3 July 2006
Resonators(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 03,2006)
|A & T Trading Co supplies ceramic resonators and other components and parts to the US, Europe and Southeast Asia|
Today, electronic consumer goods incorporating seriously high technology are simply a fact of life. Yet, behind the success of many products are a group of more humble, unsung heroes - resonators. While most consumers may not even be aware of their presence, there is roaring demand for resonators from the global electronics industry - and Hong Kong suppliers are pitching in to cater to this vast market.
Among them is Hong Kong Caiqin Electronics Elements Co Ltd, which produces a range of ceramic resonators. "Our resonators are mainly for use in wireless applications and are fitted into many consumer products," says manager H.K. Liang.
Manufactured from powdered chemicals imported mainly from Germany and the Chinese mainland, these resonators operate at frequencies ranging from 200 kHz to 1 MHz. They sell for US$0.012-0.38 each FOB Hong Kong.
In addition, Hong Kong Caiqin also manufactures microwave frequency resonators designed specifically for satellite reception and covering frequencies from 3-40 GHz.
"This range is made from ceramic materials and metallised compounds sourced from Japan, the US and the mainland," Liang notes. "FOB Hong Kong unit prices start at US$0.10 and top out at about US$20."
The company produces a total of six million resonators each month, half in the microwave format and half in the ceramic format.
"All of our products are RoHS compliant," says Liang, referring to the European Union directive on Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
Production takes place at the firm's 700-worker, ISO 14000-certified factory in Jiangsu Province. The minimum order is 5,000 units, and delivery is 21-45 days after order confirmation.
Under its C&Q brand name, the company sells to Europe, the US, South America, Korea and the mainland. "Europe is our biggest market, contributing 35% to total turnover, but we see our market distribution changing because of increasing demand within Asia. We will explore new Asian markets such as India and Vietnam," Liang adds.
Set up in 1999, Hong Kong Caiqin also offers other electronic components - such as antennas and capacitors - and posts annual turnover of about US$3m.
Ceramic resonators are also made by Gen-Worldly Quartz Crystal Co, whose products work at frequencies such as 8 MHz and 455 kHz.
"Our range is used mainly in products such as televisions and telephones," explains manager Eddie Cheung.
The firm offers two- and three-leg versions. "Three-leg resonators are ceramic filters, with built-in capacitors. They can filter off unwanted frequencies," Cheung explains.
The company produces about 20 million ceramic resonators a month, sold at FOB Hong Kong unit prices of HK$0.25-0.50. Metal resonators are also available at HK$0.40-0.70 each, depending on the type of metal and the tolerance.
Raw materials used include ceramics, alloys and other metals sourced on the mainland, Japan and Korea. "For tailor-made models, a minimum order is 10,000 units," says Cheung, "while for standards models, such as those operating at 455, 429 or 629 kHz or 4 MHz, there is no minimum order requirement." Delivery usually takes place 7-10 days after order confirmation.
Gen-Worldly Quartz Crystal sells to the US, Japan and the mainland, mainly under the GW brand name. Established in 1992, the firm operates a 350-worker, 4,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen on the mainland.
On the other hand, resonators from Abundance Enterprise Co come in crystal form, including the firm's AT206 series of pin crystal models.
"This series features two-leg connections and a frequency range of 3.5-30 MHz. They can be used for most electronic consumer products, such as MP3 players and hi-fi sets," says sales supervisor Andy Tsui.
In addition, the SX3225 series of SMD (surface mount device) crystal resonators is characterised by its small size. "This range is suitable for use in small and portable products, such as digital cameras and Bluetooth products," Tsui explains.
Abundance's resonators are made using crystal blanks and copper sourced on the mainland and in Japan. "All of our products are RoHS-compliant and SGS-certified," Tsui states.
Through its mainland factories, the 18-year-old company turns out 5-6 million resonators a month under the AEC brand name. It requires a minimum of 1,000 units per order, and the lead time is 2-3 weeks. "We are selling worldwide, but Europe and the US account for more than half of our sales in terms of both turnover and volume," Tsui says.
On this evidence, the extensive assortment of resonators available from Hong Kong is clearly on song with international manufacturers of electronic products.
WRITTEN BY LIZA LEE
Chequers Electronic (China) Ltd
Mong Kok Commercial Centre
16 Argyle St
Mong Kok, Kowloon
Gen-Worldly Quartz Crystal Co
Sun Ling Plaza
30 On Kui St
On Lok Tsuen Ind Area
Fan Ling, New Territories
Hong Kong Caiqin Electronics Elements Co Ltd
Rm 216, Blk G
Phase 2, Kwai Shing Ind Bldg
42-46 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories