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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 03:19 
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man_iii wrote:
For every "STAG" "Xuxaofa" "SANWEI" "Yinhe" "Nittaku" "YASAKA" "Butterfly" "DHS" 40+ plastic balls how can you ensure that :-

1. Every plastic material is uniformly strong
2. plastic material is exact thickness
3. plastic material is more "elastic" ? does not deform too easily and returns to its original shape quickly.
4. Plastic material has similar properties to old celluloid material ?

Reason I ask is because as a player following issues are:

A. Plastic balls have uneven bounce.
B. Plastic balls do not load spin consistently.
C. Plastic ball easily breaks even within 1 session.
D. Plastic ball costs waaay more than the old celluloid ball.


I think your information is dated. A year and a half ago, maybe even a year ago, this was true, but it applied mainly to the most widely used tournament ball - the DHS cellulose acetate 40+ ball. Yes, these broke a lot, and they cost quite a bit. But the seamless ball? Even a year ago you could buy XuShaoFa, Sanwei, Yinhe, Minkow, even iPong seamless balls, and these didn't have any of these problems you mention. They seemed to last forever (I've only seen ONE break), and they were plenty cheap if you bought the appropriate brand. Celluloid balls weren't cheap, either (unless you were like me and used the excellent One Star Double Fish).

The seamless balls did have (and still have) a "problem" - they seem to kick sideways (due to sidespin) a lot more than other balls do. Not sure why is the case - perhaps they retain spin better, or maybe they interact with the table surface more. Something that really needed adjustment on my part, especially on off-the-bounce backhand counter-drives. As far as having "less spin" than celluloid - that might be the case, but where I play we switch between celluloid (I literally have hundreds of the things left) and seamless and I don't seem to have trouble doing this (they dug out an old DHS 3 star celluloid ball the last couple weeks). I can produce enough spin with my loops that players my own level (and some above it) simply can't block back, so it is definitely possible to really load these with spin.

And celluloid balls broke, too - far more often than seamless balls, in my experience.

There IS one other problem with the seamless ball (which is why this thread exists, I think): few tournaments use them, so comparatively few people buy them for use outside tournaments, since they want to use the same balls they will encounter in tournaments. Blame DHS for that... :lol:

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 03:48 
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About Minkow. Actually, it wasn't Minkow that was assumed to be the OEM for the seamless balls, it was XuShaoFa, since this was the first brand that appeared. How Minkow got mixed up with this is interesting. In the old days, Minkow OEMed celluloid balls for a lot of brands - DHS, Stiga, Joola, Tibhar, etc. Go to the website and you'll see the factory is HUGE, and they had a very busy assembly line churning out balls by the.. well, a huge number. Suddenly they start selling Kingnik seamless balls. How can that be?? Have they quit making balls in that factory??? Or did they install a seamless ball manufacturing line? How could they do this if they weren't the OEM?? And who's making DHS's balls now???

I think the answer is simple - Minkow - or at least the factory that used to make the celluloid balls - still makes balls for DHS (and Stiga and Joola and Tibhar).. they have retooled for the larger 40+ ball and made the balls out of cellulose acetate rather than cellulose nitrate. And they now make balls out of ABS (the DHS D40+ balls). Whether Minkow still owns the factory is something I don't know. That "DHS" factory being shown off by DHS in their "making of the D40+ ball" video on YouTube is, I suspect, the same old Minkow factory that's been making balls for that brand for many, many, many years. I know that Minkow was (and is) selling Kingnik seamless balls (made out of something they call "P.U." - probably polyurethane.. :lol: or maybe that's letting the cat out of the bag.. :lol: ). How and why they do this when they don't make the balls is business matter, something I'm not privy to, of course. They also now sell seamed ABS training balls that they say are actually the same as the D40+ one star balls (they do have the same sound but struck me as being slow). Their Kingnik "Super Practice" one star seamless balls are excellent, by the way, but relatively expensive compared to the ABS ones. Note that in the days of the celluloid ball they didn't sell a 3 star own-branded ball, but you could buy the excellent Double Circle training balls from them (I have the last of those they ever made.. :lol: ).

As far as business relationships - especially OEM relationships - being under wraps, that's normal. We shouldn't be surprised, or politicize it - it's very necessary for manufacturers to protect their retailers and vice versa. Doesn't mean that some of us would like to uncover life's little mysteries, but we should accept that it probably won't happen voluntarily. Some of these are rather open secrets (like everyone knows who makes all those rubbers which are "Made in Germany". Some require leaks (who makes Tibhar Evolution rubbers? Or Donic blades?).

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 07:51 
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Hi CallmeX,

There is a real need for orange plastic balls. A lot of us amateurs play in venues with white walls and ceilings. This is not in ITTF approved venues. We need orange 40+ plastic balls. The first ITTF approved orange 40+ ball will definitely sell very well. You have stated that there is no technical reason that orange seamless 40+ balls cannot be produced. Go back to your technical and marketing guys and tell them of this demand. Get the seamless plastic 40+ orange ball ITTF approved and available for us.

I help run table tennis once a week in a local government owned facility. It has white walls and ceiling. Another PCYC owned venue is about to be used for table tennis and it is the same. Some table tennis is played in squash courts. Guess what colour the walls are. I could go on.

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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 09:16 
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iskandar taib wrote:
man_iii wrote:
For every "STAG" "Xuxaofa" "SANWEI" "Yinhe" "Nittaku" "YASAKA" "Butterfly" "DHS" 40+ plastic balls how can you ensure that :-

1. Every plastic material is uniformly strong
2. plastic material is exact thickness
3. plastic material is more "elastic" ? does not deform too easily and returns to its original shape quickly.
4. Plastic material has similar properties to old celluloid material ?

Reason I ask is because as a player following issues are:

A. Plastic balls have uneven bounce.
B. Plastic balls do not load spin consistently.
C. Plastic ball easily breaks even within 1 session.
D. Plastic ball costs waaay more than the old celluloid ball.


I think your information is dated. A year and a half ago, maybe even a year ago, this was true, but it applied mainly to the most widely used tournament ball - the DHS cellulose acetate 40+ ball. Yes, these broke a lot, and they cost quite a bit. But the seamless ball? Even a year ago you could buy XuShaoFa, Sanwei, Yinhe, Minkow, even iPong seamless balls, and these didn't have any of these problems you mention. They seemed to last forever (I've only seen ONE break), and they were plenty cheap if you bought the appropriate brand. Celluloid balls weren't cheap, either (unless you were like me and used the excellent One Star Double Fish).

The seamless balls did have (and still have) a "problem" - they seem to kick sideways (due to sidespin) a lot more than other balls do. Not sure why is the case - perhaps they retain spin better, or maybe they interact with the table surface more. Something that really needed adjustment on my part, especially on off-the-bounce backhand counter-drives. As far as having "less spin" than celluloid - that might be the case, but where I play we switch between celluloid (I literally have hundreds of the things left) and seamless and I don't seem to have trouble doing this (they dug out an old DHS 3 star celluloid ball the last couple weeks). I can produce enough spin with my loops that players my own level (and some above it) simply can't block back, so it is definitely possible to really load these with spin.

And celluloid balls broke, too - far more often than seamless balls, in my experience.

There IS one other problem with the seamless ball (which is why this thread exists, I think): few tournaments use them, so comparatively few people buy them for use outside tournaments, since they want to use the same balls they will encounter in tournaments. Blame DHS for that... :lol:

Iskandar


Hi, Iskandar, thanks for doing the explanation for me.... :up:
Yet, for your last statement "comparatively few people buy them for use outside tournaments", at least it is a totally different case in China----we're based in China, so obviously I feel more certain when talk about sales situation in China, how many balls are sold in China.

It's no secret that we only started to sell seamless balls at the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015------you guys would notice when seamless balls showed up..
So, in China, back in 2015 or even 2016, almost all national-level tournaments weren't using seamless ball. But strangely, the majority of 3-star plastic balls, which were/are circulated in China market, were/are seamless balls produced by us. I could't disclose the sales quantity, but most of you would be amazed/surprised.

Mostly, in the past (less than) 3 years, seamless-ball brands have done a lot of sponsorship to these provincial or national amateur TT events. Starting from around one year ago, gradually seamless balls started to be used at more international events or important national events in China, Germany, and India etc.....

If you're in China, just ask one random club player "which plastic ball are you using?", the answer may not be the word "seamless ball", but most likely their answer is a brand name of seamless ball.

If you check out the approval list, you'd see there're more brands selling seamless ball, than you think.
I didn't count the specific number of brands, but more than 20 in my memory. However we are starting to become more discreet when more brands ask us to produce for their own brand.....Internal fight within seamless balls would not be good for us. So control on quantity of brands is necessary.


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 09:49 
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Thanks for all your valuable information CallmeX! :up:

Up to about 6 months ago, seamless seemed to be gaining popularity because:
1. They are a lot more durable compared to almost all seamed plastic balls;
2. They are generally considerably less expensive

However this year, DHS has started producing the D40+ ball in volume (as well as re-badged versions on other brands), which seems to be a game changer, as they appear to be much more durable compared to almost all seamed plastic balls, and they are generally cheaper than seamless balls.
Although the seamless may technically still be superior, the DHS appears to be a high performance ball.

How are the seamless brands going to compete with this? Can we expect lower prices in future perhaps?

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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 10:42 
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You know what I'd REALLY love to see? :lol: A "How it's made" video of the seamless ball. Similar to the "DHS" and Butterfly videos.





(What's HIGHLY annoying is that the Butterfly video comes up easily in searches, the DHS does NOT. Grrrr...)

Actually, come to think of it.. I should do some patent searches. I wonder if it's been patented in the US or Europe (need to check the boxes... :lol: ). From what I understand, the process is totally different, and there's a great deal less hand-work involved.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 11:22 
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Here are the two important national-level TT events in India, where seamless ball is the competition ball.

ALL INDIA INTER INSTITUTION TABLE TENNIS TOURNAMENT" from 24th July 2016 to 29th July 2016
All India Cadet and Sub-Junior National Championship 2016

in Sept, 2016, the TT event of Indonesia National Sports Games was using seamless ball.
............

Actually there're quite a lot of national level tournaments using seamless balls now. Just not all the information was well-spread worldwide. Even for me, I may not be aware of many TT events going on, using seamless ball....we mainly focused on production, didn't do much publicity..... Mostly brands do the marketing and publicity work.


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 11:35 
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In China, starting from this year, because of seamless ball being used at the TT event of China National Sports Games, seamless balls started to approach pro players, from China provincial teams to national pro players.

So, :D we're doing pretty good, and will stay alive, keep thriving.....

For orange seamless balls, ummmm.....I'd pass your word. But demand quantity on orange ball is small compared to demand on white balls.......not enough incentive for manufacturers to start up soon...But you wouldn't be kept waiting for long......

Pricing is sensitive topic. ...Market is trickier than simple pricing strategy....let's see......

a little surprise to me, people intend to wonder if seamless ball would react to recent pricing change, but few people ask if the other ball suppliers would do the same.....

Why...... ;( :Chop:


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 11:39 
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iskandar taib wrote:
You know what I'd REALLY love to see? :lol: A "How it's made" video of the seamless ball. Similar to the "DHS" and Butterfly videos.





(What's HIGHLY annoying is that the Butterfly video comes up easily in searches, the DHS does NOT. Grrrr...)

Actually, come to think of it.. I should do some patent searches. I wonder if it's been patented in the US or Europe (need to check the boxes... :lol: ). From what I understand, the process is totally different, and there's a great deal less hand-work involved.

Iskandar


I have a clever answer to your "request" on videos: when we realize our glorious dream and become a communist world, everything would be shared, including the video of seamless ball production.....

:D :D :D :D :D joking, communism is not my belief.....


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 11:55 
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CallmeX wrote:
a little surprise to me, people intend to wonder if seamless ball would react to recent pricing change, but few people ask if the other ball suppliers would do the same.....

Why...... ;( :Chop:

Because DHS is late to the game with their D40+ ball and had to price it aggressively to gain market share. They won't gain market share as rapidly if they priced it at the same point as seamless.

Do you have any idea what percentage of the market seamless has captured? If seamless is at better than, say 75%, that's difficult to overcome if the D40+ ball were priced the same.


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PostPosted: 22 Jun 2017, 12:22 
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GMan4911 wrote:
CallmeX wrote:
a little surprise to me, people intend to wonder if seamless ball would react to recent pricing change, but few people ask if the other ball suppliers would do the same.....

Why...... ;( :Chop:

Because DHS is late to the game with their D40+ ball and had to price it aggressively to gain market share. They won't gain market share as rapidly if they priced it at the same point as seamless.

Do you have any idea what percentage of the market seamless has captured? If seamless is at better than, say 75%, that's difficult to overcome if the D40+ ball were priced the same.



:clap: this market share thing would be kept between us and our customers. I'm happy to see general improvement made by other manufacturers......each type of ball has their own special good selling point. And when balls behavior are getting in a similar direction, less critics is good for all of us.

ball topic becomes unnecessary and boring now since balls are becoming acceptably similar.....

So, now, you guys know we are making progress in using seamless ball at big events and will try to do so. And we're alive and thriving....My mission is completed here......I guess I'll stay invisible again......bye.... ;)


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PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 04:24 
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GMan4911 wrote:
Because DHS is late to the game with their D40+ ball and had to price it aggressively to gain market share. They won't gain market share as rapidly if they priced it at the same point as seamless.


The ABS ball might be a recent development but remember, DHS has a large "installed base". Those people (the ones who run tournaments, especially, since there's a big knock-on effect) who were using DHS balls before (a lot of this was due to sponsorship arrangements) will switch to the new DHS ball. And there were a lot of them, especially outside China.

Seamless balls aren't really that expensive, once you know all the three star balls are "all the same", you can go around choosing the cheapest ones (Minkow comes to mind). Mind you, there is a "placebo effect" when it comes to brands - I took out some iPong balls once (big sale at the WTTC last year.. :lol: ) and everyone said they were "lousy". A week later they were playing with a XSF ball (which they thought was great), and I brought out the iPong balls and had them compare them side by side. Conclusion - exact same ball. Same sound, same bounce. XSF balls did go up a lot in price some time back, but there are so many brands to choose from. The seamless "super training ball" from Minkow is excellent, by the way, we played with that for a while. Makes me wonder what makes a three star ball a three star ball - maybe those are the ones that are actually subject to testing and pass the tests. Some of the ones that fail (badly) get crushed and recycled, some become one star balls, but I'll bet most one star balls are simply batches that are NOT tested. Testing (which involves humans) is expensive. If this is the case, then a lot of one star balls are actually of three star quality. The old Double Fish celluloid ones were, I can't tell the difference between them and the three star. Have three unopened boxes of 100, still.. :lol:

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 17:19 
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Robot Blocker wrote:
CallmeX wrote:
Robot Blocker wrote:
Thanx for your replies so far CMX, or should I say Agent X, :lol: , where does Minkow fit here, don't they produce XSF seamless balls?



Agent X sounds cool. :punch:

Interesting that people are curious about Minkow.
XSF balls are also produced by us. Minkow is one of our customers. ... Mr. Xu Shaofa is one of our shareholders. Another shareholder is the patent holder of seamless-ball technology.


Well rightly or wrongly, it has always been a belief / misconstrued info on here that Minkow produced all seamless only, which is why your appearance on here with relevant info comes to us surprisingly, somewhat a few years late in ball discussions, of course if the ITTF weren't a secretive organisation and was more transparent then us customers would know what we are buying and from whom!! :swear: :@


Please allow me to add my 5 cents...... Firstly has anyone worked out why the name "Kingnik" (I'm probably the last one to know, so apologize if I'm making a fool of myself)?

In the past I have been in contact with Minkow, but to me they never claimed to be the manufacturer of seamless balls. My understanding is that there is a relationship (family) between Minkow and Hefu, hence the reason Minkow were (or still are) offering seamless balls. What CallmeX also said about Xu Shaofa is completely on par with my info.

There is a battle going on right now between the 2 big factories making the 2nd generation ABS balls and Hefu, but as a consumer we don't want a winner as prices will probably never come down to the celluloid levels if there is one.


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PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 20:55 
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sportymorty wrote:

Firstly has anyone worked out why the name "Kingnik" (I'm probably the last one to know, so apologize if I'm making a fool of myself)?


It's a play on words, and reads "KING" if you read from the front of the word forwards or the end of the word backwards .......

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PostPosted: 23 Jun 2017, 21:13 
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iskandar taib wrote:
GMan4911 wrote:
Because DHS is late to the game with their D40+ ball and had to price it aggressively to gain market share. They won't gain market share as rapidly if they priced it at the same point as seamless.


The ABS ball might be a recent development but remember, DHS has a large "installed base". Those people (the ones who run tournaments, especially, since there's a big knock-on effect) who were using DHS balls before (a lot of this was due to sponsorship arrangements) will switch to the new DHS ball. And there were a lot of them, especially outside China.

Seamless balls aren't really that expensive, once you know all the three star balls are "all the same", you can go around choosing the cheapest ones (Minkow comes to mind). Mind you, there is a "placebo effect" when it comes to brands - I took out some iPong balls once (big sale at the WTTC last year.. :lol: ) and everyone said they were "lousy". A week later they were playing with a XSF ball (which they thought was great), and I brought out the iPong balls and had them compare them side by side. Conclusion - exact same ball. Same sound, same bounce. XSF balls did go up a lot in price some time back, but there are so many brands to choose from. The seamless "super training ball" from Minkow is excellent, by the way, we played with that for a while. Makes me wonder what makes a three star ball a three star ball - maybe those are the ones that are actually subject to testing and pass the tests. Some of the ones that fail (badly) get crushed and recycled, some become one star balls, but I'll bet most one star balls are simply batches that are NOT tested. Testing (which involves humans) is expensive. If this is the case, then a lot of one star balls are actually of three star quality. The old Double Fish celluloid ones were, I can't tell the difference between them and the three star. Have three unopened boxes of 100, still.. :lol:

Iskandar

The preferred ball, regardless of price, still seems to be the Nittaku Premium 40+ ball, but pricey at about $3/ball. Cheapest price for seamless balls I can find is about $1/ball, average is about $1.66/ball. The seamless ball is a very good ball and it has captured a large share of the market because it is generally durable and is about 50% of the price of the Nittaku. People are willing to ignore the slight differences in play quality not just because of the price but also because the play quality and durability of the other seamed balls were pretty dismal.

The DHS D40+ ball is a game changer though. It is also a very good ball, it's playing characteristics are very similar to the NP40+, close enough that most people won't notice much difference. Durability is very good, at least as good the NP40+ and seamless balls. At $0.56/ball, it's available at roughly 50% of the seamless ball. Assuming each ball is well liked, it doesn't take a genius to figure out which one people will start buying more of. The price of the seamless ball won't drop until it's market share starts to erode and DHS, with it's aggressive pricing, is going to make that happen sooner rather than later.


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