Tag Archive | include machining

Work For 120 South Korean Companies

South Korean manager Chun Eun-suk took AP on a tour of GS Bucheon, which produces cables and wires that will make their way into Samsung and LG refrigerators and washing machines assembled in factories in China and Southeast Asia. A North Korean official accompanied the AP, which was denied permission to speak North Korean workers.

Workers in light blue jackets with the company name stitched on the pocket deftly handled multicolored wires.

“It’s very simple work. They can learn this in a day,” said manager Hong Ha-sung.

The propaganda on the walls here is about health and safety: “Beware of fires!” ”Wash your hands carefully!” There’s a ping pong table with balls emblazoned with the word “peace” — sometimes the competition is fierce.

The interaction between the North and South Koreans is collegial and cordial, but Chun and Hong say socializing is kept to a minimum. The South Koreans dine separately from the North Koreans, eating food brought from the South and stored in their own refrigerator.

The question of how North Korean workers are paid is a thorny one, with many believing that the government takes a large cut of the salaries. Hong said he pays the employees directly.

The average Kaesong worker makes more than $110 a month, said Pak, the North Korean official. Trainees make less, but an “incentive-based” system allows workers to earn as much as $150 a month, he said.

“With overtime, they can earn bonuses,” Pak said, speaking to AP in September in a conference room with portraits of Kim Jong Il and North Korean founder Kim Il Sung hanging behind him. Discussion of bonuses and incentives has been associated with directive from leader Kim Jong Un, son of Kim Jong Il and grandson of Kim Il Sung.

At clothing maker ShinWon’s three gleaming, futuristic buildings, the toilets are South Korean and the sewing machines are Japanese. Even the pantry is stocked with South Korean snacks.

Workers are dressed in blue bonnets and in uniforms with “ShinWon” stitched in English on the spot where they’d normally wear a loyalty pin bearing their leaders’ portraits.

At one cutting table, a South Korean manager confers quietly with two North Korean women about a design. The women nod in agreement. A sign taped up on a wall says “Accuracy” in Korean.

ShinWon President Hwang Woo-seung said that although Kaesong’s tax regulations and other rules can be complicated, it’s worth it to be able to employ North Korean workers.

“First of all, we speak the same language,” he said in Kaesong in September. “And secondly, they’re very skilled with their hands.”

On Saturday, ShinWon said its 15 South Korean managers were staying in Kaesong. The company has enough raw materials to last through early May but will soon run out of gas, fuel and food if the entry ban continues, a spokesman said Saturday.


Gaming firms have eye on overseas markets

Entertainment equipment manufacturing companies from Zhongshan are looking to make inroads in overseas markets, even as the city strives to be the global design and manufacturing hub for the entertainment industry.

“We have been making aggressive strides in the global markets recently. As part of this, we plan to participate in at least five to six international exhibitions every year, mainly to promote our products and explore new business opportunities,” says Deng Zhiyi, president of the Zhongshan Game & Amusement Association.

Deng says that he expects more gaming companies from Zhongshan to participate in international exhibitions and trade fairs.

Ye Weitang, president of Golden Dragon Amusement Equipment Co Ltd, a Zhongshan-based games and amusement equipment maker, says that though the global market is estimated at around $100 billion yuan, Chinese companies account for just $6.4 billion of the total pie, thereby giving ample opportunities for further growth, he says.

Part of the reason why Chinese companies are still lagging others in the global market lies in the quality and R&D advantage enjoyed by countries like the US and Japan. But with Chinese companies gathering output pace and putting more focus on quality, it is only a matter of time before they catch up with competition, Ye says.

Golden Dragon has already made rapid strides in markets like the Middle East, East Europe and the US and overseas business accounts for more than 40 percent of the total business. “Overseas business has been clocking annual growth rates of 20 percent to 30 percent and going forward I expect it to be around 60 percent.”

Ye says that he expects companies from Zhongshan to be the key players in the global market over the next five to 10 years.

Similar sentiments are echoed by Deng, who believes that Chinese companies can now make products that are as good or even superior to the ones made by their Western counterparts. He feels that manufacturing costs for Chinese companies are less costly than others due to the lower labor and raw material costs. “The price of products made in Europe can be three to five times more expensive than those made in China.”

Liang Guoqiang, general manager of Zhongshan G-Look Amusement Machine Co Ltd says that his company’s long-term plan is to integrate more Chinese cultural elements into its products and export these to the overseas markets.

Liang, however, says that though Chinese companies are fast catching up in production techniques, they still have a lot to learn from their Western counterparts, especially on aspects like business operations.

“After several years of development, many of the developed countries are now capable of producing gaming equipment with better quality and in large scale. The biggest advantage they enjoy over Chinese companies is their understanding of the business, gained largely from their advanced manufacturing techniques for equipment manufacture.

The company offers equipment packages for all types of laser tag equipment. It also provides assistance and advice on facility design, installation of laser equipment and training.

The best selling product of the company is a set that contains a vest and a laser tag gun, priced at about 10,000 yuan. The other hot product is a uniform and a laser tag gun for outdoor activities, priced at 6,000 yuan.

Though its products are made in China, Zone China products are more popular in overseas markets like the US, the UK and France. Hu says that overseas sales have been growing at a steady tick.

“In the last few months, we have been able to sell at least 50 packages every day,” she says. “Laser tag players are relatively young, often aged between 10 to 30. Normally they play the game during a birthday party or kids camps or in shopping centers.”

McCarrison from Delta Strike says that though such products are relatively new in China, it is only a matter of time before they gain market acceptance.

Reece Group acquire for oil and gas move

North east engineering company Reece Group have acquired the Responsive Engineering Group, in a move to enter the oil and gas markets.

Reece comprises Pearson Engineering and Pearson Engineering Services based in Newcastle, and Velocity UK, based in Sunderland.

The acquisition of Responsive Engineering means the firm will grow its offering to include machining, welding/fabrication, pressing, assembly, testing and laser and waterjet cutting.

It currently employs 180 staff across three sites on in Gateshead, and generates a turnover of roughly 15m. Reece Group employs around 450 people, and last year generated turnover of around 211m.

Chairman John Reece said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Responsive Engineering Group. As well as providing us with access to the oil and gas market, its fabrication service compliments that provided by one of our existing businesses, Pearson Engineering Services, which produces larger fabrications for both the defence and subsea markets. We are looking forward to working with the Responsive management team to continue to build on the high quality work and sales growth they have achieved.”

Phil Kite, Reece Group director responsible for acquisitions, stated: “This deal is good news for both businesses. Each has been successful in their own markets. The Reece Group brings an ethos of investing in the design and development of new products and services and has considerable experience in developing export sales.

“Responsive Engineering has heavily invested in the latest technology and is regarded as one of the north east’s leading subcontract manufacturing businesses.

“This opportunity came at the right time for both businesses – the Reece Group looking to enter new markets and Responsive Engineering looking to expand and secure the financial backing to do so. I believe together the businesses will make a formidable team.”

Responsive Engineering Group managing director, Peter Bernard, who will remain with the business, added: “I am delighted with the acquisition of the Company by the Reece Group. I launched Responsive Engineering in 2000 and together with Paul Torday, undertook a management buyout in 2005.

“Since then we have successfully followed a strategy to grow the business. The Reece Group is highly regarded in the region as a strong business with an excellent engineering pedigree. The Group is both ambitious and committed to the growth of engineering in the north east. All of which is good news for Responsive Engineering, as we will continue to develop and grow our enterprise as part of that commitment.

“This is an excellent fit for both parties and there are many upsides for everyone. I am particularly pleased that our management team will remain in place and that there is security and a very bright future for all our employees under the new ownership.”

The Reece Group corporate advisors were UNW, led by Paul Kaiser. Legal advisors were Dickinson Dees, led by Iain Pritty. Responsive Engineering Group’s corporate advisors were PWC, led by Paul Mankin. Legal advisors were Ward Hardaway, led by Martin Hull.