Qunlong Toys: Smart play of building blocks with a daily output of 16-million pieces


While China is the largest toy producer in the world, Guangdong is the toy manufacturing center in China, then Chenghai is the area that leads the toy industry in Guangdong. After 40 years of development, Chenghai, also known as the “Capital of toys in China”, has its toy industry grown into a major player in the world’s toy market with output value of nearly USD 7.4 billion. The preliminary statistics show that there are 16,000 toy manufacturers in Chenghai. The competition in the industry is fierce. Transformation and upgrading of the industry is now more imminent than ever.

Founded in 2008, Qunlong Plastic and Toy Products Co, Ltd has undergone the similar growing path as many others in the industry. Started as a family workshop, it has now expanded into a high-tech business that integrates R&D, design, manufacturing, sales, and services. It has also created the specialized brand “Zhegao Family Inspiration Building Blocks”. Today, Qunlong Toys has developed and manufactured more than a thousand types of building block toys, being sold to a dozen of countries and regions worldwide.

In order to maintain the competitive edge in the fierce market, Qunlong Toys has actively explored to improve the production processes in recent years. Just like the building blocks, it builds its own moat brick by brick and defends its position in the never ending competition.

Focused on designs, developing 400+ new products every year

Through creative combinations, building blocks of different shapes and sizes can be put together to construct an aircraft carrier, dinosaur, the Tower of Paris, or a car. All of these are the products of designer’s inspiration.

To make quick response to the market demand, Qunlong Toys invests heavily in designs and development. As we have learned, Qunlong Toys has a design team of nearly 70 people and a mold R&D team of 60 people. In average, they deliver more than 400 products every year. “Stud building blocks may look simple, but the process of making them an actual product is very complex and requires support from process engineering and manufacturing workflow of extremely high standards,” said Tian Duoyun, technical director of Qunlong Toys.

Taking molds as an example, building blocks require all molds to be compatible, ever the molds for products 3 years before and after the current version. That means that the size deviation of any set of molds must stay in a specified range. Otherwise, the building blocks of an old model will not fit the new ones.

According to Tian Duoyun, in order to ensure the precision of the molds, Qunlong Toys adopts the toy standards of EU and US. The molds are made of high grade steel and processed by high-precision equipment from Germany and Japan using 3D projection to measure the mold size. Every step of the process is carried out under strict control. At present, Qunlong Toys has about 4000 sets of molds within a deviation of ±0.02mm.

With daily output of 16 million pieces, it takes great wisdom to make the small building blocks

Unlike the molding products for household items and appliances, a set of building block products takes a large number of stud bricks to complete. It could consist of hundreds, even thousands of stud blocks. If one of these pieces lags behind, it could affect the launch of the new product.

To further accelerate the speed of product updates and gain the competitive advantage in the new round of competition, Qunlong Toys has launched its intelligent manufacturing project in recent years. According to Lu Zhelin, the production manager of Qunlong Toys, the injection molding workshop of Qunlong Toys purchased the centralized feeding system, temperature control system and automation equipment in 2018 to interoperate over 200 injection molding machines in the workshop. It has achieved process automation from feed, injection, product pick-up, warehousing, to waste recycling without involvement of manual operation, ensuring the environmental friendliness of products from the source material.

In March of this year, Qunlong Toys has begun to run on MES management system, analyzing and sharing real-time the data information from the input of raw materials to product shipment, realizing a high degree of collaboration between the front and back ends of manufacturing, and improving the productivity across the board. “Currently, the injection molding workshop of Qunlong Toys makes 16 million pieces of building blocks every day and approximately 500 million every month.” said Lu Zhelin. Intelligent manufacturing not only helps to expand the production capacity, it also minimizes the cost whenever it’s possible.

The all-electric injection molding machines plays a key role in this effort.



Yizumi all-electric injection molding machines are more open and energy-efficient

Considering the requirement of precision for the building blocks production, Qunlong Toys has actively increased the use of all-electric injection molding machines in recent years. Starting work with Yizumi in 2015, it has purchased nearly 30 all-electric injection molding machines including the 120T and 260T machines. “No matter how strong the company is in R&D and molds, it eventually comes down to the question of whether the injection molding machines can fulfill our requirements. The reason for Qunlong to keep coming back to Yizumi is that Yizumi’s all-electric injection molding machine can meet the requirements of relevant technical parameters, even some higher precision requirements of new products.”

Each piece of the building blocks made by Qunlong Toys has very high standard for the stud size within a deviation of ±0.02mm. In case of unstable injection pressure or injection speed, the engagement of the building blocks will either too loose or too tight, resulting in defects. Tian Duoyun said that Yizumi’s electric injection molding machines offered high precision and high stability to process parameters. The contour of curves in each mold is very consistent. It ensures the precision of the product while presenting the product quality in a timely and effective way. It is worth to mention that Qunlong Toys also tested the performance of various brands of electric injection molding machines made by both domestic and foreign manufacturers. Under the same production efficiency, Yizumi’s electric injection molding machine consumes 10% less energy than those of other brands.

In the process of promoting intelligent manufacturing, Yizumi’s electric injection molding machine presents an obvious advantage. Its open ports are compatible with systems such as MES and ERP for data sharing.

“The openness of the equipment is one of our key criteria. In the future, we will employ more advanced intelligent systems. If the equipment experiences connectivity issue, it will cause great problem to the company. The openness of Yizumi’s electric injection molding machine helps us to push forward our strategic deployment,” said Tian Duoyun.

The new industrial park of Qunlong will be put into operation in June of 2019. It will introduce in full scale the intelligent manufacturing system to achieve automated smart production.

Lu Zhelin, Production manager of Qunlong Toys (left), Tian Duoyun, Technical Director of Qunlong Toys (right)


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