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Experience propels Fujian bag industry

Part one of this three-part series discusses the province’s manufacturing and QC capability.

 

Suppliers in Fujian province continue to rely on their fabrication and QC skills to sustain the area’s position as a main production center for bags in China. The coastal hub generates about 45 percent of the country’s annual revenue from the line. The yearly output is roughly 2 billion pieces, with most makers utilizing 80 to 90 percent of capacity.

On average, companies have more than 10 years of experience in the segment. The majority of yield consists of different types of carriers, including backpacks, duffels, and laptop, fashion and cosmetic bags. Luggage and picnic baskets are usually offered as secondary categories.

The sector’s development has resulted in the establishment of specialized workshops to which individual processes can be subcontracted. Edge painting, gluing fabric onto cardboard and applying water-resistant coating or backing are some of these steps. The last, in particular, is rarely done in-house because the equipment employed is very expensive at roughly $500,000 per unit.

All factories have cutting, bartacking, riveting, and single- and double-needle sewing machines, many of which are fully automatic. Large enterprises own facilities for printing and embroidery.

As regards QC capability, midsize businesses maintain a team of 10 inspectors, while that in big suppliers can consist of more than 50. The department is divided into three groups, checking inputs, semifinished and completed products.

Managers have generally been in the industry for at least 10 years. They train the members on the client’s key requirements for each order before bulk production begins.

Companies undertake IQC for 3 to 5 percent of raw materials and accessories. Large businesses utilize special equipment such as microPC pull testing machines, which measure the tensile strength of textiles.Zipper fatigue testers ascertain the durability of slide fasteners to repeated opening and closing, while salt-spray units determine metal trimmings’ resistance to rust. For items that will be exported to cold environments, plastic parts and fabrics are subjected to low temperatures. To assess materials’ ability to withstand water, hydraulic pressure is exerted.

Inline and final QC involve visual and tactile evaluation for the correct size, color, stitch length and tidiness. FQC is carried out on 30 to 70 percent of each batch by staff with a minimum of five years of exposure to such work.

For buyers that require third-party inspection, samples are sent to Intertek, TÜV or SGS. These institutions can appraise the lead content, yarn count and density of textiles, and certify conformity to REACH, MIL-STD-1051, EN 71 and CPSIA.

Extensive practice in manufacturing and testing gives businesses an edge in creating quality bags. Compared with designs from main competitor Zhejiang province, models from Fujian are more complex and durable. They are priced 5 to 10 percent higher.

From January to October 2011, the province exported 219 million bags, luggage and cases worth $1.7 billion. This represents approximately 8 percent of China’s overall outbound shipments. The volume is 31 percent lower YoY, but the value is up 22 percent. The average unit cost rose 76 percent to $7.69 due to swelling material and labor outlay and the yuan’s appreciation.

The majority of products are shipped on an OEM basis. ODM and OBM orders make up 30 and 5 percent, respectively.

Click hereto read the complete article on Global Sources.


Note: This article "Experience propels Fujian bag industry" 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  e-magazines and  trade shows

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.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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