We asked one of our clients to give us their impressions at a China factory visit during procurement recently. Read below to get an idea of how they felt during this trip, regarding ODM’s role in a factory. This is one of a series of blogs that we will title: Buyer Diary.
The ODM Group sources factories that are most suitable for the production of promotional products. We take a detailed look at every step of the production so that we are able to follow the processes. One of the factories we have visited was in Zhangmutou, which takes roughly 3 hours by bus from Zhuhai. The factory specializes in aluminium products. They’re one of our many preferred suppliers due to their high production value and high quality products.
From raw material to promotional product
One of the promotional products that we contracted this factory to produce were anodized aluminium cases. There are several steps in the production of this promotional packaging. It’s important to perfect each step before progressing with production. We will give you a more insight into the production of the cases by explaining every step.
Extrusion is the first step of the production of the cases. Molten raw aluminium is pushed through a mould to create a uniform profile. These extruded profiles are meters long.
Cutting is the part where the extruded profile is cut into small sizes, which then can be shaped into the desired design. The machine automatically measures the size of each shape and a sharp blade is used to cut through.
CNC stands for computer numerical control. A pre-determined path for the drill means that the machine can cut intricate shapes without the need for manual labour. CNC in this case is carried out on the cut pieces to create an area for the insert pieces (the top and bottom of the case) to be placed. The insert pieces are also CNC’d to make a perfect join.
The parts of the cases (cut pieces and insert pieces) are pressed together by a machine with a large amount of force. The logo is also stamped into the insert piece.
This step smooths the surface by using a work wheel to remove excessive oxidation. The most important part of polishing is to remove any scratches or marks obtained in the factory and to prepare it for sand blasting.
By rinsing the case parts with water, excessive polishing residue and dirt will be removed. The case parts will be hung to dry before moving forward to the next phase.
7. Sand blasting
Sand blasting is another step after polishing. This step smooths and cleans the surface of the cases. The process of sand blasting is pushing fine bits of material at a high velocity to the surface of the case. This creates a texture on the surface of the cases.
Anodizing enhances the surface part of the material as well as adding a vibrant colour to it. The process uses electricity to improve the absorption of the dye. This process involves many different baths and accurately timed anodizing.
9. Foam fitting
Foam is fitted inside the case to ensure that the product fits snug inside without taking any surface damage.
A final QC stage is passed at this point to ensure all shipped products are not defective.
The cases are then carefully individually packed to protect them from dirt and scratches. Then they are packed in a carton box ready for shipment.
As you can see there are a lot of steps to produce the cases and by knowing more about the production you have a better understanding where your promotional product originated.
Consider have a look at previous blogs about factories in China.