27 Jan 2006
Fully-Charged(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 02,2006)
Chung Pak Battery Works Ltd
Chung Pak Battery Works Ltd is one of the major battery manufacturers in Hong Kong with a maximum production capacity of about 1.8 billion cells a year
Chung Pak also started to extend its production facilities, and now has two plants on the Chinese mainland: one in Shenzhen, opened in 1986, and another in Shunde that started production in 1997. Both plants were ISO 9001-certified in 2003.
Today, the 46,600-square-metre, 1,500-worker Shenzhen plant specialises in rechargeable batteries and button cells, while the 66,000-square-metre, 800-worker Shunde facility looks after the zinc chloride and lithium batteries.
"The switch to zinc chloride batteries commenced with the purchase of a fully-automatic production line from Hitachi of Japan," says quality administration manager Karen Ip.
"By 2000," she continues, "we had ceased all production of nickel cadmium batteries and button cells because of the environmental concerns, rules and regulations. At the same time, we had also developed a new product - an advanced lithium polymer battery, which is a rechargeable cell also known as a lithium-ion battery."
In 2004, when Chung Pak celebrated its 25th anniversary, the company again stressed its commitment to making environmentally safer and cleaner products. "We also announced the launch of a new zero-mercury and cadmium-free battery series comprised of alkaline batteries and alkaline button cells under the Vinergy brand," Ip adds.
"Obviously, we were aware of the environmental guidelines coming mainly out of Europe and due for strong enforcement from 2006, which were particularly strict in regard to the use of cadmium," Ip explains.
"We set up a strong engineering team, purchased fully-automated production line machinery from Switzerland and Germany and soon commenced production of our new products."
Ip says that apart from production machinery the firm also improved the manufacturing environment. "We cleaned up the factory in several ways, such as air-conditioning and pollution prevention. The environment soon became part and parcel of everything we did."
However, tackling competition and market demand also remained tough tasks. "Although we had the right approach, we faced severe competition in the form of low prices from mainland producers and an oversupply situation," Ip recalls. "We embarked on a cost-cutting mission to increase efficiency, and we believe we have achieved our goal. But we continue to maintain our vigilance."
Ip also mentions labour and power shortages as ongoing challenges, in addition to a burgeoning number of suppliers. "As a major player, though, we are in a strong position. We have a broader base than many of our competitors and can compete across the board. Our regular buyers are also happy with our quality and reliability."
The firm offers several series of alkaline, zinc chloride, alkaline/silver-oxide button cells; high voltage, alkaline, cylindrical button cells; Ni-MH rechargeable, cylindrical and button cells; battery packs and chargers, and even lithium batteries.
"We accept both OEM and ODM orders," says Ip, "and we are a designated manufacturer for certain world-class brands. Our main businesses are ODM industrial uses, including local and overseas toy and household product manufacturers, and to a lesser extent retail sales in the US and Europe."
Subsidiaries of the company include Matsuda Metal & Plastic Works Ltd, set up to provide metal and plastic parts used in battery manufacturing and also supply metal and plastic parts and tools as a major business line. Another subsidiary is Kyokuto Metal (HK) Ltd, which manufactures zinc materials for the production of batteries.
Chung Pak also has good claims to being one of the major battery manufacturers in Hong Kong. "We have a maximum production capacity of about 1.8 billion cells a year," says Ip, "while we enjoy annual sales in excess of HK$600m."
With these strengths, Chung Pak Battery Works Ltd looks to be fully-charged and ready for the challenges ahead in full support of a cleaner environment.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Chung Pak Battery Works Ltd