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Case story: Going beyond with HONOR

Text: David Gray

Photo: HONOR, Mycronic

The tempo of business in China is lightning fast. But if you are responsive and go a step beyond, the rewards can be great, as the Assembly Solution High Volume division found out in 2021. In just 15 days, it delivered 30 dispensing systems to HONOR and was awarded Superior Dispensing Supplier status.

To say that HONOR is an ambitious manufacturer of smart devices would be an understatement. Since its establishment in 2013, the Shenzhen-based HONOR company and brand has risen to become one of the world’s leading providers of smartphones, tablets and wearables, with 8,000 people and a 16% market share in China. Under the banner of “go beyond,” they are striving to build a global iconic tech brand and expect their suppliers to stay close at hand and support them with “innovation, quality and service.”

Fierce battle for market share

Today, domestic Chinese brands like HONOR face a dual challenge. They are going global while at the same time facing a fierce battle to boost market share in their own backyard. Well-known luxury status brands that once dominated the local market are being taught a lesson that if you don’t innovate, adapt to local tastes, and rapidly introduce exciting new models, you will pay the price. It’s no longer enough to change the color of the phone or make cosmetic changes and expect a warm market reception.

HONOR product image of smartphone

Tech-savvy Chinese consumers

The fact is that increasingly tech-savvy Chinese consumers, who thrive on social media, expect a better branding and user experience with enhanced features like 5G and better cameras. In response, devices, tablets and wearables are getting thinner, smaller, lighter with a host of new features. Not surprisingly, HONOR, which is keenly aware of this, is now launching a range of next-generation smartphones and other devices packed with 5G, higher-resolution screens, greater processing power and new cameras.

In response, devices, tablets and wearables are getting thinner, smaller, lighter with a host of new features.

So when HONOR reached out for support with high-precision dispensing, Mycronic knew it would be both a huge opportunity and a fast-paced challenge. As it turns out, “fast” is a more than accurate characterization of the need. Specifically, they wanted to launch two new smartphone series and five products in just six months! But the decision to work with Mycronic did not happen overnight.

Earning trust over time

“During a four-year pre-research phase, although no orders were placed, their people demonstrated good teamwork in helping us push the projects forward,” says HONOR’s Project Team Leader. “This experience formed the basis for a strong partnership based on trust. We know they also follow a ‘Customer First’ approach, which leads to fast response times and positive collaboration.”

In the Chinese market, trust is earned when actions meet words.

Close collaboration and teamwork

“Clearly, with such a tight schedule, timely delivery was of the essence,” recalls Li Lin, Key Account Manager at Mycronic. “To make this happen, we threw all our resources behind the project – engineers, R&D, service teams and our own suppliers, with altogether three shifts working day and night for weeks.”

In China, it also helps to have a strong local presence, with local development, manufacturing and sales close to the market. Explains Li Lin: “We try to stay close to our customers, anticipate their needs and even adapt or customize the equipment to fit their high-volume production needs.

There really is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ solution, which becomes clear when you get out to the factories and see what’s going on firsthand. Once we identify the problem, we can innovate together with HONOR’s skilled engineers to find better solutions and then translate this directly into our local production.”

Combine, protect, connect

In this case, Mycronic’s dispensing systems will be used at the HONOR OMD facility in Shenzhen for a wide range of applications on its new Magic3 Series smartphones. It has also been asked to participate in a special R&D project that is investigating new dispensing applications for new products in the pipeline.

Dispensing - Piezo Jet underfill PCB.jpg

Automated high-precision dispensing is required to drive down costs and handle, for example, the narrow gaps and controlled application of the glue width required for smaller and smarter products. The equipment also adds reliability for coating (protection) sealing (waterproofing and dustproofing) as well as underfill. Because the application targets are often very small, they require very small and precisely administered quantities of adhesives or sealants.

...equally important are knowledge sharing, professional technical support, product quality and innovation ability.

Professional technical support

“What HONOR values the most is mutual trust, close collaboration and good teamwork,” says the HONOR Project Team Leader. “But equally important is knowledge sharing, professional technical support, product quality and innovation ability.”

Based on the good feedback from the first batch of deliveries, Mycronic was granted the official status of Superior Dispensing Supplier status at HONOR’s Annual Supplier Conference. This award is quite an honor, coming from a company that has over 600 quality standards and conducts nearly 200 stringent tests on all incoming materials.

Bringing electronics to life

Looking ahead, he adds: “Similar to Mycronic’s purpose of ‘Bringing tomorrow’s electronics to life', we strive to keep a step ahead to help create a better and more intelligent tomorrow. And I believe that with Mycronic we have an excellent partnership for creating a promising future.”

Text: David Gray

Photo: HONOR, Mycronic

Published: 21 April 2022


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