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Development of conductive rubber keys
This year, Taiwan's conductive rubber keyboard manufacturers will face fierce competition from manufacturers in China and Malaysia. Most manufacturers believe that this year's sales will only increase by 5-10% over last year. Michael Ho, general manager of King Rubber Co. Ltd, said: "The increase is mainly from new products used in the telecommunications industry." Thanks to the use of new coatings and materials, Taiwanese manufacturers will provide cheaper and better backlight performance this year. Laser-etched products. The supply volume will increase, but most manufacturers are confident of stable prices. Hong Kong manufacturers are committed to improving keyboard coatings, especially for products used in mobile phones. Hong Kong's supply will increase, and increasingly fierce competition will reduce product prices by about 10%. Although there are several conductive rubber keyboard manufacturers in Singapore, there are still some new manufacturers entering this industry. The automotive and telecommunications industries have promoted the market's demand for conductive rubber keyboards. All manufacturers try to increase or maintain market share, which intensifies competition and causes prices to fall. 90% of Taiwan’s products are exported. Most conductive rubber keyboard manufacturers believe that this year, the market’s demand for conductive rubber keyboards for telecommunications equipment, electronic products and automobiles will grow rapidly. Michael Ho, general manager of King Rubber Co. Ltd, believes that such products will account for 80% of the industry's total output, an increase of 30~35% from last year. He explained: “Since mobile phone products are mainly produced in Europe and the United States, 90% of Taiwan’s rubber keyboard products are used for export.” Mei-Chiong Che, vice president of CKT Rubber Co. Ltd, is more optimistic. He believes that the market is Demand for rubber keyboards for laptops and desktop computers will increase. He said: "Compared with traditional plastic keycap keyboards, conductive rubber keyboards are no noise and can provide a new feel." Technical Supplies Inc. CEO Felix Lin supports this view, and he further explained: Compared with keyboards, conductive rubber keyboards are easier to assemble. They also have better high temperature resistance, low operating noise and long service life.” People from CKT Rubber Company Ltd and Technical Supplies believe that the price of conductive rubber keyboards is already at the bottom. Kingley's Shih explained: "This year we may cut prices by 1 to 2%." Eric Liu, vice president of Ichia Technologies Inc, agreed with this view. But King Rubber's Ho holds a different opinion. He expects prices to fall by 5-10% this year. He said: "In the past two years, Taiwanese manufacturers have increased their production capacity at home or outside the island, and the market has been in a state of severe oversupply." Sicon Rubber's vice president Jerry Ho agreed with this view. Ho pointed out that King Rubber is investigating the use of new materials, including polycarbonate (PC) film and other plastic materials that can replace keyboard rubber. Now the new products offered are hydroformed PC keyboards. Sicon's Ho said samples will be available in the second quarter of this year. He explained: “These new products are very suitable for slim products, such as mobile phones.” Singapore uses non-rubber materials in keyboards to reduce the weight of end products. Although there are several conductive rubber keyboard manufacturers in Singapore, there are still some new ones. Manufacturers enter this industry. John Lee, sales manager of Sei Woo Rubber Works Pte Ltd. said: "The industry has performed well in the past six years, setting a record of an average annual growth rate of 14%, but in the past two years, due to the economic crisis, growth has slowed." Nicholas Lai, a senior salesperson at San Teh Ltd., said: “Currently, the automotive and telecommunications industries are boosting market demand for conductive rubber keyboards.” Lee believes that all manufacturers are trying to increase or maintain market share, which intensifies competition and causes prices to fall. . Prices have fallen by nearly 10%. Lee believes that although prices continue to fall, prices will stabilize this year. Many manufacturers increase investment in research and development to improve production technology and develop new materials, thereby reducing costs and meeting customer requirements. Lee said: "Customers demand improved quality and shorter delivery times." San Teh's Lai predicts that there will be a shortage of keyboards next year. He said: "Telecom equipment manufacturers continue to introduce lighter and smaller phones. They tend to use non-rubber materials in the keyboard to reduce the weight of end products. Therefore, we can only keep up with their development, develop new materials and improve products. Lai said: "The market's demand for keyboards is greatly affected by terminal products. For example, TV remote control manufacturers continue to introduce new types of remote controls. As OEMs rapidly improve their technology, the product life cycle has become very short. Development of new technologies And new materials to meet their needs is a challenge we face.” said Nick Tan, general manager of Panesian Hi-Glory Pte Ltd., “we often introduce new materials and products before customers request them.” Tan said: “ Some products have oversupply, which makes price competition very fierce. Coupled with a weak market, prices are on a downward trend." Lai and Tan are both optimistic that Singapore’s conductive rubber keyboard industry will continue to improve. Tan predicts, “When the purchasing power of customers increases, the industry will become more prosperous.” South Korea is committed to improving product quality Industry analysts pointed out that there are about 10 conductive rubber keyboard manufacturers in South Korea. Every year, new manufacturers enter the industry, including rubber processing companies, and some large remote control manufacturers have given up the production of conductive rubber keyboards and subcontracted their production operations. South Korean manufacturers claim that South Korean conductive rubber keyboards are of higher quality compared to products from mainland China. An employee of a company said: “In fact, conductive rubber keyboards in South Korea are 30% more expensive than products in mainland China. But we have the technology to produce and test high-quality products. Many manufacturers use materials that meet UL standards and are committed to producing Conductive rubber keyboards with surface defects and pinholes. The company’s internal tests and inspections meet JIS requirements.” As the local market shrinks, manufacturers strive to expand overseas markets and shorten sample delivery time. T.H. Jeong, assistant sales manager of Dong Nam Silicone Co., revealed that the company will increase exports to Brazil. He said: “We will open a new factory to expand production capacity.” Manufacturers claim that they can produce conductive rubber keyboards of any size, color or shape. In order to reduce costs, they often subcontract silk screen processing. Most conductive rubber keyboard manufacturers make to order. For example, K.S. Seo., president of Yu Kwang Electronics Co., said that his company requires a minimum order quantity of 5,000 per model.