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Industrial Springs

Industrial Springs

I recently met with a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has designed and developed a unique consumer electronics product for trade shows and other events.  He was picking my brain about manufacturing in China, locating sources and how to improve the production yield and quality.  In an attempt to keep his production costs low, he solicited assembly quotes from manufacturers in the US to compare them to the China price.  As you can imagine, the US assembly price was 2-3 times higher than in China.

He also broke down the components of the product to determine if there was any way he could source at least some of the components in the US.   No, there weren’t any prices even remotely favorable in the US.  One example he gave me broke any records I have seen to date. 

His assembled product requires 9 small industrial springs that have no function other than to keep the inside components from rattling and the knobs and keys in place on the device. We’ve probably all seen these tiny springs under our keyboard keys or in flashlights, etc.  Here is what he found:

–          Los Angeles industrial spring manufacturer:   65-80 cents per spring

–          Shenzhen, China (multiple vendors) spring manufacturer:  1.2 – 2.5 cents per spring

This is a whopping approximate 95% savings by sourcing in China.  Over the 35,000 units x 9 springs, that is a production parts savings about $23,000…just for little tiny holder springs.   I typically see savings in the range of 40%-60%, but rarely this high.  I am astounded and appalled that US manufacturers are completely asleep at the wheel. 

It makes more sense to source these springs in China for this product anyway.  The product will ultimately be assembled there and may be sold at the giant Chinese trade shows.  Still it is a striking example of the manufacturing power of China at a cheap China price.

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One Comment

  1. But what is the quality difference? This is interesting too!


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