Increased functionality and convenience improve product quality.
China suppliers of promotional scales are enhancing functionality and user friendliness to elevate product value and increase buyer interest.
Bathroom and kitchen scales continue to lead exports of the line, with visually appealing options the best-sellers. Among the popular releases are multifunction units of the first category that can measure weight, BMI and bone-to-muscle ratio, and also act as photo frames and timers. Some recommend fat content and daily calorie intake.
A number of the latest products display temperature and humidity levels as well. Several kitchen scales, including those from Care Electronic (Scale) Co. Ltd, have a mirror surface and a hook for hanging. The maker also offers a version with a handle that enables utilization as a wall clock.
Other features promoting convenience include detachable panels adopting infrared technology. This saves the user from bending forward to view the readouts better.
Some suppliers carry options with displays that rotate up to 180 degrees. These releases have overload or low-power indicators, a capacity of 150kg at 100g intervals, auto shut-off capability, high-precision sensors and a 6mm-thick tempered-glass platform. Each runs on a CR2032 lithium battery and adopts step-on technology.
Manufacturers likewise advance connectivity via wireless technologies such as Bluetooth.
Similarly helpful is the talk function in a few upscale alternatives. Zhongshan Huibao Weighing Apparatus Co. Ltd carries a design that boasts a voice prompt and high-precision strain gauge sensors. Zhongshan Transtek Electronic Co. Ltd, meanwhile, offers an auto shut-off version with an intelligent automatic switch component and foot-tap activation. Each model has a capacity of 150kg or 330 pounds, a 6mm-thick tempered-glass platform and an LCD, and complies with CE and RoHS.
Several promotional scales can announce the measurement in more than five languages, including English, Chinese and French. Buyer specifications are accepted.
The latest releases have enhanced visual appeal as well. Many of the new products targeting the high end come in novelty designs and colorful exteriors. Besides the usual round and square configurations, there are apple-shaped units and models in other interesting contours.
Dealing with rising costs
Weighing scale selections
Materials & components
One of the major challenges for manufacturers of promotional scales is the surging labor and material outlay. The most common strategy undertaken to address this is automation.
Large enterprises boast the capability to execute all procedures on-site, reducing time and costs. These makers concentrate on improving production efficiency and capacity.
Companies such as Care design and manufacture components and software in-house. Zhongshan Huibao, meanwhile, develops 90 percent of the modules and accessories for its bathroom and kitchen scales to achieve seamless integration. To ensure quality performance in various environments, the supplier's models undergo a series of tests, including aging, salt spraying, and heat and impact resistance.
Small and midsize companies, which compose 80 percent of the industry base, carry out assembly in-house but subcontract core processes such as hardware development, molding and electronics engineering.
A number of companies are exploring emerging markets, including the Middle East and Asia, to broaden reach. The EU and the US, however, are still the main destinations.
Suppliers in China carry mainly bathroom, kitchen and commercial scales for promotional use. Luggage, fishing and pocket versions are likewise available. Mechanical and electronic types are offered, of which digital models have grown more popular in recent years for their precision.
Low-end mechanical options go for $2.50 to $4.50. The footplates of spring dial variants can be printed on, and come in domestically sourced ABS or metal with a transparent plastic display window. The readings are shown in 100g intervals with a 0.25 pound or 120g margin of error. Models have colored knobs to keep track of the last measurement or mark the target level, and a manual reset function.
Low-end digital units, which are priced between $4 and $6, boast ABS, tempered-glass or chrome-plated platforms. They utilize four high-precision strain gauge sensors, enhancing accuracy by Â±50g. The scales are equipped with LCDs and can record for two or three persons. Many have auto shut-off and reset capability, and overload and low-power indicators.
Midrange digital designs go for $6.50 to $8. In addition to the features found in less expensive alternatives, models in this segment are equipped with bigger backlit LCD panels, tempered-glass platforms, and kilogram, pound and stone options. The built-in memory can accommodate readings for four to 10 users.
Upscale units measure weight, stomach and body fat, hydration level and BMI. These products also calculate the ideal weight and daily calorie requirements. They keep records with time and date stamps for up to 12 persons. The additional features are an IR remote control, adjustable-angle LCD and athlete mode. Timer, clock and digital photo frame capability are likewise found in some versions. Besides having a tempered-glass platform, several models utilize stainless steel footplates in matte silver or chrome finish. The prices are between $9 and $14.
Sensors and ICs are the crucial components of a weighing scale. The two are tested together to determine integrated running performance.
With regard to screens, LCDs are incorporated in digital versions. These come in 25, 27, 30, 32 and 38mm sizes, and are commonly purchased in Guangdong province.
For housings, tempered glass and plastic are typical materials. The first input is available in 6 and 8mm-thick variants. Bathroom scales utilizing these have a capacity of 150 and 180kg, respectively. Suppliers also employ 10mm alternatives.
Stainless steel is an option only in a few high-end designs due to its prohibitive cost.
ABS and PS are the popular choices for plastic housings and bases. Some large manufacturers adopt food-grade substitutes. PVC is also an alternative in kitchen models.
Zhongshan Huibao Weighing Apparatus
Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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