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Handling The Heat(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 05,2007)

Silicone Sensations



Modern Metal & Electric Ltd has developed a patented lampshade that can be flipped into different shapes
Modern Metal & Electric Ltd, established 1969, has been in the silicone-product manufacturing sector from the outset. The immense experience and knowledge gained by the firm over the years have enabled it to develop a new product line for the kitchen, under the Chameleon brand name, that takes full advantage of the heat-cold tolerant properties of modern silicone.

"While silicone keypads are still our main line, six or seven years ago we started to investigate the household products sector," says assistant marketing manager Vivianca Fung.

"The relatively new line of colourful items includes gifts and premiums, such as a chilly stir stick and a set of coaster playing cards," she adds. "There are also candle holders and wine stoppers, and we make an assortment of ice cube trays in various shapes too."

Know-how apart, Fung says the firm also has a wealth of contacts in the industry from which it can supply silicone in whatever form is required at the time. "We are able to source silicone at competitive prices and to manufacture products at different price levels," she adds.

"Housewives respond well to the texture of our products," says Fung. "We manage to achieve a plastic feel for, say, an oven mitten with a good grip." The mitten is used like any hot plate glove to stop the cook's hands from getting burnt.

"It is unusual to see a plastic-like material used as a pot-holder in the usually destructive heat of oven temperatures," Fung remarks. "That's where the magic of silicone comes in."

Noting that silicone can withstand temperatures up to 600蚌 (315蚓), she says the firm's products pass FDA requirements for the US, and European requirements such as the German Food Law (LMBG).

"The first silicone kitchen products we made were baking pans and cookie trays with the advantage of taking out the cakes simply by bending the container, unlike the traditional rigid tin," Fung says.

"We then worked on an OEM basis with a large European producer of silicone products," she adds. "At about that time, our ice cube maker also became popular, as did a chocolate tray that could go in either the oven or the fridge." Later, the firm developed heart-shaped silicone kitchen containers especially for Valentine's Day and other special occasions.

According to Fung, Modern Metals offers cute egg boilers and certain items made especially for Japan. "Japanese ladies with sensitive skin can use our silicone cleaning pads that guard against allergic reactions," she says. "We have favourable reports that there are no adverse affects because our silicone is without a trace of contaminants such as mercury."

Modern Metals also offers a patented lampshade that can be flipped into different shapes. "It comes in any colour, is washable and has a trendy easy-change-shape feature," says Fung. "This item is produced in an entire range at the moment, although it is still under continuing development as a special lighting series."

The firm's Pet Food Tray, model B17, comes in any Pantone colour, is water-resistant, UV-resistant, non-toxic, has a nice-touch feeling, is environmentally- friendly and heat-resistant up to 250蚓. It is also very durable. Dimensions are 227 (L) x 227 (W) x 52mm (H).

Other good selling items are a salt shaker (model A86), a toothpick holder (A88), a bottle opener (A90), and a pepper shaker (A87) measuring 50 (L) x 50 (W) x 84mm (H).

Meanwhile, the Butterfly series of fun-look figurines features different types of "smiley" characters in the form of little angels, crucifix symbols and cute devils that are ideal for Halloween.

Modern Metals does both ODM and OEM work. "We want to work with OEMs and at the same time develop and patent items for our own market," Fung declares. "We operate five factories on the Chinese mainland, although our silicone houseware product line is made solely in Dongguan."

Totalling some 60,000 square metres, the plants employ about 3,000 workers. "Our main markets are Europe and the US."

The company has achieved ISO 9001 and QS 9000 certification, and the next goal is to reach the ISO 14000 standard. "MME, which is the acronym by which we are popularly known, is a symbol of premium quality and customer satisfaction," states Fung.

Obviously primed for future success, Modern Metals & Electric Ltd seems to have a strategy all mapped out.


Modern Metal & Electric Ltd

5/F, Gold King Ind Bldg,
35-41 Tai Lin Pai Rd, Kwai Chung,
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2487-1296
Fax: 852-2480-4438
Web: www.chameleon.com.hk


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