OPPO Factory Tour in Shenzhen, China : What I Learned About OPPO's Manufacturing Process

Last August 2, 2017, our friends from OPPO Philippines flew me as well my peers in the blogging scene and local media to China for a brief tour of their factory and global headquarters.

I believe that the company did this as a sign of transparency -- all while proving to us and our followers online that their manufacturing process is truly world-class and top-notch.

OPPO Mobile's factory is located in Shenzhen. China -- just like the factories of many other leading gadget manufacturers in the world.

Why in Shenzhen, you ask? Well, from my own research, I found out that it would be most cost efficient for most tech brands to have their devices assembled there -- given that labor is cheap in that area and many factories for the parts used in these products are also within the vicinity.

To be honest, this wasn't my first factory tour in Shenzhen. The first one was back in 2016 when Cherry Mobile brought me and my tech blogger friends to this same city in Guandong Province to see how their partner OEM assembles their phones and batteries.

That said, even before flying to China with OPPO, I more or less already had an image in my mind of how the tour would go.

Despite that, however, I was still pleasantly surprised with a lot of things that I saw and experienced first-hand at the OPPO factory on August 3, 2017.

For one, I was shocked to see how massive their factory actually is! It's an entire compound made up of several buildings -- and we only got to tour a couple, I think.

Before entering the facility, our friends from OPPO HQ made us wear this garb, which supposedly keeps lint, hair strands, and other small particles on our shoes and clothing in check.

We had to pass by several corridors before getting to Workshop 1 of Factory M where OPPO assembles the mainboard of their handsets.

This bulletin board in one of the hallways reminds all workers in the facility of the Three Xian Principles, which are:

1. Solve problems on the site.
2. Recognize the object of the problems.
3. Find the origin of the problems on the basis of fact and data.

Based on Taoist beliefs, the Xian Principles clearly guide OPPO employees in solving problems not just in the factory but also in other aspects of the company's operations.

As someone who believes that a company's products and services can only be as good as the values and principles that it holds, reading the contents of that board made me admire OPPO even more.

Before entering Workshop 1, we had to go through this large equipment that blows out and vacuums dust that may have clung to what we wearing. I think it's a good preventive maintenance procedure as meticulously removing dust from fresh electronic parts could add another layer to their already long assembly line.

Upon stepping foot in the actual facility itself, the first thing that I noticed is how clean and organized it is. Also, the air smelled quite fresh considering that there were lots of machines in the room.

As you can see in the photo below, the workers had specific roles and working areas. They also had the same uniform, which is just a light blue version of what we were wearing. They also had dark blue slacks and Crocs-like rubber slippers (with socks) on.

Some workers are assigned to the assembly line itself while others operate the machines and robots that are used in the manufacturing process.

These ladies inspect electronic parts at the end of the assembly line, making sure that they pass the strict quality standards of the company.

I carefully watched some of these workers as they went about their roles and I thought that they were very hard-working and focused.

They weren't chit-chatting at work or walking around aimlessly; No unnecessary activities just to kill time. They were very efficient.

Another thing that I noticed is that OPPO's manufacturing process makes the most of the collaboration between humans and machines.

Machines provide speed and accuracy in assembling some parts while humans are the ones who are on top of the operation of these equipment.

Also, in the production line, I would imagine that because their faculties are not bound by strict programs or software, humans are more reliable in seeing the minutest flaws in parts or products that no machine can possibly spot.

The next room that we entered was the QE Lab for Mobile Phone where OPPO performs several tests on each handset that they assemble to make sure that they are durable, reliable, and safe to use. In another TechPinas post, I will talk about the 10-step Quality Check process that OPPO phones go through before they are packed and sold around the world.

Here's a video that I made using clips that I recorded during the factory tour; I hope it gives you an idea of what it's like inside OPPO's manufacturing facilities.

For now, if I were to use but one word to describe OPPO's Factory in China as well as their manufacturing process, it would have to be "Impressive". I was impressed with the overarching values that guide them in crafting products, the cleanliness of the surroundings, the well-oiled performance of the machines, and the efficiency of the workers. I loved how organized everything about the facility looked and felt. All these things considered, I would say OPPO is definitely one of the tech companies that others should look up to and perhaps even emulate when it comes to creating mobile devices.

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