View Full Version : I'm back !!

John Stevenson
04-21-2007, 03:28 AM
Just got back from the Canton show yesterday, totally wasted, long way, lot to see and some real eye openers.

Overall views first, Canton or Gunghazou as it's now known is a large city that's growing rapidly, remind's me of LA, same overcast, same road system.
We stayed in the old town in a budget hotel but was equivalent to about a 3 or 4 star here. Very clean, loads of staff, very helpful and respectful. Permanent maid to each floor to handle rooms, laundry etc.
Only trip I've ever come back from with a suitcase full of clean clothes :D.
3 buses a day to the show about 30 - 40 minutes away in the morning and at night just from our hotel. We always got the first bus at 7.30 and out trip out was OK but incoming traffic was solid, not may bikes at all.
Many clean VW's and Mercs. Show was enormous, main hall was 3km long split into 28 halls, 14 a side, most with two floors.
Took an hour to get registered as were were pre registered, the works, photo ID that's scanned every time you entered, bags scanned etc but not much delay as they were geared for it.

We were only interested in halls 21 to 28 and it took all on to walk round one in 1/2 a day.
Most machines were under power and all the cnc's ran doors open so you could see what was what, Sensible safety precautions but not OTT, never saw anyone going round with a spindle :D

Very few western buyers, mainly from Asia, India and Africa, a few Europeans. Meta couple of Brits and Yanks but that was it ?

With the exception of a couple of stands in the small parts / IT hall selling CD covers and pencil cases everything was class, there was no tat but a lot of things on show aren't here yet so what AK Boomer was asking didn't apply to this show. One example was a stand that made screwdrivers, nothing else, he had a 4" plank of hardwood with screws in it and invited people to try the drivers out.
I tried that hard I burst the screw head off but the driver was fine, no rounding or chipping but these weren't market stall drivers although cheap enough.

Most companies had pride in their product and took great pains to show pictures of the plant. Most were new, clean, airy and full of state of the art machines, rows of machines and hardly any labour.
They also wanted to please, one example was a set of L shaped hex key wrenches with rubberised handles in a blister pack. Asked how much and was given a very reasonable price then asked if they did them in a blow moulded box but they didn't, only the blister pack.
Asked if they would do them in a blow moulded box and they said yes no problem and quoted a small increase that was still exceptable.

All prices quoted were FOB Shanghi and in US $$
Looked on one stand at computer cases just out of interest, made out I wanted some cheap plain cases for industrial use but they had no plain cases.
Bottom end were still what were are getting mid range now. They quoted $5.00 and $8.00 with power supply.
The top end fancy trick cases with slots lights etc went up to about $15 bare.

Food was $hite. Mainland Chinese food is in no way what we know, ours has been 'westernised' to suit us. They use a lot of sodium glutimate as a flavouring and sweetener and when mixed with rice it smells like drains, literally. Their meat is unreconisable and only half cooked and it takes a brave man to risk getting the $hits when they have only a few western toilets in each rest room and the rest are tiger pits.
Torvill and Dean doing skating on ice had nothing on me having a dump with one foot balanced on the door handle.
The fact I fell into a big dumpster before I left and crack two ribs didn't help, it made it hard to laugh !

Didn't go into the Chinese fast food at the show as the smell put me off but they did have a Mc D's there.

Not a big lover of McD's but hey it's food ?
Now this WAS impressive, big room 18 serving slots per side and three people per slot.
At no time was there more that 7 people in a queue, more like 4 or 5 max.
I reckon they must have changes shifts every three four hours because thee servers were moving that fast they couldn't have done a full shift. Each slot was L shaped and as they took your order you moved sideways and they stared sliding your order up the side bit so they could have 4 orders on the go at once and still be taking new orders.

Bus back to the hotel at night, again three buses, 5:30, 6:00 and 6:30. we had stand number 234 and we were about in the middle.
One night our bus took a detour though the old town for some reason and looking out the window I noticed that the shops were selling wedding dresses, and kept going.
I reckon that the road was about 3/4 a mile long with shops on both sides all selling wedding dresses ??
This wasn't in the tourist area but were their local shops, just never seen that many shops selling wedding dresses.

I'll post more later with some crap pics and a few prices of things I'm not buying :D


04-21-2007, 03:38 AM
Sounds like a good time was had by all John!, it's always good to see something different. By the way I will be over to see you in early June this year as I didn't make it last year, my friend in Nottingham has it organised but I am not sure of the date, I think in the first week of June but I will contact you prior to this to make sure you will be around etc

04-21-2007, 08:41 AM
John, glad you're back! I'm curious...we all throw aroung the "cheap crap China tool" thing all the time here. Did your trip do anything to change your views (or our views maybe) on this?
The reason I ask is...I've had poor luck with Chinese endmills in the past.
A little while ago I ordered some cheap China EM's for sacrificial jobs. Much to my suprise they cut very well and are lasting far better than I'd hoped for.
They cost $6 Cnd.

A.K. Boomer
04-21-2007, 09:25 AM
I reckon they must have changes shifts every three four hours because thee servers were moving that fast they couldn't have done a full shift.


I bet youd be surprised, thier probably working an 8 or 12:(

Good write up John, thanks for taking us with you (I think my ribs even hurt a little)

anyways -- all that info and you left out the main purpose of your trip -- Is it sideways? (keep in mind that this is more of a "test" question then actual curiosity) :p

John Stevenson
04-21-2007, 09:30 AM
I think you have to look at this on a time scale.
When we had those cheap Chinese crap cutters they would have been bought 6 months to a year ago. Held in stock for about the same time, add shipping from China and we are talking about a product probably made 2 years ago.

Of the products I saw the quality was good but these won't be available for sale in the UK or US for at least 4 to 6 months at the earliest. Many of these companies have video's playing saying what they do and showing the plant and products.
Most make a point of getting over how many millions of dollars of foreign investment they have available and how many more they can call upon.


Norman Atkinson
04-21-2007, 09:37 AM
Whilst you were away, I got a -well, I'm now a Oriental freemason. I warned our inscrutable Tektra or Widow Twankee of impending doom and he got uppity.

Now I am sitting scratching my left leg where the chain was fastened and bareing my sunken chest and I gets an invite to Hong Kong to-- well, I don't know. It was sudden.

Watcher reckon? Now these guys are educated and can chant 'Howay, the Laads' better than me- yer bugga Ma!

Seriously, John, I really would appreciate your comments.
This is serious stuff, man.


John Stevenson
04-21-2007, 09:41 AM
Never found out but could have done so easily.
Every time the bus stopped at the lights on the way back into town the pimps would slide cards thru the bus windows offering services.
I should have picked a couple up [ cards that is ] just as a keep sake.

What I did see was a bike that had an electric drive, the bottom bracket was a generator and the back wheel had a hub motor.
Quite futuristic looking and I should have got a picture but everything was going too fast.
This was in the International hall so it was probably a Taiwanese stand.
Found you a motorbike for $90 :D


04-21-2007, 09:43 AM
I'm not so sure about the delay in reaching the end market being that long John. Computer components end up on the retail shelf in less than a month after manufacture in China. Some items are even faster. I know there isn't the same urgency to get an endmill to market but shipping time isn't that long, even by sea. Transit time for a container ship from Guangzhou to Vancouver is about 18 days and from Shanghai is 14 days.

Nice report John. Have you got the pictures developed yet? :rolleyes:

Do they give you a fortune cookie with your fries?

04-21-2007, 09:46 AM
Do they give you a fortune cookie with your fries?

Fortune cookies were invented in California.


04-21-2007, 10:05 AM
So? China is westernizing. :D

John Stevenson
04-21-2007, 10:15 AM
So? China is westernizing. :D
Only so far.
Talking to a couple of generator manufactures and they didn't do 110 volt 60 cycle options.
When asked why they said rest of the world outsold US sales many times over so they had concentrated on 240 volt 50 cycles.

Only spoke to about 4 or 5 so don't know what the trend was as all I was interested in was getting just one small super silent for my brother. 7.5 Kva twin cylinder diesel, electric start, 62 Db for just under $500, 250 UKP here at the moment now the dollar has dropped again.


04-22-2007, 09:18 AM
John,you didn't see anyone making a smallish horizonal boring mill did you?:D

John Stevenson
04-22-2007, 10:32 AM
John,you didn't see anyone making a smallish horizonal boring mill did you?:D

No but the machine tool hall was only one hall and it shared it with things like packing machine lines, lasers, and food machinery.
The dedicated machine tool show was in Beijing the week before but we didn't do that as the guy I was with was looking for new lines to go with the machines he sells.
The Canton show is a purely export show to the rest of the world, the Beijing show is more for internal use.

There were a few biggish horizontal mills, around #50 taper, Bridgie type clones and vertical machining centres, then load of the Grizzly type mill drills and small machines from a variety of makers.
Most copied off the Sieg brand who are the biggest maker of small machines in China.

What I did see in the construction hall were a couple of cylinder boring machines obviously copied from some old western machines and a couple of honing machines, equally as dated.
Probably aimed at other 3rd world countries like India or South America, makes you wonder about sales when their new engines were so cheap. Many engines in stripped down form and the machining was very good, die cast housings and good finishes. At first glance you would have said Japanese then I saw a picture of one plant turning these out and there were about 30 to 40 VMC's all in a line with China Fadal on them. Think I have a picture somewhere.

One machine attracting a lot of interest was a combined harvester with about a 5 foot drum on the front, Don't know anything about combines but it looked like the real thing in miniature and again was attracting Asian interest, lets face it not everyone has a north 40 to farm :D
I wonder what John Deere would have to say if you asked for one this small ?


04-22-2007, 03:26 PM
John,you didn't see anyone making a smallish horizonal boring mill did you?:D

Guess I'm not the only one who wants one, eh?:D


04-22-2007, 05:33 PM
Guess I'm not the only one who wants one, eh?:D

yup your not..


Your Old Dog
04-22-2007, 07:39 PM
So you didn't hit any garage sales, flea markets or do any dumpster diving while you were there? I'm more than a little disappointed. :D Go all the way to China so you can eat at McDonalds ! LOL

04-22-2007, 08:51 PM
Go all the way to China so you can eat at McDonalds ! LOL

Prolly didn't supersize either:D

John Stevenson
04-23-2007, 03:04 AM
So you didn't hit any garage sales, flea markets or do any dumpster diving while you were there? I'm more than a little disappointed. :D Go all the way to China so you can eat at McDonalds ! LOL

Not enough time.
Bus from hotel to show, walk round all day and speak to vendors, bus back to hotel, shower, get something to eat, back to hotel, go over days meetings, bed, shower, bus from hotel...................

Anyway I've given up dumpster diving after getting the world record, what have I got to prove now ? :D :D