinese mainland allows Mainstar to continue to offer competitive prices for high-quality products.
There are no minimum orders, and Huang describes the company's approach to customer service as accommodating. "We hope by doing smaller orders on request to develop a business relationship with a customer, and then gradually larger orders will be built up," she stresses. "We are looking for long-term business."
Mainstar has consistently invested in R&D to stay at the technological forefront of its field, and Huang claims the firm's engineering team responds well to a challenge.
She notes that there are "many" transformer manufacturers on the mainland, and Mainstar is well aware of the need to maintain a sharp competitive edge.
"Our commitment is to offer the best quality, a competitive price, excellent service and on-time delivery," Huang insists, claiming that Mainstar offers custom-made components, fast sampling, a flexible service and the assurance of a prompt reply to customer enquiries. "We want to concentrate on high quality products and the more complicated hi-tech area to expand our market."
WRITTEN BY ROBERT PIERCE
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