Shenzhen is situated north of Hong Kong and is a major city in the south of Southern China's Guangdong Province.
Three factories were visited and the overall impression on quality and manufacturing was very good. One in particular stood out with attention to detail on the quality of tooling design and manufacture. Their approach to supporting the customer with recommendations to optimisation of the parts was extremely beneficial to improving part quality and overall costs. The photo below just shows how well the factory is laid out. Western standards of health and safety were observed. Simple safety devices like having light gates / laser sensors on all equipment results in extremely low injuries, all of which are minor.
Other factories I have seen have operators placing their hands into the machine without any safety devices. It is hard to watch as a 250 tonne press stamps out metal seconds after a hand is removed.
As well as primarily producing component parts, the chosen factory manufactures tools. Picture 2 shows a high volume of tooling that has just passed through the quality department, prior to being shipped to customer both in China and the west.
Picture 3 shows factory workers hand finishing some small castings. Again the workers have been given all the relevant PPE such as gloves, gauntlets and masks and are also working in a well lit, well ventilated area. The company encourages inter department activities such as football and other sporting events on a weekly basis. It was refreshing to see factory workers whose safety and well being is very much considered.
I am sure disreputable companies exist in China as well as in the west however the trip has enabled me to see firsthand how China has the capabilities, resources and now how to manufacture successfully.