1 April 2003
Sensors(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 02,2003)
Vol 2, 2003
Sensing Sales Success
Mantech Products (HK) Ltd produces sensors that fit numerous applications
Sensors are the unsung heroes of electronic components, doing their jobs reliably and efficiently, keeping parts from overheating, or measuring, weighing and detecting factors such as light, humidity, loads and gases. Hong Kong companies, as agents or manufacturers, are experienced hands at supplying the right sensors at the right price to manufacturers worldwide.
Mantech Products (HK) Ltd, for example, manufactures a range of products, including temperature, load cell, gas and humidity sensors, under the Sensorbase brand name. The agent for Sensorbase Technology Inc sells to companies in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, as well as to other markets in Asia and Europe.
Temperature sensors, available in surface mounted devices (SMD) and radial versions, account for 60% of the 1.5 million sensors the company distributes each month. The devices are typically used to protect against overheating in home appliances, air conditioners and mobile phones.
Load cell sensors, meanwhile, determine weight (electronic scales), gas sensors detect various gases (air cleaners, alcohol testers) and humidity sensors measure moisture in the air (clocks, air conditioners).
"Our prices are more competitive than comparable Japanese products, but more expensive than those from the mainland," says manager Michael Hui. "In quality, ours are similar to Japanese products."
Mantech offers four sizes of SMD temperature sensors, with resistance tolerances from 0.1-10%, at prices from US$0.05-0.30 per piece FOB Hong Kong. Its radial sensors come in 10 sizes and resistance tolerances from 1-20%, and sell for US$0.025-0.35 per piece. Minimum order is 1,000 pieces with delivery 2-3 weeks after order confirmation if stock is on hand; 3-4 weeks otherwise.
Fellow producer Hong Kong Aleph Co Ltd manufactures three types of sensors: photo, level and proximity sensors. The company produces nearly seven million per month at a 28,000-square-metre facility in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland and in Sendai, Japan, home of its Japanese-based parent Nippon Aleph Corp. About 60% carry the company's Aleph brand, with private label sales accounting for the remainder.
"We mainly make high-end products," says sales supervisor Michael Yim of its Hong Kong branch, which has been awarded ISO 9001, 9002 and QS 9000 certification.
Proximity sensors are Aleph's bread-and-butter earner, with output of four million units per month. The magnet-based sensors, which sell for US$0.50-1.50 per piece FOB Hong Kong, provide control applications in many home appliances, including coffee makers, vacuum cleaners and washing machines.
The company also manufactures more than two million interrupter, actuator and reflective photo sensors per month, which are used in office machines such as photocopiers, scanners, fax machines and printers. Prices range from US$0.20-2.00 per piece FOB Hong Kong.
Level sensors, which detect levels of liquid in water tanks, oil tanks and air conditioners, sell for US$0.60-2.00 per piece, depending on the design and application. Output is approximately 800,000-1.5 million units per month.
With a minimum order requirement of 5,000 pieces, customers can expect delivery 60 days after order confirmation. "We sell worldwide, but our main markets are Japan, the US and Europe," Yim adds.
Electronics components distributor Angus Electronics Co Ltd sells a range of ultrasonic sensors for Taiwan-based Pro-Wave Electronics Corp. Angus offers 10 types of ultrasonic sensors, which are used in security alarms, car alarms and other consumer products.
Sizes range from 8-90mm with the 12, 14,16 and 18mm sizes the most marketable. Prices range from approximately US$0.90-3.20 per piece FOB Hong Kong. Monthly production totals 20,000 pieces.
About 50% of the sensors carry the manufacturing firm's Pro-Wave brand, with the remainder on an OEM or private label basis. "Our products are made by a high-technology company in Taiwan so they are comparable with Japanese products, but we offer a better price," says marketing manager Cindy Lam.
The minimum order requirement is 1,000 pieces, with delivery 30-45 days after order confirmation. Most of the company's sales are to customers in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.
Katri Far East Co Ltd, an agent for Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese electronics companies, sells NTC temperature sensors, CDS light sensors, thermal protectors and humidity sensors. Its temperature sensors - NTC thermistors made by Samkyung Co in Korea - are available in a choice of about 10 types and range in price from approximately US$0.09-1.28 per piece FOB Hong Kong.
The NTC thermistors are used in air conditioners, audio products, switching power supply and electronic consumer products. "We offer basic temperature sensors, temperature compensation sensors and power supply sensors, which protect circuits in computers," explains marketing manager Henry Lo.
Katri Far East has about eight types of CDS light sensors, which have light-sensitive applications and are available in sizes from 4-24mm. More than 80% of sales are the 5mm size, priced at about US$0.05 per piece FOB Hong Kong.
Its thermal protector ST-22 series, mainly used in A/C motor applications, transformers and ballast, has a temperature range of 70-140°C and sells for approximately US$0.26 per piece FOB Hong Kong.
Katri Far East sells 500,000 of the three types of sensors per month to companies in Hong Kong, the mainland, Europe and Southeast Asia. The minimum order amount is negotiable and deliveries are normally made 30 days after order confirmation.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Hong Kong Aleph Co Ltd
Flat E, 24/F
South East Ind Bldg
611-619 Castle Peak Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Mantech Products (HK) Ltd
Yue Fung Ind Bldg
35-45 Chai Wan Kok St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories