17 Oct 2005
Setting Standards(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 04,2005)
Vol 4, 2005
UFA (HK) Industrial Co Ltd
|Quality is king at UFA (HK) Industrial Co, which designs and manufactures cable assemblies and produces cables|
These attributes have seen the 13-year-old company specialise in the design and manufacture of cable assemblies and production of "all kinds" of cables, including AV connectors, game cables, medical cables, mobile telecommunication cables, DC charger cables, computer cables and harness cables.
However, Sham says UFA has now set its sights on high-value AV and automobile cable assemblies such as HDMI cables, DVI cables and automobile plug-in cables.
"Our cables are designed and manufactured for electronics giants like Philips, JVC, Panasonic and Sony, though we also have clients worldwide," she reveals. "Our engineering team works very closely with these clients to produce cables that are tailored to their every need and entire satisfaction."
UFA is equally proud of its ability to meet the extremely high environmental standards demanded by clients in Japanese, European and North American markets.
"We are well ahead of other ODM manufacturers in this regard," Sham claims. "More than 90% of our materials and components are sourced from suppliers that have passed environmental tests performed by accredited laboratories - for instance, we are gradually replacing PVC with TPE as material for cables produced for Japanese users."
These and UFA's myriad of other products are manufactured at an ISO 9001-certified plant in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, that covers some 7,500 square metres, employs 450 workers and makes more than five million cables monthly worth US$3-4m in annual sales.
Taking advantage of the well-established transportation network in the area, UFA enjoys reliable material supply, which in turn ensures prompt delivery with turnaround times of 2-3 weeks.
"Many of our clients have been with us since our establishment in 1992, when we only had a workforce of 20," recalls Sham, who admits that 1996-2000 were "difficult" years for UFA because of the exceptionally low prices offered by its competitors. "Now, the competition is as keen as before but more and more clients understand the concept of value-for-money."
UFA's Hong Kong sales office attaches "great importance" to service, but while it strives to understand and comply with clients' requirements, the company is not flexible as far as quality is concerned. "We have turned several clients away because we refused to lower our standards," confides co-founder and general manager Julian Lau.
The firm's 190-strong R&D department focuses on new products to meet existing market demand, with emphasis on function, quality, cost-effectiveness and environmental-friendliness.
"We are expanding our engineering team in order to meet our customers' requirements and aim to provide more comprehensive services in future," Lau adds.
This commitment to engineering quality is reflected in the fact that UFA's wiring harnesses have been awarded a Certificate of Compliance by UL Int'l Ltd.
"We have our own moulding and plastic injection departments, which enables us to maintain the highest possible standards," Sham says, adding that UFA has also invested heavily in quality control to ensure zero-defect products.
"Our 39 in-house QC technicians are trained to perform inspections under the supervision of experienced engineers, and all materials and components are checked prior to production to eliminate defects," she explains.
Each step - from wire cut and production to assembly - is defined by rigid quality requirements, while random checking is implemented during the process. "Most importantly, before packaging, all finished products are subject to inspections to guarantee the highest quality and reliability," adds Sham.
Looking ahead, UFA plans to strengthen both its engineering and R&D teams and invest further in machinery, as it realises that meeting existing standards and setting new benchmarks are equally important ingredients for success.
The ODM manufacturer's R&D efforts have already paid handsome dividends. "We've developed a hands-free knitting wire for mobile phones or MP3 players," Lau announces. "This is an innovative, fashionable design that has already been patented and will soon be marketed."
WRITTEN BY RACHEL LEUNG
UFA (HK) Industrial Co Ltd
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