While at the Sign Ad event in Shanghai I took the time to look at one of the larger chinese manufacturers NAR.
I was in a small group of about 5, all also media vendors from around the world including France, Brazil etc.
NAR seems to be one of the better manufacturers in China, as you can see they have an excellent testing laboratory working to check consistency, however still you will note on their lab results sheet most lines are “OK” however a few are “NG” (Not Good). I think we all know those rolls will still be sold but to the people looking for cheaper price.
Also I note that at the Sign Ad show there would have been over 100 media venders offering product however there are clearly not that many factories – almost all of them are brokering product from other companies (yet will gladly tell you they manufacture the product and even take you on a factory tour as I did with NAR, however the factory is not their own and in this situation you loose control over consistency and also in paying a broker margin force the quality down further to remain competitive with chinese pricing.
In this tour I saw 6 production lines:
- Laminated Banner production Line
- 2x Self Adhesive Vinyl production lines
- a laminating line applying black back to white vinyl (for later adhesive and release liner application)
- perforated window vinyl plant including over 20+ machines punching the holes
- Small run sampling line for QC and lab testing
Notable things to see below in these photos are the volume of pollution being produced by the laminated banner production facility – you will note the haze in the room from the PVC’s being applied with extreme heat.
Also note that there is a photo of a packaged role of perforated window vinyl – note on this roll there are no plastic end protectors and the cardboard box is very thin. These rolls were stacked 6 layers high per pallet and the bottom rolls are almost guaranteed to be squashed and damaged on a long journey such as to Australia (when it’s all about saving every last dollar to be cheaper this is what you must expect).
My Conclusion is that purchasing from China is very risky and takes a LOT of research and experience. I have seen a few of Cielab’s colour management customers wast a LOT of money bringing in containers of product from China that is completely unusable.