1 Jan 2003
Looking Ahead(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 01,2003)
Vol 1, 2003
The Finishing Touch
C.T.C. Coils Ltd
|The growing trend towards home automation is expected to pay handsome dividends for C.T.C. Coils Ltd, whose products are used in devices such as digital electricity meters|
How did a small business like C.T.C. Coils Ltd become the first company to introduce Hong Kong to locally-produced SMT power inductors and explore the market? Vision is the answer, according to C.T.C. financial controller Edwin S.W. Li.
"In the early years, the company focused on the epoxy-coated fixed inductors used in a wide range of electronic products such as hi-fi receivers, fax machines, cordless phones and electronic toys," Li explains. However, competition got tough and C.T.C., which was established by managing director Alfred Wong in 1985 and became a limited company in 1989, decided to introduce SMT power inductors before its competitors did. The innovation was an immediate success, and C.T.C. currently offers SMT power inductors with or without base with standard 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10mm diameter cores.
Li believes C.T.C.'s ongoing success, which manifests itself in the form of a monthly production of 15 million pieces, is due to the hands-on, systematic approach adopted by its management. For example, C.T.C. developed a closer relationship with its network of roughly 100 suppliers in Taiwan, the US, Japan and the Chinese mainland when sales dropped 30% in 2001 following the global economic downturn. "We talked frankly to them and pressed the point that if we didn't work together to continuously provide quality products and service, there would be no orders," Li recalls. Presently, C.T.C. has maintained suppliers that can provide materials quickly following a noticeable trend towards placing orders at short notice.
This commitment to producing quality coils flows through to regular QC personnel and a quality management team that focuses on overall quality in relation to incoming raw materials, production, products, packing and services. These measures helped C.T.C. become the first local coil manufacturer to be accredited with ISO 9002 certification in 1998, which was followed by ISO 9001 certification in May of 2002.
Staff training plays an equally important part in C.T.C.'s drive to manufacture quality goods. Skills are kept up-to-date with regular refresher courses, while staff have to take a test before and after training to ensure they meet the required standard.
C.T.C. also extends its hands-on, systematic approach to its customers. "We send out a survey with questions on service, products and quality to our customers once a year and then later send them the results of our survey," Li explains.
Looking ahead, the company wants to boost its customer base significantly. Although C.T.C.'s main markets are currently in Europe, the US and Australia, it is also seeking to expand onto the Chinese mainland. C.T.C. has applied to the Chinese government for a licence to establish a solely foreign-funded enterprise to handle its mainland business.
In addition C.T.C. last year became the major supplier of coils and inductors to the Intelligent Electric Metering Project, which will see its Italian manufacturer supply and install digital meters in all households in Italy. "The home automation trend will be followed by other EU countries such as France, the UK and Germany," Li predicts. "Potential demand for digital electricity meters, which each contain several coils, is expected to be very high in years to come."
The company's 6,500-square-metre factory employing 500 workers in Dongguan on the mainland will undoubtedly have to be expanded to cope with the increasing demand, but C.T.C. has proved it has the capability and vision to cope with the challenges of success.
WRITTEN BY TAMARA CHEUNG
C.T.C. Coils Ltd
Flat E, 8/F, Block 2,
Tai Ping Ind Centre
55 Ting Kok Rd,
Tai Po, New Territories