1 Nov 2005
Electronic Scales(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 01,2006)
Vol. 1, 2006
|Kwonnie Industries Ltd turns kitchen scales into home décor items with these eye-catching tomato and fish motifs on tempered glass platforms|
Technology, for example, is the focus for Fook Tin Technologies Ltd. "Our strength is to incorporate value-added features," says director of sales and marketing Holly Au.
"We were among the first in Hong Kong to develop consumer body-fat scales," she adds. "We are also the only manufacturer to develop scales with colour-segmented LCD panels."
The colour LCD segments are seen to advantage in model FS-126BWC, a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology body fat and water retention scale that bears an FOB Hong Kong unit price of US$16-18.
Also of interest is model FS-069, an electronic kitchen scale with liquid measuring function. "The user can define a preset unit for weighing, such as millilitres or fluid ounces," Au notes. "The FOB unit price for this model is US$7-8."
Production takes place at the company's 2,800-worker, 600,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland that is ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-certified.
Fook Tin uses its own Scaleman and PTI brands and also accepts OEM/ODM projects. "We produce about seven million sets of scales per year," says Au, "and the minimum order for the two highlighted models is 1,000 pieces for delivery 60-90 days after order confirmation." She says 70% of customers are in Europe, with the balance in the US and Asia.
Bobco Technology Ltd is also strong on functionality. "Bathroom scales incorporating body-fat analysers are still very popular in the market," says marketing manager Jameson Lam. "People generally see them as fitness products."
Small, it seems, is also beautiful as far as Bobco is concerned because one of the most interesting of the firm's new products is its travel scale (model 8781). "This model is about the size of a hamburger box, and easily fits into a suitcase. It can be used to measure body weight as well as luggage," says Lam.
The FOB Hong Kong unit price for the travel scale is about US$10.50. Other models cost about US$12 each. "However, for quantities in excess of 3,000 pieces per order these can be US$11.50 each," notes Lam.
Production takes place at Bobco's plant in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland that produces 90,000 electronic household items a month. Minimum order is 1,000 pieces and delivery time is four weeks after order confirmation.
Europe accounts for about 60% of sales, while Bobco also has strong customer bases in North America, Australia and Japan. "We're looking to expand into markets such as South America, South Africa and New Zealand," he says.
On the other hand, why not kitchen scales as home décor items? This is the view of Kwonnie Industries Ltd's business development supervisor Thomas Lam.
"We have been producing mechanical scales for many years, but when we started making electronic scales last year we wanted to differentiate ourselves from our competitors," Lam says of the 1978-established firm.
"The result is our colourful range of kitchen scales featuring bright, eye-catching designs such as tomato and fish motifs. We've had a very good reception in the market for these models."
Lam notes that in sales in Europe - especially the UK, Scandinavia and Italy - are very strong.
"Next year, we will introduce 10 new designs," he promises. "Currently, design work is done in-house and we also work with customers to develop their own ideas."
The scales are made using plastic, stainless steel and glass from Korea and Taiwan, and production takes place at a 1,500-worker, 12,500-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the mainland.
"FOB Hong Kong unit prices of our electronic scales are about US$10," says Lam, "and we require a minimum order of 1,000 pieces for delivery 45 days after order confirmation."
Style is also a strong element in the scales manufactured by Management Investment & Technology Co Ltd - as seen in its sleek glass bathroom models.
"We have been in the industry for almost 20 years, and our production is vertically integrated," says assistant marketing manager Peter So.
"We handle every aspect of scale-making, from basic units to advanced equipment," he adds. "Our models come with LCD panels. Also, their tempered, flat glass panels can withstand loads of up to 150kg/330lbs and are easy to clean in addition to looking stylish."
According to So, about 60%-70% of sales are in the US, mainly through importers with their own brand names who distribute to chain stores. "Our other markets include Europe, especially the UK."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices for glass scales vary from US$10.50-11.50 depending on the model. The minimum order is 2,000 pieces, and delivery time is 45 days after confirmation.
"We produce approximately 200,000 sets of electronic bathroom scales a month at our 200,000-square-foot, ISO 9001-certified plant using materials sourced mostly on the mainland," So says.
Weighty matters indeed and scales are clearly no longer things to hide away in the kitchen or bathroom cupboard - thanks to the technological and design expertise of Hong Kong manufacturers.
WRITTEN BY ANN WILLIAMS
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