Friday, 31 January 2014

Manufacturing in China, second stop Shenzhen - Part 3

Shenzhen is situated north of Hong Kong and is a major city in the south of Southern China's Guangdong Province.

Three factories were visited and the overall impression on quality and manufacturing was very good. One in particular stood out with attention to detail on the quality of tooling design and manufacture. Their approach to supporting the customer with recommendations to optimisation of the parts was extremely beneficial to improving part quality and overall costs. The photo below just shows how well the factory is laid out.  Western standards of health and safety were observed.  Simple safety devices like having light gates / laser sensors on all equipment results in extremely low injuries, all of which are minor.

Manufacturing in China
 Picture 1 - Punching and Pressing

Other factories I have seen have operators placing their hands into the machine without any safety devices.  It is hard to watch as a  250 tonne press stamps out metal seconds after a hand is removed.

As well as primarily producing component parts our chosen factory manufactures tools. Picture 2 shows a high volume of tooling that has just passed through the quality department, prior to being shipped to customer both in China and the west.

Manufacturing in China
Picture 2 - Steel Tools

Picture 3 shows factory workers hand finishing some small castings.  Again the workers have been given all the relevant PPE such as gloves, gauntlets and masks and are also working in a well lit, well ventilated area.  The company encourages inter department activities such as football and other sporting events on a weekly basis.  It was refreshing to see factory workers whose safety and well being is very much considered.

Manufacturing in China
Picture 3 - Hand finishing parts

I am sure disreputable companies exist in China as well as in the west however the trip has enabled me to see firsthand how China has the capabilities, resources and now how to manufacture successfully.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Factory Visit in Ningbo - Part 2

First stop was Ningbo, a seaport in the northeast of Zhejiang province.

The capabilities of the 1st factory include high accuracy die casting tooling and manufacturing die casting products for industries such as electrical, lighting and automotive.

product manufacture
Selection of die cast products
product manufacture
Manufacture of bbqs

This factory has an excellent record selling 80% of their manufactured tooling to both overseas and domestic markets. Their business started with die cast products only, however due to the factories high quality of tooling manufacture and capabilities this area has expanded rapidly.

large injection moulding tool
Large injection moulding tools in storage
injection moulding tool
Injection mould tool following quality check
(individual features noted as checked)
 We were very impressed with this factory, with an overall good first impression on quality of work and quality standards. Seeing the QA in action dispelled for me some of the myths regarding poor quality in China.

coordinated measuring machine
Coordinate measuring machine

Products quality system
Products going through quality checks

I noticed the poster below within the QA department. I have no idea what it says... any Chinese speakers out there?? Please let me know. Thank you!

quality manufacturing
QA Department Sign
Next stop Shenzhen.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

China Road Trip to Source Manufacturers - Part 1

After a long flight from the UK, Dean Carran one of the directors at JNDC touched down in Beijing to start his road trip to source manufacturers for machined metal parts and aluminium castings.

Mongolia from the plane

The itinerary included four manufacturers. One in the city of Ningbo, a seaport city in the northeast of Zhejiang province. Today Ningbo is a major exporter of industrial tools, textiles, food and electrical products. The three other manufacturers were in the city of Shenzhen, a major city in the south of Southern China's Guangdong Province located immediately north of Hong Kong. Shenzhen is one of the largest manufacturing hubs in the world and the area became China's first and one of the most successful special economic zones.

The main scope of the trip was to verify capabilities and quality of manufacturing processes and outputs.

manufacturing sourcing china
Road Trip Itinerary

details of the trip to follow