Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vulcan's Display at the Pyroworld in Berlin - November 2011

Vulcan in conjunction with Galaxis Showtechnik put on a short opening display for the Pyroworld last week in Berlin! You can read all about the "reality" of Pyroworld here.

The show was choreographed by Cindy Cheung and John Werner. The show used ALL Vulcan display fireworks and Galaxis wireless firing system. Thank you to Steffen Braunlich of The Art of Fire for helping prepare and set up the show and a special thank you to Beko Vuurwerk! You can buy all these fireworks from Beko Vuurwerk - please contact info@bekobv.nl or visit their website!

The display can be seen below:

Prior to our show, Finale Fireworks ran our Galaxis script through their simulation software and this was how it looked!

Look out for the side by side comparison videos at www.finalefireworks.com soon!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

1st Pyro World, Berlin Templehof Airport, Germany

We will be at the 1st Pyro World in Berlin between 10th - 12th November, 2011 in Berlin Flughafen Templehof. Aside from having a booth at the Trade Show, we will be doing an opening fireworks show using all Vulcan products on 11th November Friday in conjunction with Galaxis Showtechnik.

Pyro World will not only be about fireworks but on Friday and Saturday nights there will be live entertainment and music!

More details at http://www.pyro-world.de or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pyro-World/186582771374991

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 1st 2011 - Hong Kong Harbour

Some photos of the National Day display on Hong Kong Harbour on a clear night! Luckily the Typhoon did not disrupt the display

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yuan hits record high as dollar slides

Yuan hits record high as dollar slides
Reuters in Shanghai
4:49pm, Aug 08, 2011

The yuan hit a record high versus the dollar on Monday after the People's Bank of China set a historical high mid-point following a drop in the dollar index after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US credit rating.

The United States lost its top-notch AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s on Friday in an unprecedented reversal of fortune for the world’s largest economy.

Dealers expected the yuan still had potential to hit new highs in the near term as the European Central Bank announced steps to ease tensions in the euro zone debt market, which could support the euro and yuan.

“Now the global market will lead the yuan’s trade,” said a dealer at a Chinese commercial bank in Shanghai. “It’s clear that today’s jump in the yuan is in line with the downgrade of the US”

Spot yuan hit a record high of 6.4268 on Monday, stronger than Friday’s close of 6.4404. It has now appreciated 6.21 per cent since it was depegged from the dollar in June last year and 2.53 per cent so far this year.

Before trade began the PBOC fixed the yuan’s mid-point

at an all-time high of 6.4305 against the dollar, stronger than Friday’s 6.4451.

China’s central bank raised its mid-point fixing for the yuan by 0.2 per cent per dollar, the biggest rise since mid-November. The dollar/yuan exchange rate may rise or fall 0.5 per cent from the mid-point each day.

But traders also said the pace of yuan gains was likely to slow as global commodity prices, the benchmark Reuters Jefferies CRB index , slumped more than 11 per cent since early May, raising fewer worries over imported inflation. The authorities used the yuan’s exchange rate to help fight inflation.

The yuan has risen 0.59 per cent since the start of July, but its gains in the third quarter are likely to remain confined to around 1 per cent, analysts said.

Offshore, benchmark one-year dollar/yuan non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) were bid at 6.3730 at midday, weaker than 6.3830 at the previous day’s close.

Their implied yuan appreciation in a year’s time fell to 0.90 per cent from 0.74 per cent.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Liuyang Government bans production of fireworks until 27th August due to extreme hot weather

Today the Liuyang government issued an official notice banning all production of fireworks and firecrackers until August 27th, 2011. The month long ban adds to an already difficult delivery situation for fireworks, which has come under pressure by lack of workers and increasing costs. Most affected will be the Guy Fawkes season, which will no doubt spill onto the New Years, Chinese New Year and then the July 4 season.

Our advise is to early EARLY to avoid delays!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

New display shell tracking system implemented in China

Last year, due to an increase in accidents arising from the sale and use display shells in the domestic consumer market in China, the government implemented a new online tracking system for display shells manufactured in China by authorized display shell factories.

Below is a photo of the tracking label that is required by our Vulcan shell factory to put on each of their shells. All shells can then be tracked by the Chinese Government through an online system. Each UN carton is also required to have a barcode on the exterior.

The label includes the size of shell, date of manufacture, type, class, size, powder weight and factory name. The entire barcoding system is purchased and supplied by the Chinese Government.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Shogun's Jet Propulsion Custom-made

For our show at the Oman World Fireworks Championship in 2010, we launched 18 x 100 shot rapid fire Jet Propulsions for one of our segments. It was fun to watch this live. Here is the excerpt! The whistles prior to the Jet Propulsions are Diamond Screamer Mines - 1.3G.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo of Liuyang - Circa 1980s

Here is a photo we found of Liuyang, Hunan in the 1980s!! Incredible how the city has over the past 30 years.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Vulcan Display Fireworks Catalog Available!

Our New Version 15 Vulcan Display Fireworks Catalog is now available for download from our website!

Please click HERE to start your download!

**NOTE: The catalog is 24MB, it may take a few minutes to download **

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sparklers From the People’s Republic of China: Revocation of Sparklers Antidumping Duty Order

As of 5th December 2010, there will be no more anti-dumping duty on imported wired sparklers from China into the US. This duty was originally imposed on all cut to length wire sparklers from China on June 18th 1991 and was set at over 90% on the value of sparklers.

More details can be found in the here.

Shogun set up a joint venture in 1999 together with Elkton Sparklers to produce the famous Easy-Lite brand sparklers in our modern sparkler factory in Dongyang, Hunan. Easy-Lite brand sparklers are an innovation from Elkton Sparklers to develop the world's fastest lighting sparkler. They light in just 1.5 seconds, much easier than other sparklers on the market. Every aspect of Easy-Lite sparklers has remained unchanged: well recognized quality Easy-Lite boxes, thick strong wire, long burning time and very unique gold sparks. Easy-Lite sparklers are available from 8" up to 36".

All Easy-Lite sparklers are deregulated novelties, and not classified as Fireworks.

For more enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Nurnberg Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair 2011

We are exhibiting at the Nurnberg Spielwaredenmesse again this year from 2/2/2011 - 8/2/2011 in Germany. We are in Hall 9 - Stand F58.

Here are some photos of our booth!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lunar New Year highlights China labor issues

Click HERE is for an interesting article describing the current labour situation in China.

Heavy Snow in Liuyang, Hunan - January 18th 2011

This is a video of the snow in Liuyang filmed from our office on Guizai Road!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What a blast - Article from Arabian Business

This is an article by Brooke Sever from the Arabian Business about the World Fireworks Championship in Oman and an interview with John Werner. Article can be found at here.

The skies of Muscat were lit up for over two weeks last month, as the World Fireworks Championships descended on the Sultanate. The largest of its kind in the world, the contest, which ran during lavish celebrations for Oman’s 40th National Day and has been two years in the making, brought six international competitors together to battle it out for the 2010 title.
And while winning team Lacroix-Ruggiere put on what the judging panel deemed the best, competing displays were spectacular in their own right. Set amongst the palm trees and fountains of the Al Qurum Natural Park, each pyro-musical display saw fireworks choreographed to music and linking to a chosen theme, explains Mark Wooding, CEO of the World Fireworks Championships.

“Each display should be around 25 minutes and each competitor has the same budget, but is at liberty to add whatever firework stock they like,” he explains. “There are restrictions on some of the kinds of pyrotechnic product they can use, largely for safety or shipping issues, and they can only bring eight team members to prepare the display.” Wooding says that the six competitors at the event were where chosen from a long list of 50 international organisations, which was then whittled down to 10, and then the final six, based on proposals submitted.

An international panel of expert pyrotechnic judges boasting over 100 years combined experience in large-scale fireworks presided over the championships, including: Andrew Fielder, a UK-based veteran of ‘the art’ of fireworks; Vicente Caballer Ramirez, who has nearly 60 years of experience at Pirotecnia Caballer, which was founded in 1880; Anthony Busuttil, founder of Malta Fireworks; and David Weimer, owner of Pyro-Art, the only firm to ever complete a show at the ancient Acropolis in Greece. Fielder, chairman of the judging panel, said choosing an overall winner wasn’t an easy task. “The scores were very close and the judging panel found it to be really difficult to announce the winner,” he said. “The criteria for the championship were 15 but they were taken into consideration broadly in four areas like innovation, technology, safety and subjective impression of the judges and mood of the audience.”

Wooding further explains that the judging criterion goes beyond the aesthetics of the final products. “They look at safety and site management - is safe practice well observed, does the team manage the set-up area effectively?” Also under scrutiny in artistic interpretation and technical merit: “Is the soundtrack a good choice? Does the show interpret the theme and music? Are the fireworks particularly unusual or beautiful? Do the fireworks synchronise well with the soundtrack?” The final criterion is overall effectiveness, with the judges considering audience reaction in their score.

According to Wooding, a competition of this nature is not just about the entertainment factor and the final trophy. “It’s to encourage excellence in the pyrotechnic production arts, but also to help the audience appreciate the difference between an excellent and an average display.” Excellent or average, the event garnered considerable support, with locals and tourists turning out to see the spectacular results over the duration of the contest. “We think we had well in excess of 100,000 from various points around Muscat,” says Wooding.

10 minutes with Vulcan
Joint second place winner Vulcan, based in Hong Kong, is predominantly a pyrotechnics manufacturer, but pulled out all stops to put on an impressive display inspired by the Omani culture and landscapes. We caught up with John Werner, technical director at the firm, who has over 30 years of experience in the business of fireworks, to find out more about the team’s entry in the championships.

How did Vulcan nab a place in the contest?
We were contacted by the organisers I think as a result of a couple of shows we did in Hanover, Germany. We did a competition there two years in a row and took first and second place, and I think that indicated to the sponsors that we were capable of putting on a show of the dimensions they were looking for.

What kind of preparations took place in the lead up to the event?
Cindy Cheung [also part of Vulcan’s technical team] and I went over to Oman, once we accepted the application, in June to meet with the organisers, inspect the site and get an idea of what we were dealing with in terms of the layout of the site and also to see who the competition was. We then had a very tight schedule to put the show together.

How was the design of the show developed?
We had to put together a musical proposal first that sponsors looked over and submitted to the National Day High Council, and once that was approved, we started the choreography for the show. And what that involved was giving the sponsors an idea of the quantity and they types of products that we were going to be shooting and how we were going to stage the themes for the show. At that point, that was a very rough outline. And I flew over the Hong Kong to choreograph the show with Cindy in July, so it was a collaborative effort between the two of us.

We had to very quickly firm up the music, make sure the timings were all right – we had a time interval of between 20 and 25 minutes for the entire duration of the show. So once we got our final soundtrack cut, we sat down for two weeks and, every day, for eight hours or more a day, we selected products and put the whole show together.

What tools do you use as part of the design process?
We do it much like TV or movie production where we actually do a story board. My background is in fine arts so I would do the story board and we had several shoots with the site layout and how we wanted to stage where the effects were coming from and then for every scene and major portion of the music, we’d draw a little picture of what we had in our minds and what effects we were going to use. It really helps us keep track of the products we’re using. There are thousands of items in there so the value of having a story board can’t be underestimated. And it’s nice to flip through it and remind yourself what you were thinking and make some colour and effect notations.

Are products manufactured specifically for a project like this?
Since we’re a manufacturer, not just a display company per se, we have to have all our products manufactured – we don’t have a warehouse stocked with shelves of materials ready to go. So once the choreography was complete, we made up a list of what we envisaged for the show and send that to our two major factories in China. It’s obviously then a big job to keep track of it all, labelling it correctly so we know what part of the show it goes into and where it gets hooked to on the computer firing system. It took about six weeks to produce all the products for the show and then it needed to be shipped. It was a pretty hectic timetable – typically you’d want a bit more time but we managed to get it all there and ready in time.

How much stock was used for Vulcan’s entry?
It was roughly half a 40 foot container worth of fireworks and the number of cues - incidences where the computer tells something to fire - was over 3000, which is a pretty big cue count. And that doesn’t mean there’s over 3000 things that are fired, it’s actually much more because some things get fired simultaneously.

What was the theme of your entry?
The overall theme was harmony and the show was split into eight sections each with their own theme as well. The opening theme itself, most people will know as the theme from 2001 – it’s somewhat corny but it’s very powerful and we wanted something that would get people to turn in the right direction and look where they should be so they were aware that something spectacular was going to happen. We had a lot of shots and a lot of noise in the opening, just to get people roused. We wanted to show what we felt were the different aspects of the Omani culture and their way of life. They are a very proud people and are very conscious of their strengths. And we wanted to emphasis the landscapes – the water, the palm trees, the desert.

What would you rate as the key element in competing at this level?
The key is getting a whole heap of effects to mesh together perfectly to get the desired effect. I think in terms of uniqueness and quality of product, we were strong competitors. Winning was not our main purpose, we wanted to really show what we are capable of.