CNB Technology's insistence on quality control and strong innovation helped it beat the market after the 2008 and 2009 slowdown.
Korean solution provider CNB Technology beat the market during a period when many companies went under. It grew 7 percent in 2010 from strong sales in China, and is confident it will grow 40 percent in 2011, said Bong-Hoon Yu, President.
The company's core competence is image processing, making product development a top priority. It will continue to invest in R&D and plans to release a new image sensor processor in early 2011, Yu said. IP surveillance made up 5 percent of CNB's revenue in 2010, which is expected to increase to 20 percent in 2011, thanks to its complete range of network and HD cameras.
CNB's branded sales have been robust, forming roughly half of its revenue. Its major competitors are top-tier Korean manufacturers such as Samsung Techwin and LG Electronics.
Quality is one of CNB's strengths, with its quality assurance (QA) division reporting directly to the president. The QA department is separate from the R&D and production division, highlighting quality early in the design phase rather than after equipment goes into production. This team focuses on customer needs and actual usage scenarios, as well as accounting for possible production issues, Yu said. This process increases dialogue between development and production parties, and delivers solutions suited to user needs.
Prototypes must pass performance tests with flying colors before they are mass-made in China — way before they roll off the production line. CNB moved its production to China in 2004 ahead of most surveillance manufacturers, upholding its Korean production quality while keeping labor costs low. With its early entrance into China, it has established long-term relationships with top component suppliers.
An exhaustive battery of product tests ensures strict procedures are followed, for maximum customer satisfaction. CNB also designs for ease of use, with user interfaces in multiple languages and tests for compatibility. Products are subjected to aging, vibration, waterproofing, extremes of temperature and dark room simulations for minimum illumination. It also tests for color saturation by installing traffic lights and flashing signals at its design facilities in Korea to recreate real-life conditions. To account for various indoor environments, it tests cameras with many different light sources.
CNB conducts performance tests under extreme weather conditions, ranging from 60 degrees Celsius to freezing temperatures at -40 degrees Celsius. Another performance test includes switching day/night shutters up to 3 million times to ensure reliable performance. Products such as box and dome cameras are subjected to at least 4.5 hours of temperature tests, to guarantee they can withstand all types of weather.
Stable operation is something CNB takes seriously. To simulate real-life power supplies, it tests products at both 12 V and 24 V voltages. Lifetime tests can last anywhere from three months to a full year for the company's box, dome and vandal-proof cameras. It even inspects product packaging, making sure its equipment is safely protected and does not become damaged during shipping. This commitment to quality has enabled CNB to rise above the storm and create a loyal following.
CNB's strengths include responsive service and competitive prices for quality products. As the analog market shrinks, it believes its full IP lineup in cameras and storage will increase the company's market share, Yu said.
Network products will be CNB's focus, particularly network cameras. HD will feature prominently in upcoming cameras, as camera costs fall and market uptake increases. CNB will launch a complete HDcctv camera line in 2011 as well, reinforcing its innovation. It plans to release an NVR embedded with software, with more partnerships with leading VMS suppliers.
CNB's solutions are tailored for the mid-end market. While the high end is dominated by global brands and the budget segment is saturated with Chinese offerings, CNB meets needs halfway between these two extremes. Its equipment boasts the reliable performance of an established brand, while offering customers an affordable price.
CNB has enjoyed success in EMEA, the U.S. and China, which account for nearly 70 percent of its sales. It enjoys strong uptake in EMEA, with a robust distribution network delivering products anywhere within 48 hours. Looking ahead, the company plans to expand into the emerging nations of Brazil, Russia and India.
After-sales service will be a key differentiator for CNB. If a product is returned, CNB will completely refurbish it, making it essentially a brand new product. This complete service gives CNB an edge over its competitors.
It employs more than 600 employees worldwide, with headquarters in Korea and locations in China, the U.S. and Germany. Of its Korean staff, 80 of the 180 employees are devoted to R&D.