Shandong iPRE Detection Technology Co, a quality management system developer, aims to help China upgrade its industries with smart quality-control technologies.
"China is one of the largest manufacturing economies in the world, but some Chinese consumers still prefer to purchase toilet seats abroad. What's wrong with our manufacturing industry?" asked Yin Jianhua, president of iPRE. "It is because we are not able to produce high-end products. Companies are losing market share because of poor quality control," Yin said.
Shandong iPRE Detection Technology has developed quality management systems over the years. Established in 2014 in the Weifang High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, it currently has 36 employees. It has registered 11 patents for quality control equipment.
Yin said China's manufacturing companies have not paid enough attention to long-term quality. In 2007, overall sales revenue in the management equipment development sector reached 21 billion yuan ($3.25 billion) in Germany. In comparison, overall sales revenue in China reached 1 billion yuan the same year.
Yang Qingde, chief technology officer at iPRE, said insufficient investment in quality control equipment by Chinese manufacturers has created a big gap between domestic and imported products.
"Production of precision parts requires high-quality control. Visual examinations are not sufficient to uncover defects. Examinations must be done by machines so as to get accurate results," Yang said.
Yang said the development of quality control equipment is challenging, which is why some domestic companies distribute foreign-branded products — the research and development costs are much lower.
Yin said iPRE decided to develop products to meet the demands of the Chinese market. It has established two development centers in Beijing and Weifang since 2014.
The company has since introduced 18 new products to the market, registered 11 patents and applied for seven invention patents.
The company independently developed an ultrasonic measuring instrument that can accurately test a product's thickness, even if it's only 0.003 millimeter in width, or one-20th of the diameter of a hair strand.
Yin said the ultrasonic measuring instrument can also measure a product's paint coating.
There are only three companies in China that can produce high-quality ultrasonic measuring instruments, including iPRE, Yin said. The other two have over 30 years of history developing similar instruments.
Engineers in iPRE have also developed Internet-connected products to provide more user convenience. For instance, it developed a device that can be controlled with an app to measure a surface's roughness.
The device allows users to conduct remote examinations and reduce the chance of error caused by human contact with machines.
The company recently won consumer recognition for their high-quality, low-priced products. The company rolled out seven new devices in Weifang on March 30. The newly developed products have also generated positive feedback from distributors around the country.
Looking forward, the company has a goal to double its sales revenue annually from 2016 to 2018. Yin hopes iPRE will be the top quality management systems developer in China by 2018.
Gao Xufei contributed to this story.