29 Sept 2006
Great Inducement(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 04,2006)
Winmax Electronic Co Ltd
|Winmax Electronic Co Ltd is a major supplier of coils, chokes, mains transformers and PCB assemblies for international markets|
A company forging ahead with traditional parts for the electronics industry has also found room for expansion and greater vertical integration. Established in 2003, Winmax Electronic Co Ltd started out manufacturing transformers and those items remain its major source of income today.
Although the Winmax name is relatively new, the firm started out with some 15 years' management experience as a subsidiary of Tonex Industrial Ltd, a specialist in the manufacture of electrical transformers.
"Thanks to our background, we have strong experience in the production of inductors of all types, ranging from medium-duty types to very small coils," says marketing director Eric Cheung.
"We recently expanded into PCB assembly, and now offer a full one-stop Surface Mount Technology service. We also have our own mould-making and plastic-injection facilities, which increase our ability to provide total solutions and comprehensive related services suiting the needs of clients," he adds.
"Our production capacity was increased to enable us to handle plastic housings, bobbins and PCB assembly, and the workforce has grown from about 200 to 350 at the same time," Cheung says. "Our factory is in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, and occupies some 10,000 square metres. Apart from having already upped staff levels, thanks to a steady flow of orders we are still hiring."
While business is relatively good, coils and transformers are a competitive segment. "We have regular customers, of course, and we always offer highly competitive prices," assures Cheung. "Most of the firms we deal with also understand that raw materials prices continue to rise - copper, for example, to the extent of 70% this year alone - and will accept small increments in the nature of 3%-5% so we can maintain competitive pricing yet achieve some thin profit margins."
Both Tonex Industrial and Winmax Electronic are ISO 9001-certified. "In fact, all of our products are subject to strict quality controls that enable them to meet the requirements of TUV, UL and CSA and so on. We are also fully RoHS compliant," Cheung adds.
Apart from coils, Winmax offers mains voltage adaptors of all kinds. "Power transformers are another major item, and we have a line of pin-type switching transformers and lead-and-pin general purpose transformers," Cheung describes.
"Currently in production on the PCB assembly front are devices that act as connectors for computers to use the popular VoIP Internet telephone capability," he adds. "We also expect to turn out more completely made-up items in the future as the profit margin is much better than that obtained from components even though the order quantities are smaller."
Looking ahead, Cheung sees PCB assembly and new models of transformers with different features making up the lion's share of business. "We have high expectations for self-contained electronic products, too," he says.
At this stage, though, finished products are still at the R&D stage. "It will be up to our OEM clients to provide the impetus there," Cheung declares. "However, we still need to go beyond our present markets of Europe - which is the most demanding but the best for business - and the US, which always requires a low price but buys in larger numbers."
Japan has also been a strong market for Winmax products from the very beginning, and the firm will continue its efforts there. "We are actively seeking new business in South America," he reveals, "and we have two new clients there so far - one in Brazil and one in Argentina - and the orders from them are sizable."
The strongest level of competition comes from the mainland rather than Hong Kong firms. "We receive enquiries from Taiwan, but it appears buyers there are going for lower prices from the mainland," Cheung remarks.
"The main point is, Winmax can do the tooling for a new design or search the market for existing items to incorporate or improve upon," he declares. "In this way, clients can save time and money."
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Winmax Electronic Co Ltd