3 July 2006
Switches(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 03,2006)
|Merchant Corp Ltd manufactures a full range of switches, including rocker, rotary, slide, micro and push models|
Hong Kong firms continue to dominate the production and export of switches, and enjoy high demand from world markets in general and the Chinese mainland in particular.
For example, 1995-established Merchant Corp Ltd manufactures switches suitable for home appliances. The range includes rocker, rotary, slide, micro and push switches.
"The rotary switch is most in demand," says marketing executive Grace Chan. "However, all of our main lines sell very well because of the abundance and variety of the home appliances incorporating them."
Chan says that most of the firm's products meet some form of international safety approval. "Recently, our products were tested and certified by SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) to comply with the new EU RoHS directives."
Production takes place at an ISO 9001-certified, 118,000-square-foot, 810-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. There is no minimum order policy, and delivery is 4-6 weeks after order confirmation. Major markets include the mainland, Asia, the US and Europe.
A company with long experience in switches is 1978-established DEL Components Ltd - more commonly known as Defond, the brand name used to market its products.
"Defond has developed into a major name as a supplier of switches and other parts to the home appliances and consumer electronics sectors," says senior sales director Martha Hao.
"Our range is suitable for general consumers, DIY enthusiasts and professional use, and comprises mostly trigger, rocker and slide switches."
Major market segments include large and small appliances, power tools and floor-care products such as vacuum cleaners and steam cleaners. "We also supply a lot of switches to lawn and garden equipment manufacturers, and items such as hedge trimmers, blowers and mowers," Hao advises. "However, because of saturation and competition, we are always looking at new areas of demand."
Production takes place at a 120,000-square-metre, 9,500-worker factory in Dongguan. Minimum order is 5,000 switches for delivery about 14 days after order confirmation, depending on the complexity of the item. Major markets are Europe, the US, Canada and the Asia-Pacific region.
Preferring to conduct business as an agent rather than a manufacturer, 1989-established Pioneer-Tech Co Ltd offers a broad range of switches and plastic components.
"We handle all sorts of switches," says general manager Billy Ma. "The advantage we offer is the ability to take care of a geographically wide market for both sourcing and selling. This is especially true for Hong Kong and the mainland. We are well-known there and also very familiar with the switch makers and users. We can also offer professional advice on the type of switch to use in any particular application."
The firm's main markets are Hong Kong and the mainland. "Product manufacturers on the mainland contact us regularly and we supply them with switches sourced in the US, Europe and Taiwan."
He says Pioneer-Tech searches for new customers by advertising, through its sales team and by taking part in trade events in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The minimum order is 1,000 switches and delivery is usually 2-4 weeks after order confirmation.
Meanwhile, no order is too small for the aptly-named Many Electronic Component Ltd. "We can accept any and all orders for switches," says marketing manager Danny Wong. "We also do other electronic components. We prefer to let customers send us their specific needs, rather than have a huge selection on our website."
For example, the firm's slide switches - used mostly in products such as cassette radios - are frequently sold in lots of 2,000-2,500 units per box.
"We sell these and other switches to Germany, France, Nigeria, India and Pakistan," declares Wong. "In addition to Hong Kong, we have an office in Shenzhen on the mainland."
Delivery time is from 1-6 weeks depending on the quantity, and production takes place in Dongguan.
Sixteen-year-old Openwise Industrial Ltd operates a 12,000-square-metre, 1,200-worker factory in Jiangmen on the mainland. The plant is ISO 9002-certified and RoHS compliant.
"We produce cord-set switches used for table lamps, floor lamps and furniture lighting," says marketing manager Elaine Yu. "Our miniature switches are best sellers at present owing to their innovative design and miniaturised features."
She says the minimum order quantity and delivery time both depend on the detailed arrangements made with customers. The range includes two- and three-wire cord types, miniature and double on-off models.
"We mostly supply mainland manufactures and cord-set suppliers, who in turn supply lighting manufacturers," says Yu.
Hong Kong manufacturers and suppliers of switches clearly have their fingers on the pulse of the market.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON