14 Oct 2004
Powering Up(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 05,2004)
Vol 5, 2004
Asia Bright Industrial (HK) Co Ltd
Award-winning Asia Bright Industrial (HK) Co Ltd targets the leisure motorcycle market with its Battery Fighter battery chargers
Any company that wins awards just two years after beginning a new business must be doing something right. Asia Bright Industrial (HK) Co Ltd started making battery chargers in late 2001, and its Battery Fighter series was voted the 'Best New Product' by the Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association in 2003.
Yet success didn't come easy, as director Duncan Chung is the first to concede. "Testing was the most difficult part," he admits. "After that we devoted a lot of time to obtaining various certifications and now have CE/GS approval for Europe, SAA for Australia, UL for the US and CUL for Canada."
Chung set up Asia Bright in 2000 to produce remote controls for fans and printed circuit boards for tap lights, but competition was so intense that business became unpredictable.
An OEM client asked him to try making battery chargers, with the result that the Battery Fighter has become Asia Bright's flagship product. Available in 12 or 6 volts for lead-acid batteries, Battery Fighter targets mainly the leisure motorcycle market.
"Motorcycles in Asia are normally used for daily transportation, which means the battery is charged regularly so there's no need for a charger," Chung explains. "But in European countries the weather is too harsh to use motorcycles in winter, so they need battery chargers more there."
Chung explains that there are basically three types of chargers on the market. "The first type charges continuously and needs manual disconnection," he says, "otherwise it may overcharge the battery and create the danger of an explosion."
He adds that the second type stops when it is fully charged, but the electricity will leak and need topping up again. "The third type maintains the battery by filling it to full whenever electricity falls to a certain level," Chung notes. "This hurts the battery due to sulphation and shortens the battery's life."
However, Chung says, the Battery Fighter is a float maintenance charger. "It differs by topping the battery up little by little, just enough to meet that level at an extremely low current, hence power is maintained steadily and gives the battery a longer life."
While conceding that Asia Bright is not the inventor of these smart battery chargers he adds that the company does refine and mass-produce them more economically. "Similar chargers are made in Sweden and Belgium, but their production is more costly than ours," Chung claims.
But this doesn't mean that Battery Fighter compromises on quality, as major components such as the thermo resistors, microprocessors, integrated circuits and variable resistors are all imported from Japan or Europe.
They are processed at Asia Bright's ISO 9001-certified plant in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland that is capable of producing up to one million pieces of various kinds of electronic appliances and accessories annually. "Approximately 70% of our output is battery chargers," Chung reveals, "which are mostly sold in Europe, Australia, the US and Japan."
Asia Bright accepts a minimum order of 2,000 pieces per model that is delivered 3-4 weeks after order confirmation. "A 30-50% deposit is needed, but we offer a maximum of 30 days TT payment for regular customers," Chung adds.
Now, the company has been presented with another opportunity: a client has asked it to make 4A chargers. "If successfully developed, this could lead us to bigger markets, including cars, golf carts and trucks," Chung believes.
He is confident that the new charger will present few problems, noting that there are not many battery chargers like Battery Fighter around the world and that Asia Bright's products reflect its business ethos.
"While maintaining a battery at an optimum level lengthens its life, maintaining high quality and competitive pricing is the key to the longevity of our business," Chung concludes.
WRITTEN BY CAM CHEUNG
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