The factory that I visited last week is rather large. It’s more like a campus, with at least 7 multi-story buldings and warehouses. The company has been in manufacturing since around 1987 and at one stage was looking to set themselves up as the radio shack of China. That didn’t pan out for them, but they still have fingers in quite a lot of pies.
The reason I’m visiting them every few weeks is to oversee the production and shipment of Satellite TV Set Top Boxes for a customer in Brazil. On each one of my trips so far, I’ve also inspected the production facilities for products other than the Set Top Boxes.
On my previous visit I looked at how CAT 5 and 6 ethernet cable is made.
|From China – Work|
I looked at all stages from the rolls of copper all the way up to the length marks being printed on the cables as they’re wound onto their final rolls. While I didn’t take a lot of photos or video in the factory, I did grab this picture of the rolls of cable waiting for the final plastic sheathing to be applied. All of the spindles waiting in the cage made me think of livestock waiting to be slaughtered.
Each one of the spindles above is about 9km long and produces 30 boxes of cable. Each box contains a single 305 meter cable.
The factory does quality testing on all it’s cables and one box is selected randomly for testing each time a big spindle is used.
The quality control team cuts various length pieces from the start, middle and end of the cable and checks it in various ways. The theory being that if this one roll is good, then the other 29 should also be good.
At the end of testing, the 305m is now unsellable, and is thrown away.
It made me sad to find out that they just chuck out 300m every time. When I think about how much money I’ve spent on network cable over the years, it’s frustrating to know they just waste all this perfectly good cable.
At least time time I was able to save some of it from the trash heap by getting some “samples”