Mr. Li, founder, sole owner and General Manager of Jiaxing Haiong Electromechanical Technology, has always had a real fascination for designer furniture. At the beginning of his working career Mr. Li traded in raw materials for the food processing sector and designed furniture made of wood as a second job.
In 1995, as soon as he was able to save up enough money, he started his own business selling the furniture he had personally designed, turning a passion into a successful business.
Starting with 30 employees and an investment of approximately 1,000,000 RMB (~EUR 125,000), today Jiaxing Haihong Electromechanical Technology occupies a 60,000 m2 facility, employees over 500 people and has a turnover of over 37 million USD dollars with forecasts of strong growth in the near future.
Production is mainly office furniture, including desks that can be electrically adjusted in height, in addition to chairs, shelving and workshop tool trolleys.
Electrically adjustable desks manufactured by Jiaxing Haihong Electromechanical Technology.
Currently, 80-90% of the production is destined for the US market and only 10-20% stays in China, where the process of selling by tender is particularly laborious and complex and also because high-end furniture products are not yet sufficiently appreciated.
Jiaxing Haihong has been partnering with one of the largest online sales platforms for office furniture in the USA for over 20 years and Mr. Li appreciates the direct, pragmatic and time-wise approach of online commerce.
This is why he has increasingly focused on Western markets, where business decision-making processes are leaner and more direct, even when dealing with large distributors.
Mr. Li has recently found a partner to distribute his products in Germany and is ready to replicate the business mode, that was so successful in the USA, in Europe.
Mr. Li, owner of Jiaxing Haihong Electromechanical Technology, in front of the Lasertube LT FIBER system he purchased.
The year 2020 was not a good one for Jiaxing Haihong, but not because of COVID-19, as one might expect.
The pandemic caused only a short shutdown during which all the safety measures required by the government were implemented, but the trade war between the US and China was much more damaging, resulting in the loss of a very large and important order. However, optimism grew in 2021 when orders returned to their 2019 levels.
The need to obtain American (UAO) and European (TȔV) certifications prompted the company to increase product quality by renewing its production process and introducing high-tech machinery imported mainly from Europe.
According to Mr. Li, the production process must be automatic and with as little human intervention as possible to guarantee high quality and repeatability. On the other hand, a lot of human resources are required in the design and R&D departments, where imagination and creativity are irreplaceable qualities.
Mr. Li’s goal was to introduce more technological innovation in products. This may sound unusual when talking about furniture, but it is not when you think of intelligent offices, where home automation principles are carried across to the workspace.
For instance, the company's research and development team is working on WiFi desktop chargers for mobile phones, laptops and headsets, or remote control of windows and curtains from the desk. In short, furniture items that are easy to use and make the working environment more efficient and comfortable.
It is Mr. Li’s intentions that these innovations will result in very strong business growth in the coming years.
This growth in business volume required bolstering the existing sales and marketing networks in both the USA and Europe and logistics changes with the opening of a factory in the USA to assemble the finished products.
The aim is to send the components and not the finished parts to capitalize on the major benefits of reduced shipping costs resulting from a reduction in volume for the same amount of goods shipped.
This is why it is increasingly important to develop products that can be assembled easily and precisely.
Example of interlocking tubes for a furniture element, made with a Lasertube system.
The need for quality and easy assembly brings us to why Mr. Li decided to buy the LT FIBER system from BLM GROUP.
A locally produced system was previously used to laser-cut the tubes, but it did not offer the necessary precision.
It is well known that laser cutting of sheet metal and tube are two distinct processes with very different challenges.
Tubes necessarily require three-dimensional processing and have numerous dimensional imperfections in the section and radii. These imperfections vary along the length and are often amplified by the twisting of the tubes. The ability to manage these imperfections is one of the main characteristics of the Lasertube systems.
With the LT-FIBER, Mr. Li’s company can now laser-cut holes of any desired shape with the precision required to ensure the quality of inserts and joints. This allows the parts to be sent overseas with the guarantee the finished product will be assembled correctly.
In the case of adjustable electric desks, for instance, small locking pins have to pass through several section levels. It is absolutely crucial that the position and size of the joints and holes are precise.
With the LT-FIBER, the company can now drill circular holes or holes of the any desired shape with the precision required to ensure the quality of inserts and joints, guaranteeing the correct assembly of the parts being shipped overseas.
Mr. Li found another advantage in the ArTube programming software, which automatically identifies the individual tubes that make up the three-dimensional model of the structure to be manufactured and creates the respective part programs for the Lasertube system.
ArTube automatically identifies the individual tubes that make up the three-dimensional model of the structure to be manufactured and creates the respective part programs for the Lasertube system.
The programming process for the designers was simple and straightforward.
Lastly, Mr. Li greatly appreciated the ability offered by Protube Enterprise CTA PROTUBE, the production control and management software, to monitor the entire production status at any time.