13 Oct 2004
Hong Kong Enterprise
Battery-Operated Household Goods
Handy Home Helpers
This pepper mill from Long-Way Industrial Co Ltd is battery operated and comes with a stand and built-in salt shaker
New innovations in battery-operated goods are boosting sales for these handy home helpers, and Hong Kong supplies them in great variety - from electric toothbrushes to fruit-drink mixers.
Quality at a competitive price is the basic concept of Alixon Industrial Co, a manufacturer of plastic and metal household products established in 1997.
Presently popular is a line of battery-operated sewing machines. "These lightweight items come with a variety of features such as double stitching, dual speed and reverse stitching," says materials manager Joan Lee. "Another model that is especially for sewing buttons is appropriately named Button Mate."
Apart from spot mending, these handy devices also do regular stitching jobs. However, the different features also affect selling prices. "The FOB Hong Kong unit price range is about US$2-6," Lee advises.
A minimum order is 1,000 pieces per model and delivery time is 2-4 weeks. Major export markets include the UK, the US, Germany, Japan and Taiwan.
ABS for the housing and other quality raw materials come from Taiwan and suppliers on the Chinese mainland. These are processed at Alixon's 1,500-square-metre, 500-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.
"OEM orders are welcome and adding a customer's brand name or logo onto a product is no problem," says Lee.
Another firm active in battery-operated products is 1983-established Fukien Industry Co. Lines available include promotional and premium items in addition to a higher priced range.
"Our range include men's shavers, nose trimmers, ladies' shavers and body massagers," says account executive Esther Chu. "We also have nail file sets, electric toothbrushes, manicure sets and men's rotating tie racks. There are also mini-vacuum cleaners for computers, paper shredders and, in the sporting goods line, digital golf score counters."
Another popular item is a battery-operated face massager that comes with a set of three attachments. "This is popular with ladies," she says.
According to Chu, FOB Hong Kong unit prices for these products start at about US$1 and rise to about US$4.50 for minimum order quantities of 5,000 pieces. Delivery time is 30 days after order confirmation.
"The housings are made mostly from ABS sourced from Japan and Taiwan, while we source metal locally on the mainland," she adds. Production exceeds 90,000 items a month at the firm's 10,000-square-metre, 250-worker plant in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland and the major export market is the US.
Meanwhile, four-year-old New Century Industrial Co manufactures a general range of handy accessories for the bathroom, including a battery-operated, waterproof radio.
"Our AM/FM shower radio comes in two styles," says marketing executive Kevin Lee. "The ABS case in one version has round edges, while the other case is more rectangular. Apart from that, the functions are identical and both come with fog-free mirrors that will not mist up."
There is no minimum order for these items and delivery is 4-6 weeks after confirmation of order. "However, FOB Hong Kong unit prices depend on several factors," says Lee, "and start at about US$3.40."
Production takes place at the firm's ISO 9001-certified, 100,000-square-foot, 1,000-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. Major exports destinations are the US, Europe and Australia.
A company with a wealth of experience in OEM manufacturing that has resulted in a broad range of battery-operated products, Profit Charm (FE) Ltd was established in 1992.
"We are strongest in micro-motor-driven goods," says director Joe Wong, "and our coffee cream mixer is a good example of our abilities as this useful and reliable home helper is powered by two AA batteries."
Other lines include a vacuum cleaner for computers and a juicer for oranges that is small and strongly powered by four AA batteries.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices are US$1.00-1.50, with many items selling for less than US$1 - which makes them perfect as gift or premium items.
"Our product design team and graphic designers are in Hong Kong, where we also conduct business administration such as payments, taking orders and arranging deliveries," says Wong.
Production and tooling is done on the mainland at a 350-worker plant in Dongguan. Items such as LEDs and plastic and metal micro-motors are bought from approved local suppliers, while ABS comes from both the mainland and Taiwan. A minimum order is 3,000-5,000 pieces per design, and Wong says exports go mainly to Europe, the US and Asia.
"We also design gift boxes upon request," he reveals, "and send the artwork and film to a subcontracted printing factory."
Showing that Hong Kong is fully charged up for better business in battery-operated household goods.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON
Alixon Industrial Co
Rms 131-2AB, Blk 1
Wang Cheong Fty Estate
781 Lai Chi Kok Rd
Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon
Fukien Industry Co
Arion Commercial Centre
2-12 Queen's Rd West
Pa Shui Industries (China) Co Ltd
Flats G & H, 9/F, Blk 1
Kin Ho Ind Bldg
14-24 Au Pui Wan St
Fo Tan, New Territories
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