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Introduction, Continued

China Dispatch: Adventures in Case Manufacturing
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The Chenbro factory campus features housing for its workers. It is part of the benefits package for employees of Chenbro to be able to live in the dormitories on the factory campus. The employees have a restaurant on the factory campus site that provides meals for them. The employees can come and go from the campus when they are not working to shop and explore the local community. Most workers seem to prefer to stay at the factory campus and to work as much as they can, as the "work ethic" in China runs very deep; these employees work hard, seem eager to learn new things, and of course, want to earn more money by working more. Workers journey from all across China to work at Chenbro. The workers at this Chenbro manufacturing facility appeared pleasant and happy in their work, but most importantly, it was evident by the look in their eyes that each of them take great pride in the job they do and in the products they make.

Chenbro's factory in Dong Guan, China has almost 1,000 employees who live and work on the Chenbro factory premises, which comprises a type of campus. The Chenbro Dong Guan facility has a total of twelve buildings and covers more than 300,000 square feet of space. It is a very large place that is kept clean and tidy. The employees rotate among three shifts, depending on demand for various products. The new Chenbro Xpider/Gaming Bomb is such a "red hot" product that currently the employees are running production 24x7 to keep up with the product demand and the case manufacturing orders from OEMs that Chenbro receives.

Since Chenbro requested that we not disclose the names of their OEM customers due to certain contractual restrictions, we can't name these OEMs. We can tell you that Chenbro been manufacturing cases of all types for nearly every tier one computer maker around the world. Chenbro is celebrating its 20-year anniversary as a manufacturer and has earned the respect of OEMs worldwide for its high standards of quality and its attention to detail. During the time we have been dealing with Chenbro, several OEMs have told us of their satisfaction with Chenbro, and they all emphasized the same point: that much of Chenbro's success is due to its vast experience in the computer case manufacturing business. We felt that Chenbro would thus be a very good example for exploring and explaining the case manufacturing process.

We spent just over two days with the Chenbro team learning about the case industry and the specific technology that goes into each case. Prior to our factory visit to Dong Guan, China, we visited Chenbro's offices in Taipei, Taiwan to learn about their case design process and the specifics of testing these cases. For those who assume that case manufacturing from start to finish is a simple process of forming, shaping and cutting of sheet metal and steel, you are in for quite a surprise. The amount of planning and work that goes into producing each case is vast, and the number of steps required to produce the product are long and many. You may have a lot more respect for all that goes into making the "box" that holds your computer parts after you finish reading about this process.

We arrived at the Dong Guan facility on a day they were producing Chenbro's Xpider/Gaming Bomb model on most of the production process lines, so we had the added bonus of seeing firsthand production of a case with which we were familiar. But we don't want to get ahead of ourselves, so let's begin at the beginning of this process: the design and testing.

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