This is a long overdue tweet.
Coincidentally, I was fortunate enough to meet Li from Iterminalpro in Yangzhou. In June 2019, Li went to Weihai on a business trip to inspect the factory and called me on purpose. This is also the first time for me to visit the factory that produces lure gear. Li and his party arrived at noon and rushed back to Yangzhou in the evening. The trip was in a hurry, but for me, I finally had the opportunity to understand the production process of lure bait. There is still a lot to gain from walking around.
In the past, I rarely had contact with the manufacturing industry. This time I mainly recorded the introductions I saw and heard. There is a high probability that there will be deviations. This is not because the factory is unprofessional, but because of my blind knowledge. Senior fishing friends are also very welcome. Do not hesitate to guide me.
After the visit, I also wanted to “show off”, how is a lure produced?
Everything starts with “break the mold”
The first step is to visualize ideas and design drawings
This factory is a bit harder than I imagined. It is produced directly from the most primitive raw materials, the steel configured and the plastic used to make the bait body (please know the specific plastic for the guide of the angler) It is directly melted at high temperature, and then poured into the mold made in advance (I didn’t see the specific process, but it should not be “poured” directly, guidance is also welcome here) to cool and form.
This is the same as the principle of making cake molds. Of course, industrial molds have very high requirements on materials, precision, strength, etc., and molds have a service life. After a certain number of products are produced because Losses can no longer be used.
The design and manufacture of the mold set are what we often hear about as “break the mold”, which is also the beginning of all assembly line industries. It can be said that everything starts with the opening of the mold. Generally speaking, it is very expensive to open a mold. At a Xiaomi mobile phone conference, Lei Jun took the initiative to mention that a set of molds for Xiaomi mobile phones is 2 million.
Of course, the precision requirements of lure bait are far incomparable to that of mobile phones. An industry insider revealed that the mold price of lure bait is tens of thousands, but generally less than $10000.
The final form in the mold is the split lure shell, which is like a fruit on the “tip”, requiring workers to manually cut off the shells one by one.
Excess materials such as “twigs” connecting the shell will be left for classification, which is called “nozzle material”, which can be sold or reused (added to raw materials in a certain proportion, generally used to produce dark products).
Large pieces of steel are also melted and recast into small balls, which are used as counterweights in lure lures. I haven’t seen the process, but I believe everyone can imagine the process.
Once the shells and counterweights are ready, they are sent to the next site for the next process: assembly.
Assembly: Manual and Mechanical Combination
The proportion of manual labor is more
The assembly site was a bit unexpected. It was not the scene of automated robotic arms and conveyor belts flying up and down that are common on TV, but more like a “workshop” where workers immersed themselves in the assembly in front of their desks, and some processes required Mechanical equipment, but still requires manual operation by workers.
This does not mean that this factory is not good in the industry. On the contrary, after the visit, I found the scene of the well-known Lure brand DUO in the factory in Japan, which is also the same scene. The assembly of lure bait is a combination of manual and mechanical, and at the same time focuses more on manual craftsmanship.
The cut-out transparent lure shell mentioned in the previous section will be put on the steel ball with weight, the wire tie loop on the head and the hook and loop on the abdomen, and then hand glued by workers with glue to become a complete shell body.
Of course, the adhesiveness of the glue is not enough to ensure the airtightness of the bait, and they will be firmly welded together on the ultrasonic plastic welding machine. After plastic welding, the semi-finished lure has very good airtightness and has reached the level of being able to be launched, but this is just the beginning.
Due to the processing technology, the shell of the bait usually has many uneven burrs, which need to be scraped off by an experienced master without damaging the airtightness of the bait. Some lure lures also need experienced masters to grind and polish with a grinding wheel to make the lures smoother.
Surface treatment process: spray paint, bronzing, and logo
Infuse soul into the fishing lure
After the shell is assembled, it comes to the next important link: give the lure a realistic color, and mark the brand’s LOGO or the name of the lure.
There are three processes involved here, namely spray painting, bronzing (optional), and pad printing. As a small expert who is now learning and selling now, I will explain the general process a little bit.
Spray paint, as the name suggests, is to spray suitable paint on the lure bait. It is necessary to color the paint in advance, and then spray it evenly on the surface of the lure body with a small spray gun. Now many lure lures have more than two colors, so Professional masters must spray paint many times. The time-consuming process of this process is far beyond my imagination. It is a process that requires patience and skill.
Therefore, the spray paint master is also one of the highest-paid jobs in the Luya bait factory.
There is also detail here. During the painting process, the wire binding loop (nose ring) and the hook and loop are also sprayed with color, but the paint is not firmly attached to the metal surface. If it is sold directly to consumers, the metal ring is likely to be damaged. Because of the peeling paint, it becomes unsightly and not smooth. Therefore, workers are also required to manually scrape the paint off the wire binding loops and shackles.
There is also some relatively cheap bait that does not do this step. If you buy it, you can compare it with the quality bait.
Some lure lures will add a process after painting: bronzing. The so-called bronzing is to heat the bronzing paper and emboss it on the surface of the lure. The texture of the bronzing paper is a bit like tin foil. After this process, the surface of the bait will have a sparkling feeling. This is not entirely for aesthetics. When it is cloudy, windy, and the water is cloudy, the shiny bait will be easier. Get the fish to notice and trigger the attack.
The final step of the surface treatment process is pad printing, which is one of the special printing methods. The reason why it is called special printing is that the general printing is on a flat surface, while pad printing is mainly aimed at irregular surfaces such as curved surfaces and concave surfaces.
However, its principle is very simple, and the process is very mature. First, copper or steel is used to make gravure, and ink is injected, and then the spherical surface made of silicone is pressed against the layout, and finally moved to the surface of the object to be printed, and the pattern on the gravure ” transfer” to the latter.
After arranging and drying, the surface craft of lure bait is finished. They will be sent to the next location, installed with eyes, and hooks, packaged, quality inspected and sent to the customers.
Compared with many daily necessities, the craftsmanship of lure bait is not complicated, and the pure technology content is far from high. Its production technology is very mature. As I mentioned earlier, the lure bait I visited The factory can directly provide a complete set of solutions, even with a unique brand identity, for customers who have just entered the industry.