In late 2012 we visited a Chinese laminate flooring manufacturer to discuss the potential of cooperation. At the time we were looking for the best laminate flooring factory to work with to help produce a new brand of laminate flooring especially catered for the Australian and New Zealand market.
This report will simply reflect on our visit to one of the biggest Chinese laminate flooring manufacturers that was fairly average and a good example of the kind of thing you can expect from most of the Chinese laminate flooring manufacturers out here.
This particular factory’s quality control was better than most of the Chinese laminate flooring manufacturers we’ve visited because they did actually have a process.
On first impressions we weren’t impressed with this factory’s customer service. The sales guy who came to greet us from the train station was annoying, disrespectful and drove like a maniac both to and from the factory! We were left to wait on our own multiple times during the visit.
Fortunately the production manager was much more polite and had a good knowledge of the product. He took over about about halfway through and kind of carried things to the end.
This Chinese laminate flooring manufacturer only does exportation. They don’t produce any goods for the domestic market. They have customers in??across 36 countries but no customers in India, Middle East or Turkey, as these markets tend to be??very price-orientated.
Container loading for exportation is performed at the factory and the goods sail from either Qingdao or Tianjin port.
The factory is located in Binzhou and has a production capacity is 500,000sqm per month and the factory runs 7 days a week.
It usually takes 45 days between placing the order and the goods arriving at the port, but can be done in 30??if the raw materials are all ready.
The majority of production was all OEM, but they do offer OBM services under their own brand which is sold??in Ireland, Mexico and a few other countries.
Unilin royalty for the UK is USD $0.50 / m2
Waxing ??? costs 25% extra
Beveling ??? costs 35-40% extra
Design paper designs are updated at least once every year ??? chosen from their suppliers catalogue.??Other designs come from customers special requirements. They can get these made at the various design paper suppliers they cooperate with.
Laminate Flooring Accessories
This Chinese laminate flooring manufacturer can also provide skirting to compliment the laminate flooring. If an order is large they will produce the skirting themselves; if the order is small they will source from a skirting manufacturer.
Other than skirting, this factory also has an underlay manufacturing partner.
Raw materials are not unloaded from the lorry until they are tested successfully. If the raw materials do not??pass the inspection they are sent back.??One small sample is tested from each batch number of raw materials.
By their experience, most quality problems come from HDF density and absorbency. Density issues are??due to the HDF press process producing uneven densities. They have now moved most of their supplies to?????continuous presses??? which produce a much more uniform density across batches.
Height difference is tested on the production line, because it is important to spot these problems??early to ensure that whole batches are within tolerance. Testing is done with projector to make sure that??batch-to-batch heights are exactly the same.
AC3 is tested with 6000 rotations, with the rotation strips changed every 500 rotations.
All the quality control is kept track of on a QC record sheet that is completed for every order.
When we inspected the storage area we discovered the amount of defect stock to be quite substantial. While this??could be concerning given the high number of defective products, it is also reassuring that the QC team are??doing their job!
This supplier will only accept 30/70 TT or LC payment terms for first time cooperation which is standard for most Chinese laminate flooring manufacturers.
Apart from customer service being a little poor, we were overall fairly satisfied with the factory simply because the production department (the most important part) was a pretty tight ship. It was by no means perfect but better than most.
If you are in the process of choosing a Chinese laminate flooring manufacturer it is a good idea to really grill the factory on their QC process. There are dozens of manufacturers in China that say they have quality control procedures but actually do no quality control whatsoever.
If you’re looking for a Chinese laminate flooring manufacturer that has a stringent quality control process click here.