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A glance at China

How Hongfa managed so quickly to return to normality

Hongfa-Fertigung in China
Hongfa's relay production is highly automated.
© Hongfa

The world’s largest relay manufacturer, Hongfa from China, is already back to production at normal level.

After the plant closures in China following the coronavirus outbreak around Chinese New Year, Hongfa was able to ramp up its relay production in China relatively quickly. "Despite strict hygiene measures, we are currently at about 90 percent of our output from before Chinese New Year," says Dr. Christian Veit, Director Strategic Business Development & Marketing of Hongfa Europe. He names two main reasons:

  • Hongfa has a very high level of vertical integration: from processing the raw material (plastic granulate, metal strips, wires) to the finished relay, the company carries out all production processes in-house. More than 90 percent of all the individual parts of a relay are manufactured directly by Hongfa. Therefore the company is less dependent on external suppliers.
  • Because of the Covid-19 epidemic, many other companies are having problems with the return of employees. Hongfa is much less affected by this problem because the production of relays is highly automated, so comparatively little staff can keep the production running.

The logistical key figures currently look as follows: "delivery according to customer requirements" is at 87% (compared to 88% in 2019); "delivery according to confirmed delivery date" is at 98%, which is already at last year's level.  
"This shows that we have managed to get back to normal production mode very quickly - for which my colleagues in China deserve great respect. Due to this situation we are already seeing an increase in inquiries from customers," comments Dr. Christian Veit.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 disease, there has been a major shortage in the global supply of protective masks. That’s why Hongfa decided to help another manufacturer in Xiamen with starting production of protective masks at an already decommissioned production line.


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Hongfa’s team of automation engineers at work setting up production of protective masks.
© Hongfa

A team of automation engineers and production specialists from Hongfa mastered this challenge within only ten days. "Some of our employees continue to support this production line to ensure the desired output of protective masks," explains Dr. Christian Veit.

"In parallel, this team has also developed and put together another fully automated production line for this manufacturer, specializing in the production of protective masks. This production line was recently put into operation. The fully automated production line has a capacity of 100 000 masks per day. It includes material feeding, mask cutting, tape welding, etc. and can be operated by one person.

Information about the Hongfa production facilities: The headquarter of Hongfa is located in Xiamen, Fujian Province, in the South of China. Xiamen is also home to the largest production campus of Hongfa. The other two production campuses are located in Zhoushan (near Shanghai) in the East of China and in Zhongjiang (Sichuan Province) in the West of China.

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