29 Sept 2006
The Right Connection(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 04,2006)
Diamond Electronics HK Co Ltd
|To cope with increased demand, Diamond Electronics HK Co Ltd has increased total production area to more than 300,000 square metres|
Responding to demand, a leading player in the electronic parts and components sector has significantly increased its production space in the past 12 months.
"We established our first factory in Jie Yang in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland in 1995, and have since added two more," advises Diamond Electronics HK Co Ltd manager Elaine Cheng. "Total production area was about 250,000 square metres up until June last year, when we added an additional 65,000 square metres," adds Cheng.
Diamond, established in 1993 and employing an average of some 1,800 workers depending on the flow of orders, mainly produces high-frequency connectors that are destined for use in a variety of radio receivers, network equipment and AV gear.
Many items are manufactured under OEM conditions, especially those intended for hi-tech products and essential services. "Our range includes high-quality electronic components such as DC jacks and sockets, metal chassis and frames," Cheng says. "In addition, we recently became very busy supplying a major German customer with products to be used in satellite communications equipment."
Diamond gained ISO 9001 certification in 2003, and ISO 14001 certification in 2005. "These standards help to raise the confidence of our valued customers," Cheng claims. "Apart from producing tuner chassis for Japanese customers, including the covers and other metal parts, we also work with such household names as Panasonic, JVC, Philips, Sharp, Hitachi and LG."
In earlier times, Diamond would work with Japanese buyers through their centralised purchasing offices usually located in Hong Kong. "Today, all the big buyers from Japan have their purchasing and QC centres on the mainland, where they are physically closer to the actual production," says Cheng.
Being vertically-integrated also gives Diamond a competitive advantage. "Apart from being able to keep everything under control, we do everything in-house - from the basic design to the tool making, and from the metal stamping to the final paper packaging," Cheng adds.
Even electroplating is done in-house, which gives Diamond an advantage as few assemblers on the mainland carry out their own electroplating as it is a complex and onerous process. "Most firms need to transport their goods and/or raw materials to nearby electroplating plants, although this leads to additional concerns with quality control," Cheng explains.
Surface Mount Technology (SMT) is another plus for Diamond. "This line is absolutely essential for us because we undertake so much OEM work and need to assemble various components onto the PCB," says Cheng.
"We do all the procurement necessary to gather the various electronic parts that we do not make ourselves, and assemble the board on our SMT line. At this time, we have only one line, but it is very fast," she assures. "It is good enough for now, but we are mindful of the need for future expansion."
Diamond is equally at home manufacturing both low-cost high-volume orders and hi-tech low-volume products. "We are confident in achieving below 100ppm in PCB assembly and nearing 100% first-pass yield in finished goods," says Cheng.
The firm also has its own R&D department. "However, our engineers do not usually develop new products for our own use but tend to look at ways to assemble different components as cost-effectively as possible," Cheng adds.
Major competitors are similar suppliers on the Chinese mainland, where Diamond also sources its raw materials. "Some special materials come from Japan and Korea," Cheng says. "Unfortunately, this is a highly competitive industry with very thin profit margins. Material costs have increased dramatically, 200% last year alone when the market prices for copper and other metals went sky high."
Cheng says Diamond can also provide total manufacturing services to customers, including those eyeing the development of the mainland market, thanks to its wealth of experience and excellent relations with various government departments.
Diamond continues to forge ahead, using quality and cost-effective manufacturing techniques to maintain its competitive edge.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Diamond Electronics HK Co Ltd