Wang Guang Wu is the general supervisor of marketing at Dong Guan Kaly Woodwork Ltd., located in Dongguan City, Guangdong.
Dong Guan Kaly Imports Beech For Fancy Plywood Production
Dongguan City, Guangdong, China--When Dong Guan Kaly Woodwork Ltd. was established in 1994, it did not create any stir among local industry players because it was neither the first to venture into the production of fancy plywood in China, nor was the factory the largest of its kind in the country.
But company chairman and founder, Fang-runbo, who has been involved in timber trading for many years, knew there was money to be made in the production of fancy or decorative plywood. The business flourished over the years. And as a result, Dong Guan Kaly Woodwork has evolved to become the largest factory to produce fancy or decorative plywood in Asia.
Today, the factory represents a hefty investment of RMB700 million and is something that everyone at Dong Guan Kaly Woodwork can be proud of. Located 20 kilometers from Dongguan City in the southern province of Guangdong, the factory employs more than 5,000 workers and occupies an area of 200,000 square meters.
The employees work seven-days a week, three-shifts around the clock. However, the company provides parks, a concert hall
Dong Guan Kaly is one of the largest manufacturers of fancy plywood in Asia.
and a basketball court at the facility for the employees in return. Living quarters and shops are also provided for the employees’ convenience.
“Each day, we can produce between 40,000 and 50,000 sheets of fancy plywood,” Wang Guang Wu, general supervisor of marketing, said. “Almost 90 percent of our products are sold to the local market. They are distributed through agents and retailers to furniture manufacturers, as well as companies involved in the interior decoration and renovation business.”
The decorative boards end up as furniture items or decorative windows, doors and ceilings in modern homes, offices, banks and hotels throughout China.
During the early years at the company, the demand was greater than the supply for the products, so sales were confined to the domestic market. In 1997, Dong Guan Kaly Woodwork started venturing into the export business, using Hong Kong as a distribution channel to ship its products to Singapore, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Japan and the Middle East.
Wang explained that fancy plywood is comprised of a sheet of decorative veneer overlaid on a sheet of plywood. Seventy percent of the plywood used for the production of fancy plywood is imported from Malaysia. The other 30 percent is made at the factory, using round logs imported from the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia and Indonesia.
Employees at Dong Guan Kaly work in three shifts a day, seven days a week.
For the production of veneer, the raw material comes in the form of logs, 90 percent of which are imported from Europe with the rest coming from the United States and Canada. Altogether, more than 10 species are used to produce different decorative patterns.
According to Wang, the company started using U.S. timber in 1995. Today, the consumption volume averages five containers a month.
“We decided to use U.S. timber because it has a more attractive appearance,” he said. “Moreover, we are assured of a constant and stable supply because the timber comes from sustainable managed forests.”
To meet its requirement, the purchasing agents at Dong Guan Kaly Woodwork buy top grade logs for the production of fancy plywood. Upon arrival at the factory, more than 20 slicing machines are used to peel the wood into thin veneer sheets.
State-of-the-art machinery is used for the production of fancy plywood and timber products, according to Wang. These are imported mainly from Japan, Taiwan and Germany. In addition, it has engaged the expertise of foreign experts and technicians, enabling the company to churn out high quality products, including floorboards, doorskin and even adhesives.
Wang conceded that the company began using Maple and over time, has gotten more into using Beech, which today accounts for more than 90 percent of the U.S. wood imported by the company.
Wang added that the company is hoping to steam the Maple items they produce, like the Beech in the future.
Dong Guan Kaly imports Maple, Beech, Cherry and Walnut from Malaysia and Indonesia in order to make the fancy plywood items that the company produces.
Although U.S. lumber is 60 to 100 percent higher in price compared to European Beech, its ability to produce a superior decorative effect has compelled the company not only to continue to buy from the United States, but to increase imports of Walnut and Cherry.
Until now, raw material used for the production of decorative plywood was sourced entirely from overseas countries because of the ban on logging imposed by the Chinese government.
The company has the ability to supply products on a large and stable basis. More importantly, the company has already carved a niche in the industry as a producer of high quality decorative plywood with an ISO 9002 certification to testify to its commitment to quality management, according to Wang. This is further reinforced by the SAP R/3 Resource Planning System that it has adopted from Germany.