8 April 2005
Magnetic Attraction(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 02,2005)
Living up to its name, Thai Lin Radio Coil Mfy Ltd focused solely on producing coils for radios when it was established in 1975.
Since then it has broadened its output with a profusion of magnetic components whose success has seen the company expand rapidly.
"Today we offer a wide array of choke coils, EMI filters, inductors, power adaptors and various types of transformers for everything from household electronics and digital products to telecom devices," enthuses technical engineering manager Henry Tsui.
"In addition, three years ago we ventured into producing coils and transformers for industrial use, mostly for helping automate large machinery."
Tsui says diversification has proved successful in helping Thai Lin combat the market saturation of general coils and transformers that has resulted in intensive competition and price-cutting.
"There are fewer manufacturers producing magnetic components for industrial use as their production requires more advanced machinery, more specialised skills and technology, with quality of the utmost importance," stresses Tsui.
Thai Lin is well-equipped to face the demands of its new challenge, having steadily expanded its production facilities from an original 600 square feet to 40,000 square feet before eventually moving into its current 222,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
The ISO 9001-certified factory is capable of producing two million units of standard coil windings and customised products a month.
"Before we used to rent our place but this is our own plant where substantial resources have been invested in state-of-the-art equipment for producing increasingly new products," says Tsui.
Thai Lin sources high quality raw materials from the US, Europe, Japan and Taiwan that ensure top quality and help the company meet international standards such as UL, CSA, VDE and TUV.
"We take special care to procure different kinds of materials that fit the performances and applications of our wide range of coils and transformers, which are used for different products and functions," Tsui insists.
He explains that Thai Lin believes "quality needs to be built in", and prides itself on its in-house mould making, injection moulding, metals, pin insertion, wire twisting, ferrite core grinding, and fully automatic and turnkey PCB assembly. "These additional capabilities ensure customers enjoy fast turnaround, on-time delivery and reduced costs," Tsui adds.
A 60-strong quality control and technical support team provides complete 100% inspection with a flow chart, ensuring that every individual inspection can be traced. "A comprehensive 37-page quality manual is available on request," Tsui adds.
Thai Lin performs tests on finished prototypes based on individual customer requirements, and additional testing including life-cycle chamber tests is often conducted.
"We also have our own UL and TUV witness laboratory in Hong Kong, which further enhances our quality control capability while enabling us to keep track of the latest regulations and requirements," Tsui notes.
The company also prides itself on its 14-man R&D team, which consists of 10 staff in the Dongguan factory and another four in Hong Kong. "Both locations are able to develop new products to meet all sorts of requirements," claims Tsui.
The R&D team uses the latest technology to boost the company's competitive edge by providing up-to-the-minute solutions, as well as working closely with customers to meet individual needs.
"We look forward to the opportunity of working with customers on their projects, and will assist with any magnetic design problems," Tsui says.
In addition, the R&D team also takes the lead in developing a cornucopia of components in response to latest market demands.
"We currently have more than 7,000 designs that are welcomed by our customers because they are accredited with international standards such as UL, CSA, VDE, TUV or CE," explains Tsui. "So it saves them both time and resources developing their own products."
Thai Lin exports its traditional coils and transformers worldwide, while magnetic components for the industrial market find customers in the US and Europe.
These products are also available under the company's Thai Lin brand, and can usually be delivered 30-60 days after order confirmation.
Tsui concludes that quality, honesty and integrity are the key elements that keep Thai Lin thriving. "We never compromise on quality-to-price ratio," Tsui insists. "Our customers know that and as a result we have won many loyal customers as well as word-of-mouth referrals over the years."
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
Thai Lin Radio Coil Mfy Ltd