Posted on: June 20, 2018, | By Candy, WayKen Marketing Manager
China has become the world-leading industry in the recent decade. Its production growth is unparalleled and the first compared to any other country in the world. One of the main advantages of Chinese industry is the ability to quickly produce small quantities of parts by using modern CNC machining technologies.
How It All Started
After the World War II and during the Cold War times, the Chinese economy was in disarray. But after a few years after the end of the Cold War, China started to work on its industrial potential. A first, the quality of their products was lower and what they had made were cheaper copies of popular products. This allowed them to flood the international markets with their products and even despite the quality, cheap prices and quantity allowed them to get the required revenue.
Time went by and Chinese quality started growing, as specialists started to get more and more experience. The increase in production quality brought a lot of international customers to China. The country was ideal for manufacturing since labor prices were lower and working efficiency was getting higher very fast. This is when many famous manufacturing giants moved their production to China. Since the costs were much lower, manufacturing things here brought more revenue. This fact made Chinese manufacturing specialists world-class in regards to manufacturing technology.
However, we saw leap development in application of CNC machining within China from then on.
China Machine Shops
After the Cold War and following modern times, the market has drastically changed. Mass production of a single product in millions became obsolete as consumer society became the most popular commerce model in most countries. This brought about creating newer versions of the same product, or just different ones by smaller companies in smaller volumes.
China was one of the first countries to adapt to this situation.
Lots of small efficient machine shops had been created in order to be able to produce small sets of parts really fast. Due to those universal machining shops, Chinese small volume manufacturing industry became one of the most prominent in the world. Despite the shipping costs, designers all over the world order their prototypes done in China because of its speed, efficiency and, most importantly, quality.
Why Ordering Prototypes And Small Part Sets In China Is Efficient?
Chinese industry is quite young and thus more suitable to modern needs. There are not that many massive automated clumsy assembly lines and giant factories where you have to move from one place to another in a car, like the ones that exist in Russia or USA. Those factories are not suited for low volume manufacturing. It is just not profitable for them. However, China has many smaller factories that may not have all the specialized equipment but it is not even needed most of the time. The main advantage here is flexibility.
The flexibility of Chinese factories is achieved by using modern instruments to decrease the lead-time of every part produced. CAM systems are implemented to increase the rate at which manufacturing preparations are carried out, modern measuring and automation systems are installed on the machine tools in order to control part quality right on the spot and CNC operators are trained to meet the demands of any client in regards to surface finish and part precision.
How Does China Achieve Such Low Costs?
It is not a secret that Chinese services are the cheapest on the market. How is that possible? Well, there is a number of reasons for that.
First of all, Chinese labor costs are much lower than those of other well-developed countries. The other point is factory taxing which is lighter compared to the European countries or America. Chinese laws dictate lighter demands ecology and this is why the factories do not have to build some of the expensive systems required in the west.
Another notable factor is that Chinese create their own machine tools, fixtures, cutting tools and other manufacturing equipment themselves. It has good quality and buying and using the equipment that is produced in their own country drastically lowers the maintenance and buying costs. All of the mentioned factors are enough to lower Chinese manufacturing prices up to 40% compared to other markets, which is a very considerable sum.
CNC Machining In China
One of the most viable options for creating metal prototypes is ordering them to be machined from a solid stock. China is a pioneer here. Due to the nature of its industry, CNC machining plays a large role. It allows the creation of a part with almost any complexity with low lead-times due to the fact that the movements of the machine tool are all determined by a CNC program.
Different modern software exists to assist the generation of the NC programs. This software is called Computer Aided Manufacturing system. The operator does not have to choose the coordinates for every movement of the tool now. He just has to choose the surfaces he needs on the CAD model of the part. The Computer Aid systems have grown even further, comprising the whole part lifecycle. Such systems are called Product lifecycle management and they are being widely implemented in Chinese manufacturing institution.
The main advantage of such programs is the interoperability of every stage of the part life. From an idea up to utilization. For example, the CAD packet of such a system allows a number of people to change the design of the part simultaneously and the variety of each person will be saved on the server and an optimal one can be chosen among them in real time. Same features exist on every stage. This makes the designing and manufacturing process much more organized as all the changes that had been implemented can be seen by every participant.
Right now, China is the most industrially able country in the world. Its yearly growth is astounding and its low prices put many of its competitors out of business. An abundance of CNC machine shops creates a healthy competition on the Chinese manufacturing market, which promotes growth, lower prices and a constant struggle to get better. A number of reasons make Chinese manufacturing one of the cheapest in the world while keeping an outstanding quality. A large number of small flexible factories are ideal for taking prototyping orders. Their manufacturing cycle is smaller as well as their manageability, lack of bureaucracy and a faster responsiveness.
At present stage, we, WayKen selects a wide variety of materials including production plastics, metals and other composites to cast fast turnaround and high quality models to customers's satisfactory for product materials. And we have a great advantage over CNC machining capabilities aim to produce the finest, highly accurate visual design models, full-functioning engineering prototypes or master patterns. All these we do just for provide manufacturing experience for all customers.