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Production of acrylic parts in China?

China is becoming one of the major suppliers of acrylic parts for the Western market. Of course due to the fact that acrylic parts can be produced more cheaply in a reasonable quality. It is however not without problems using Chinese suppliers. China is in many ways far away; geographically, linguistically and culturally. But if you are up to the challenge it may save you a lot of money. It can also get you into troubles.

Here are a few things that should be considered beforehand:
Støt Kina
Support China
   
Choose Chinese supplier:
  • when price is crucial, and ...
  • when delivery time is long. An acrylic parts delivery from China usually take months to arrive. Expect a minimum of 3 months. Many stores have dateline for ordering Christmas exhibitions produced in China in mid-March.
  • when the design is determined and tested. It is laborious to end up with an useless part, if it takes half a years to have a new one produced.
Choose local supplier:
  • for development / prototypes / 0-batches. Unless you have an very good working relationship with a Chinese partner or your own employee in China, it is risky not to do that at home.
  • for secure delivery. The customer has the opportunity to be present when the production starts and can catch any errors early. Should something go wrong anyway, the short delivery time usually prevent a major disaster.
  • if communication is a priority. Mentality is very different in China. If combined with language problems, changes to the constrction and claims can be a pain. Moreover, in China you are often only one of many. Willingness to tackle a "difficult" customer is not always that great. This sort of things is somewhat easier with a local supplier.
  • a short delivery time. Depending on the complexity of the acrylic part and batch size the delivery time for local supplier is a few days to 3 weeks. Delivery of materials and subcontractors may of course change this.
   
Useful links:

Paul Midler Interview Part One: Quality fade and the games played in Chinese manufacturing
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  Q&A
  how do I get acrylic items cheaply?
  What is tolerance?
  Where can acrylic be bought?
  Production of acrylic parts in China?
  Can individuals buy acrylic from Induflex?
  How big is the heat expansion of acrylic?

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