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Ergonomic Solutions(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 01,2008)

Containers

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Lakco Packaging Ltd has been in the business since 1985, and offers a broad range of boxes and containers

While a box may be just that, the containers manufactured by 23-year-old Lakco Packaging Ltd reveal thoughtful ergonomics and reach new heights in creativity.

"From the outset, we focused on the manufacture of jewellery boxes," recalls Director Paul Cheung. "Later, we added spectacles cases and then boxes for watches. In the past two or three years, we have also produced tin cans for various packaging purposes."

Lakco tended to use mostly plastic as the base material, until the introduction of optical cases, when the company commenced metal fabrication, mainly in steel. For its tin cans, the company turned to tinplate.

Noting that jewellery and watch boxes are mostly plastic shells covered with PU or fabric, he says that spectacles cases are formed by the plastic injection moulding process while the company also offers a range of metal box bodies covered with PU or fabric.

"Basically, we now focus on the low- to medium-end of the market, and our prices range from US$0.30-1.50 per box depending on the size and the materials," says Mr Cheung. "The cheaper end comprises low-cost paper boxes while the higher quality boxes are meant for the watch industry."

The firm continually seeks out new fabrics, goes into new colours and incorporates new patterns into the mix. "It is important to stimulate the purchasing power of our customers with new items," Mr Cheung says.

"When real leather is used as a case covering, the costs can be quite high," he adds. "Usually, such a finish would be for cases ordered to go with high-end glasses. That said, we do have customers with unusual design requirements, in addition to the many others who are quite content to select from the Lakco range."

Mr Cheung is happy to discuss one new approach. "We have a spectacles case that is produced using a new material that changes colour when we perform the embossing process to create a design or a logo, and the result is an outstanding decorative effect," he elaborates.

"For example, when a logo is embossed on to, say, a yellow case with a PU covering, the embossed section appears as a contrasting black."

Among the many designs offered for various purposes, he says that cases for reading glasses are usually smaller and slimmer. "However, fashionable sunglasses with larger lenses require much bigger cases."

He mentions that spectacles are expected to demonstrate some fashion sense in addition to improving sight impairment. "So, we are seeing demand for fashionable cases for spectacles with extra large frames or lenses."

Competition is fierce in the packaging industry, yet Lakco has no intention of diversifying into other sectors. "We are good at what we do because of what we know," declares Mr Cheung. "We will bank on our experience, quality and clients to always see us good."

He states that it is only a matter of time before competition arises from other Asian countries. "We have a factory on the Chinese mainland and consider domestic Chinese manufacturers as our major competitors. They enjoy lower overheads and costs and generally produce a cheaper, but not better, product," he adds. "However, we must fight on our terms, and not be drawn into a price war."

The firm's major markets are Europe, especially Eastern Europe, and it also does business in North America and the Middle East. About half of the output is OEM and the rest ODM.

Lakco Packaging Ltd clearly has its business interests well wrapped up.

TEXT BY TONY HENDERSON

FAST FACTS

Lakco Packaging Ltd
Rms 11-16, 6/F, Blk A
Hi-Tech Ind Centre
5-21 Pak Tin Par St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2413-1330
Fax: 852-2411-5109
Email:
sales@lakco.com.hk
Web: www.lakco.com.hk
Year Established: 1985
Major Product Categories: jewellery boxes, watch boxes, spectacles cases, tin cans, pen boxes, paper bags, pouches
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 1,000-3,000 pieces per model (pattern); US$3,000-5,000
Monthly Production: 1,000,000-1,500,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 30-60 days
Factory Size & Location: 1,500 square metres; Dongguan
Workforce: 800-1,000