Can you trust the claims of imported products?

Many Lithium Batteries being sold in Australia are fully imported. Most typically from China, these units come off the assembly line and the only modifications are the screen printing of a logo on the side of the plastic ABS box. Some importers go one step further and add the labels locally. 

Most BMS systems that control Lithium Batteries are based on analogue electronics.

This type of design uses hundreds of individual pieces of electronics including MOSFETs, capacitors, and resistors put together into a design to make a final BMS. When purchasing electronics each element typically has a tolerance of plus or minus up to 10%. When you add up the total design this means the overall tolerance can be plus or minus 25%.

This leads to a discussion about the cultural difference between Australian manufacturers and Chinese imports.

1) Accountability

We have local laws including ‘fit for purpose’ provisions in the Trade Practices Act. We have a range of legal means to ensure that companies do the right thing with claims that are made in the market. Many local importers don’t have the instruments to isolate and test internal components and they may be unaware of the actual specifications. They rely on the information on specifications given to them and they have almost no recourse if these specifications are not correct.

2) Substitution

Once an electronic design is finalised the components are locked in. With imported products, there is a tendency for constant lower-cost substitution of individual components. Again, this may not be viewed as being dishonest, culturally it means that there is a constant drive to reduce the price per piece. Australian manufacturers are more hesitant to change components because we view that as doing the “bait and switch’. Changing a product from what was originally specified is viewed as being dishonest.

3) Statistical Sampling

For example: we make one hundred BMS units. Let us say that the overall variance in tolerances means that we have plus or minus 25%. Statistically half of the items will be over the stated number and half will be below. Culturally Australian manufacturers make a claim such that every single item is AT LEAST the number stated. When you test many imported specifications, you find that many claim to 100A but most of the tested units are below and a very few are above. It is a cultural interpretation. 

In summary, if you are purchasing an imported item and if you cannot test a specification, I would seriously question how valid those numbers are. If you purchase from a company that has been in business for decades and is an Australian operation, you can trust that claims are real and that the products are backed up locally.

When an Australian company claims to have 100A of throughput, we culturally mean EVERY sample is above 100A.

Bainbridge Technologies are proudly Australian owned and operated. Speak to us today about our 52 Lithium Battery models available. 

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