11 April 2007
Tripping Along(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 02,2007)
|Relays under the FIC brand from Forward Industrial Co sell mainly to Europe and North America|
Extensively used in electronic equipment and appliances, demand for relays in all shapes and sizes is running high. Fortunately, Hong Kong manufacturers are to the fore with lots of good quality relays at competitive prices.
This is true, for instance, at Matching Asia Ltd, which offers a wide range that includes a 10A two-pole 24VAC power relay (ETR2HN-24AS), and a 10A four-pole 220VAC power relay (ETR4HN-220AS).
"Most models in this series have LED indicators that are on when current flows, thus making them user-friendly," says manager Jennifer Tam.
"This series is also finger-proof in compliance with EU safety standards, while quality and functionality are compatible with similar models from major European brands."
Noting that FOB Hong Kong unit prices for relays in this series start at about HK$9, Tam says that RoHS-compliant materials are sourced on the mainland. "All finished relays are also UL, ENEC and CCC approved or certified."
Minimum order varies greatly from 10-10,000 units. "The smaller number enables shops to place orders, while the larger one is for equipment manufacturers," Tam explains, noting that most orders are delivered 5-10 days after confirmation.
Established in 2003, the company produces about 100,000 different relays a month, including power and solid state models, at a 200-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. Matching Asia exports mostly to Italy and Taiwan, while the mainland is also a major market.
Another manufacturer of RoHS-compliant relays is Global HT Electronics Co Ltd, which supplies a wide spectrum of components including general purpose, solid state, signal, power, latching, hermetic sealing, timing, automotive and telecom relays.
A popular item is a compact signal relay (HFD3 series). "This model is VDE-certified to operate at temperatures up to 85°C," explains sales and marketing manager Horace Siu. "It is used mainly in telecommunication products and thermostats powered by low currents of less than 1A." This relay is also compact, measuring 15x7.5x9mm. "We can deliver it in either PCB or SMT format," Siu says.
The firm also offers a high-temperature, 16A/250VAC power relay (HF152F series). "This model is VDE-certified to work at temperatures up to 105°C," says Siu. "It can be used in a wide range of home appliances, including electric ovens."
Another model in the firm’s catalogue is the high current, 50A/250VAC power-saving latching relay (JE10-1series). "This relay is typically used in electrical supply circuits, meters, lighting and other electrical appliances powered by high currents," says Siu. "Electricity needs to be supplied to the relay only once, and so it is energy-saving and meets the future trend."
Another representative item is a compact, high-current automotive relay (HFKC series). "Here, the relay can be used with automotive safety lighting controls, convenience lighting controls and convenience heaters," Siu says, noting that the dimensions are 12x12.9x9.9mm.
In addition, this manufacturer also produces a slim, solid state signal relay (JGC-4F series). "All of the materials used are sourced in Europe, the US and Japan," says Siu, "yet our prices are always competitive."
Set up in 1984, Global HT produces about 30 million relays per month at a 70,000-square-metre, 3,000-worker factory in Xiamen on the mainland. The facility is ISO 9001-, ISO/TS 16949-, ISO 14001- and OHSAS 18001-certified. A minimum order is 1,000 units, with consignment expected 40-45 days after order confirmation. The company’s major markets are the US, Europe, Asia and the mainland.
Also producing automotive relays is Universal Relays & Controls Ltd, whose compact, 12x12.9x9.9mm (YH520) relay for automotive systems is highly popular. "This model is so small and compact, and that is the big trend in relays these days," says sales manager Karen Yen. "This model is designed for high currents of up to 30A."
Another model, YH527, actually comprises two YH520s combined, thus saving the user installation time and space when two similar relays are required. "In fact, we have both open lines and custom-made models," Yen stresses. "So prices are subject to negotiation."
Founded in 1979, the enterprise manufactures about five million relays a month using plastics from the US and metals from Germany or Japan at a TS16949-certified, 300,000-square-foot, 1,000-worker factory in Shanghai. A minimum order is 1,000 units, with the lead time averaging 3-6 weeks depending on the model and quantity. Universal’s main markets include the US, France, Germany and Italy.
Also prominent is Forward Industrial Co, established in 1987 in Hong Kong. The firm, an experienced and specialised manufacturer of miniature and super-miniature power relays, operates in joint venture with Ningbo Forward Group to provide high quality relays to domestic and overseas markets; 70% of production being exported to some 50 countries and regions.
Relays are UL, cUL, CSA and TUV-approved, highly reliable and of consistent quality. They are also available in highly-sensitive or heavy-duty format. The firm also provides OEM and custom-made relay services to fit customers’ special and unique needs. Current relay production is 100 million pieces annually.
With such a diverse array of products on offer at attractive prices, Hong Kong looks set to be the winner in the worldwide relay market competition.
TEXT BY LIZA LEE
Forward Industrial Co
Wu Sang House
655 Nathan Rd
Mong Kok, Kowloon
Global HT Electronics Co Ltd
Flat J, 3/F
On Shing Ind Bldg
2-16 Wo Liu Hang Rd
Fo Tan, New Territories
Matching Asia Ltd
Unit C, 18/F
Jing Ho Ind Bldg
78-84 Wang Lung St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
MEDER electronic Asia Ltd
Unit 8, 7/F
Yen Sheng Centre
64 Hoi Yuen Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Universal Relays & Controls Ltd
Nan Fung Centre
Tsuen Wan, New Territories