In this blog post, nepchin is delighted to talk to Anthony, China Trade Consultant, who talks about prototyping in China with Chinese manufacturers. It covers some of the things to look out for when mass-producing, different ways foreign companies have engaged their Chinese counter parts and also the quality one can expect. Read on.
nepchin: “Hi Anthony! Yeah, so tell us, you’ve got a lot of experience around prototyping in China, can you tell us if I was to get something done in China, what kind of challenges would we face?”
Anthony: “Well it depends on what kind of prototyping. Some industries have greater technical aspects to their product and require more thought out Quality control systems and Quality assurance mechanisms in the design and prototyping stage to ensure they meet certain programs they need to abide to. Smaller to medium companies from industries with less technical products may need to utilise the same structure in a less stringent perspective.”
nepchin: “so it can be quite complex to get a prototype done? Can you give us an example of something you’ve done in your experience and what kind of issues you have had to overcome?”
Anthony: “Prototyping isn’t complex. Prototyping a product for procurement that can be mass-produced within the required specifications is the issue. This is where the difference between designing a product and creating it for mass production creates issues that need to be overcome during the prototype stage. For example, we had to create a solid stainless steel structure which required a lot of welding in particular joints which were to be unseen. This was impossible as we could not hand polish those welded joints into the specified grading. This is where revisions on specifications are made and it becomes a time consuming activity meeting legal requirements in regards to authenticating documentation / maintaining agreed project lead times / customer satisfaction when projects are controlled in one country and procured in another.”
nepchin: “Based on you experience then, how have you found foreign companies in the way they have worked with Chinese manufacturers?”
Anthony: “They tend to have a local representative or a mobile representative. Depending on the project, visitations to uphold QC and QA requirements are planned out for pre-production, the first week of production and the Final stage production. Some may liaise with a China agent, but this generally depends on the foreign companies’ relationship with their local representative and how strong their working relationship is. China is pretty accessible via business visa’s so it’s not much of a drama organising flights in.”
nepchin: “So, how have you found the level of manufacturing quality?”
Anthony: “You get what you pay for?! I found that the issue is usually something that has been “lost in translation”. Often, the QA officers involved, local or foreign, are under considerable pressure and deadlines and this has affected their views on what meets specification and what doesn’t? These are hard decisions to make on-site as the balance between rectification on-site / overseas and costs are juggled around to see which has the least burden.”
nepchin: “Anthony thanks for your time today, it’s been great to get a perspective on someone on the ground in China who’s done it before.”
If you looking to get manufacturing done in China, Post a need on nepchin to reach Anthony.