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Mar 1998

HK Enterprise Internet

Optical Cases

Protective Inner Packaging

Plastic Packaging

Pouch Packaging

Optical Cases

OPTICAL cases are usually regarded as functional and practical, but in an age where image and presentation are high priorities for the consumer, these unexciting little objects have become as much a fashion item as the spectacles and sunglasses they enclose. Whether funky and furry, or simple but elegant, optical cases from Hong Kong suppliers come in designs and styles to suit every age group.

Clam-shell cases are the most popular, although soft pouches and PVC cases are also strong contenders. To cater for people with busy lifestyles, manufacturers are giving optical cases more practical designs, so such features as flip-tops, neck straps and belt attachments have become common in many models, with a variety of fasteners available.

But when it comes to design, the selection is vast. Genesis Asia Ltd made this aspect of its manufacturing a priority and set up a partnership in Italy, where one of its designers is based. "We have an Italian designer in Italy who often combines his ideas with those of our Hong Kong designer," says managing director Michelle Li. "This means we can follow trends in Europe and be more in touch with our market there. Our Italian partner also provides technical support to our existing set-up in Hong Kong."

In addition to these design facilities, Genesis also accepts clients' designs.

Some of the firm's more striking designs are an imitation leopard-skin hard case in a lemon-segment shape (model G207) which has proven popular in Europe, and a red imitation-leather hard case (model G12 TG) that has been styled to appear like a handbag with handles on either side. Prices depend on the size of the order.

Genesis accepts minimum orders of 1,000 pieces and has a production capacity of 800,000 pieces per month. Delivery time is 30-60 days from its 300-worker plant in Dongguan, mainland China. Major markets are western Europe and the US, as well as Japan and Southeast Asia.

Andy Lam, marketing supervisor at Tai Shing Mfy Ltd, says the company's products are not aimed at any particular regional market. "We don't concentrate on any one region, but we tend to get most of our customers from developed countries," he says.

A metal flip-top silver- and brass-coloured hard case in an art-deco style (model 8030) is part of Tai Shing's range of flip-top cases, which Lam says "has been our most popular type of case in the past few years".

Tai Shing's 6,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland, employs 800 workers. The company can deliver in 30-40 days after confirmation of order, depending on the model and availability of material.

Classic Optical Mfy Ltd has adopted a new and original approach in its designs. Rather than crafting a systematic pattern for each range of cases, the firm has developed what it calls "explosive paint", which produces a random cracking effect when two colours of this paint are combined together on a metal case.

Sales manager Cass Chan explains: "Depending on the colours selected, the cracking will spread on the metal in a certain way and form on their own. This kind of design was developed by our technician, and we have not come across any similar method of design at any of the trade fairs or on any other products on the market. All our products now have this type of design."

Classic applies a similar concept to get a marbling effect on its metal cases. Its cases come in a variety of bright colour combinations, in solid, oval shapes. "This has sold very well in Europe, especially in Germany where the response has been very good," Chan says.

Minimum order is 1,000 pieces, with delivery in 30 days from order confirmation.

For the younger customer or the young at heart, Maxgo Industrial Co has a range of cases with cartoon characters and trendy details suitable for this end of the market.

Produced with a glossy plastic finish, model P112 shows multicoloured dinosaurs on a multicoloured blotchy background. Model S268 is a clear, fluorescent-coloured soft PVC case, with a neck strap to keep spectacles from going astray and a belt-loop attachment.

General manager William Lui says: "The children's designs tend to be colourful, soft PVC cases and have a big market in Europe ... but about 60% of our optical cases are hard cases and 40% [are] soft."

Salop Co Ltd also produces a children's flip-top case adorned with a cartoon octopus design against a vibrant turquoise background. Model 2088A comes in glossy blue plastic.

"We receive a lot of orders for the flip-top children's octopus design," says administrator Cecelia Leung. "All our designs and ideas originate from our Zhongshan City factory [on the mainland], where our designers are based, but final approval comes from the Hong Kong office."

The factory is staffed by 300 workers and occupies 3,000 square metres in Zhongshan. Salop accepts minimum orders of 2,000 pieces and delivers 45-60 days from confirmation of order.

Written by Meiling Voon

Protective Inner Packaging

INNER packaging materials fit snugly around delicate merchandise to protect them while being transported. Hong Kong suppliers make products to customers' specification, from anti-static materials and air-bubble bags to moulded pulp trays and polystyrene sheets. Expect to see more manufacturers offering packaging made from environment-friendly materials such as recycled paper.

Hallmark Int'l (HK) Ltd, set up in 1991, makes air-bubble bags and foam packaging products. According to marketing manager Cheung Wah Kan, the company sells to companies in Hong Kong. "It is very difficult to ship bulky volumes over long distances," Cheung says.

The factory in Shenzhen, mainland China, employs 200 workers and has an average monthly output worth about HK$1.5m, according to Cheung. Raw materials such as LDPE resin come from South Korea, Thailand and the US.

Minimum order is normally about 5,000 pieces per model. "We also accept smaller orders of about 1,000 pieces, but such orders attract a tooling charge which varies between HK$500 and HK$2,000," Cheung says.

FOB Hong Kong prices range from HK$1.50 to HK$15 per piece, depending on the material used and the complexity of the product. Delivery is normally one week after order confirmation, but takes two weeks if special tooling is required.

Cheung believes that business is unlikely to improve this year because of the economic slowdown in the region. Hallmark plans to diversify into other products such as mousepads.

Sunrise Pulp Mould Packing Co, established in 1996, makes pulp mould trays from paper pellets. According to sales supervisor Raymond Lam, major markets include Germany and Norway.

The factory in Dongguan, on the mainland, employs 30 workers and produces an average of about 300,000 pieces per month. It obtains raw materials such as newspaper and cardboard from the mainland.

Minimum order is 5,000 pieces, with the unit price depending on the size and weight of the product. A piece measuring 100x15 millimetres is priced at about HK$0.60 on average, while a unit measuring 450x300 millimetres sells for about HK$2.50. Delivery is normally one week after order confirmation, depending on the quantity. Lam is confident about Sunrise's prospects because of the environment-friendly nature of its products.

Established in 1969, New Times Printing & Paper Products Co Ltd specialises in industrial packaging made from pulp. Major markets include the US, Canada, Germany and the UK.

The factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland, employs 300-350 workers and has an average monthly output of 30,000-80,000 pieces. Raw materials such as old newsprint and scrap cartons are obtained from the mainland.

FOB Hong Kong prices range from HK$0.60 to HK$9 per piece. The minimum order is negotiable, but a tooling charge is applicable to orders of 1,000 pieces, according to director Danny Ting. Delivery normally takes seven to 10 days after order confirmation, but orders that require tooling can be delivered three to four weeks after the first sample.

"We are looking forward to business picking up," says Ting. "We have been getting increasing enquiries from electronics manufacturers, computer-cartridge makers and other manufacturers."

Ten-year-old Yee Fung Polyfoam Ltd makes foam packaging products to protect industrial and consumer goods. It obtains most of its expandable polystyrene from BASF of Germany.

The company has factories in Hong Kong, as well as Shenzhen, Dongguan and Panyu, on the mainland. Together, the plants employ a total of about 450 workers. Average daily output is 3-4 tonnes.

Minimum order is about 1,000 pieces or sets, with FOB Hong Kong prices ranging between HK$2 and HK$3 per piece. Delivery normally takes about 2-3 days after order confirmation. Major markets include Germany and the US, according to marketing manager Anthony Fong.

"We are planning to manufacture paper pulp packaging products this year," says Fong, who expects increased competition and falling demand this year because of the economic slowdown in the region.

Sun Union Fibre Pak Ltd, founded in 1992, makes more than 200 pulp mould models, used in the packing of radios, cordless telephones, toasters and other electrical and consumer products.

FOB Hong Kong prices range from HK$0.50 to HK$1 per piece. Minimum order is 10,000 pieces, for delivery in about seven days after order confirmation.

Sun Union's 25,000-square-metre factory in Panyu, on the mainland, employs about 150 workers and averages a monthly output of about two million pieces. Waste paper and corrugated paper come from the mainland and wood pulp from Canada and Japan.

Major markets are the mainland, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan, according to logistics manager Stanley So. The company plans to explore new markets this year, one possibility being Taiwan.

Written by Austin Lobo

Plastic Packaging

MANUFACTURERS realise no product is complete without proper packaging. It is not surprising then that Hong Kong manufacturers supply an array of stylish and functional plastic cartons and casings, be it for luxury goods or sandwiches.

Hip Sing Products Fty was founded in 1988. Its factory in Shenzhen in mainland China employs 100-200 workers, using silkscreen-printing and hot-stamping processes to produce plastic packaging for gifts and premiums. The main materials are PVC and PETG sheeting from Taiwan.

The company produces two kinds of PVC cylinder. The larger cylinder has a diameter of 112 millimetres and height of 183 millimetres. A cone-shaped cylinder has an upper diameter of 82 millimetres while the base diameter measures 50 millimetres. The height of the cone is 175 millimetres.

A small PVC box measures 76(L)x28(W)x33(H) millimetres. Hip Sing also produces bags from PVC sheeting, which can be sealed either by a drawstring or zipper.

Supervisor Josephine Chow says: "We are capable of handling different types of box and bag with different dimensions. We welcome any design of box or bag from our customers."

Hip Sing's monthly production run is five million pieces. Minimum order is 5,000 pieces, and delivery time after confirmation depends on the quantity. Prices, available on request, depend on the quantity and complexity of the order.

JSP Pacific Ltd has been making plastic jars and bottles and PVC bags since 1993. Its workforce of 160, operating in a three-storey facility in Guangzhou, on the mainland, use materials imported from Taiwan and Japan. JSP exports finished goods to Japan, the UK, France and Germany. A minimum order of 10,000 pieces can be delivered within 30-45 days of confirmation.

"We can print customers' designs or logos for US$0.026 per colour, per piece," says managing director Joey Lam.

JSP makes a variety of plastic jars, from PP or GPPS or a combination of the two, suitable for cosmetics and other products. The jars come in three different volumes: five, 30 and 50 millimetres. Some are opaque and some transparent, and they can be ordered in different colours.

A five-millimetre GPPS jar sells for US$0.088 each. A 30-millimetre jar is priced at either US$0.225 or US$0.37 per piece, the cheaper one having a GPPS exterior and PP interior, and the more expensive model being purely PP. The two 50-millimetre jars sell for either US$0.24 or US$0.39 per piece, depending on whether they are a combination of PP/GPPS or entirely PP. All prices are FOB Hong Kong.

Sing Kwong Plastic Boxes Fty Ltd has been making plastic packaging at its Hong Kong factory since 1967. The company has a monthly production of three million pieces, and can deliver a minimum order of 1,000 pieces 10 days after confirmation.

Twenty employees work in a 6,000-square-foot factory, using PVC film from Taiwan and Thailand. Major markets are the US, Sweden and the mainland.

The company produces several kinds of tray packaging from PVC sheeting. This can be moulded to any shape required. Sing Kwong also produces small plastic boxes, whose upper leaves fold to form handles. Prices are available on request.

Chairman Roy Lee says: "Prices depend on quantity, dimensions, printing and whether the order is local or overseas."

KK Plastic Fty Ltd has been making plastic bottles, jars and toys since 1979. The enterprise operates three factories in Shenzhen, on the mainland, employing a total of 500 workers. It will start applying for ISO 9000 certification this year.

The company's products are made from PE, PVC, PETG and PP imported from the US, Spain and Singapore. KK Plastic's major markets are Hong Kong and the mainland, but other markets include Singapore, Australia and Europe. Minimum order is 5,000 pieces, for delivery four weeks after confirmation.

"With authorisation for famous names, we can print any logo that customers want, using silkscreen, PAD or hot-foil pressing," says sales manager David Lee.

KK Plastic's range of products includes pharmaceutical and cosmetics jars, toiletries containers and one-gallon drums. They come in different volumes, from 10 cubic centimetres to 10 litres, and in a selection of colours. Prices are available on request.

Winfa Packaging Co Ltd, founded in 1982, makes a number of packaging products at its 80,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland. The unbranded goods are made from PVC, PS and PET from China and Hong Kong, which are also Winfa's major markets.

Monthly production is 500 tonnes, and an order can be delivered within 45 days after confirmation. The company has no minimum order for standard goods from stock.

Managing director Albert Lau says: "We undertake OEM, depending on the quantity of material involved."

The company makes three fruit-box sizes. The first, designed especially for strawberries or mushrooms, measures 146x102x62.3 millimetres and sells for HK$1 per piece. A box measuring 195x148x62.8 millimetres is priced at HK$0.50. Another box measuring 185x148x121 millimetres sells for HK$0.35. A bowl-shaped salad box has a diameter of 140 millimetres and depth of 60 millimetres, and is priced at HK$0.40.

An egg carton for six chicken eggs measures 158x120x64.5 millimetres and sells for HK$1 per piece. A sandwich box measuring 185x78x80.4 millimetres is HK$0.30 per piece. All prices are FOB Hong Kong.

Written by Misha Moselle

Pouch Packaging

POUCHES for jewellery and other precious items often come in bright colours, but even the dark-coloured models have that velvety feel about them that exudes a sense of value. Hong Kong suppliers offer various styles such as string bags or zippered models, using materials such as satin, suede, velvet or flock.

Jewel Pak Int'l Ltd, established in 1993, makes pouches in striking dark colours such as maroon, red, black and grey, as well as in pastel shades. The pouches have string closures or push buttons. Manager Jennifer Ho says that pouches constitute 20% of Jewel Pak's output, with gift boxes, watch boxes and jewellery boxes making up the rest. Major markets include the US and UK.

The 300-worker factory in Dongguan, mainland China, produces about 200,000 pouches a month, according to Ho. Raw materials such as fabrics come from South Korea.

Minimum order is 20,000 pieces, and FOB Hong Kong prices range between US$0.10 and US$0.30 per piece. Delivery is normally made about 30 days after receipt of an L/C.

"We are planning to explore new markets, and have several enquiries. We are likely to focus on South America this year," Ho says.

Five-year-old Kamex Int'l Ltd makes various types of pouches and boxes. "Seventy percent of our output is devoted to boxes and the rest to pouches," says general manager Ruby Ip. "We make optical boxes and pouches, cutlery boxes and pouches and other kinds of gift boxes and pouches."

The pouches are oblong and come in three sizes and colours — black, bottle green and blue — though buyers may request other shapes and colours. FOB Hong Kong prices range between US$0.50 and US$2 per unit.

Kamex's 50,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan, on the mainland, employs 400 workers and produces an average of 800,000 pouches a month. It imports raw materials such as leatherette from the US, suede from France, satin from South Korea and PU from Italy.

"We plan to increase production capacity by 10% to meet demand and to develop new styles and use [new] materials," Ip says. "We have orders and requests for early shipments."

Clients must order a minimum of 5,000 pieces. Delivery normally takes 30 days after receipt of an L/C. Major markets include France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Singapore, the US, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

Co-Rich Enterprises Ltd manufactures for international brand names such as Lancôme and Christian Dior, says managing director Thomas Tsoi. "We make pouches, cosmetic packs and bags for travel, shopping and backpacks. Of this, 30% of production is devoted to pouches," Tsoi says.

Co-Rich's pouches — priced from HK$0.40 toHK$10 apiece FOB Hong Kong — come in a variety of styles and colours, using zippers, push buttons and strings. Some models sport a smooth texture, while others have a coarser velvet feel.

Established in 1993, Co-Rich operates a 32,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland. It employs 300-400 workers and averages a monthly output of about two million pouches. Flocked nylon comes from South Korea, pigpell from Italy, bengaline moire from the US, and PVC/PU from Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and the mainland.

Minimum order is 10,000 pouches, for delivery in about 30 days after order confirmation. Thirty percent of exports go to the US and Canada, another 30% go to France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and UK, and the rest are shipped to Asian countries such as Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.

"We are planning to diversify into other products such as eyeglass cases this year," Tsoi says.

Luen Fat Package Industrial Ltd, established in 1978, makes pouches on an OEM basis. "All our products are made per customer design and we do not have a brand name," says manager Nerissa Chun. FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$0.20 to US$2 per unit.

The company's 58,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland, employs about 400 workers and averages about 100,000 units a month. Raw materials such as velvet, imitation leather, satin and boards come from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.

Minimum order is 1,000-5,000 units, depending on the product. Delivery is normally about 30 days after order confirmation. Luen Fat exports to Germany, France, Italy, the US and Japan.

Pouches make up 15% of Luen Fat's total output, which also includes plastic boxes, cardboard boxes and other printed products.

Written by Austin Lobo

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