1 Nov 2005
Kitchen Timers(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 01,2006)
Vol. 1, 2006
J-Tech Corp Ltd's novel range of kitchen timers resemble miniature kitchen appliances like washing machines (top) and blenders (bottom)
For example, 1992-established Vigor Best Ltd offers a cute collection of mechanical kitchen timers such as an ABS hanging teardrop-shaped timer (model 32).
"This model can be set for up to 60 minutes," says director C.K. Yun. "Based on the minimum order quantity of 3,000 pieces, the FOB Hong Kong unit price is about US$0.81."
Vigor's range also includes a fish-shaped set (model 18) comprising a 60-minute kitchen timer and four smaller decorative pieces, all with magnets for sticking onto metal surfaces such as refrigerator doors.
Made from PP, this set costs about US$1.50. A minimum order is 1,000 sets per style per colour. "We also produce similar items in the shape of a crab and a frog," Yun adds.
Production takes place at the firm's 5,500-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the southern Chinese mainland, where 150 workers make 150,000-200,000 mechanical kitchen timers a month using plastics from Taiwan, Japan and Korea.
Delivery time is 30-45 days after order confirmation. "Europe is our biggest market, accounting for about 60% of turnover," Yun says. "The US and Japan are also major markets."
Another supplier of whimsical mechanical kitchen timers is 1990-established Mangreen Ltd, which has launched a dog-shaped plastic mechanical timer (model IT102) with a dog-bark alarm that costs about US$1.68 each FOB Shanghai.
"This is our latest product," says director Daniel Chan, "and combines electronic and mechanical functions. The timer operates mechanically while the barking sound is produced electronically and is powered by a built-in battery."
Also gracing Mangreen's catalogue of mechanical kitchen timers is an egg-shaped model (MT504) priced at US$0.55 each and a toaster-shaped model (MT607) at US$0.71 each. "Our mechanical timers feature high accuracy," Chan states.
Mangreen's manufacturing base is a 300-worker, 100,000-square-foot mainland factory in Hangzhou. Plastic and metal come from the mainland, Taiwan, the US and Europe, and the company turns out about 300,000 kitchen timers a month. It requires a minimum order of 3,000-5,000 units depending on the model, and the lead time varies from 30-90 days.
Turning from mechanical to digital timers, 1982-established Art Fair Enterprise Ltd is a veteran in the field. Among its products is a kitchen thermometer with alarm and timer functions (model 1006). "This is a desktop timer that can be set for up to 99 hours and 59 minutes," says director Monica Tang. "It is powered by one AA battery."
Similar functions are performed by another multipurpose thermometer with alarm and timer (model 979H), which is smaller and portable. "This model is easy to carry," says Tang, "and operates on a button cell."
A kitchen countdown timer-cum-alarm clock (model 1001CT) also claims a maximum time interval of 99 minutes and 59 seconds. "This model also features a large surface area ideal for printing a company's logo," says Tang, adding that it runs off one AAA battery.
Art Fair kitchen timers sell for US$1-4 each FOB Hong Kong. They are made at a 200-worker, 2,000-square-metre factory on the southern mainland in Shenzhen using ABS and stainless steel from Taiwan, Korea and Japan. The monthly production capacity is in excess of 100,000 units and the minimum order is 1,000 timers or a minimum order value of US$2,000. Delivery is 30-50 days after order confirmation.
"Europe is our biggest market, accounting for more than 60% of sales," says Tang. "Other key markets are the US and Japan, and we hope to enter markets such as the Middle East and Eastern Europe."
Meanwhile, 1978-established veteran Supreme Plastic Mfg Co Ltd produces mechanical kitchen timers in a variety of shapes such as round, oval and square.
Supreme has a 100,000-square-metre, 2,300-worker factory in Dongguan. "We use mainly plastic and stainless steel from the mainland and Japan, and produce many different timers in assorted colours," says marketing manager Forenza Lai. "The minimum order size is 1,000 units and the lead time is 60 days after order confirmation." Major markets are the US, Germany and France.
Without missing a beat, Hong Kong manufacturers of kitchen timers offer variety, quality and competitive prices every time.
WRITTEN BY LIZA LEE
Advanced Timer Technologies
Unit 23, 3/F, Phase II
21 Lam Hing St
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Vigor Best Ltd
Flat A3, 9/F, Blk A
Texaco Rd Ind Centre
256 Texaco Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
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