I'm still jetting around the world, visiting various manufacturers. Up next on my list is a familiar name for anyone that has ever considered purchasing an aluminum chassis. In fact, Lian Li is practically synonymous with high quality aluminum cases; that's where they started, and they've never really strayed from that path. Other companies have tried to reinvent their product lineup over the years, in an attempt to appeal to a great audience - Cooler Master has similar beginning to Lian Li - but Lian Li has remained true to their roots and continues to focus solely on aluminum case designs. Today, the company remains one of the first names to crop up whenever someone mentions a desire for a best quality full aluminum chassis.


I visited Lian Li first in 2002, and I had some time in Taipei this past week to pay them another visit. Lian Li has two factories in Taiwan, both near each other in Keelung, north of Taipei. In 2002 they had just opened the second factory, and it's nice to see everything worked out well. There are downsides to being as specialized as Lian Li; with the current global economic crisis, Lian Li faces shrinking sales as well. The factories actually stop manufacturing at times when there just aren't enough orders. I have been lucky with my visits, though, and most of the machines were producing the one part or another.

The manufacturing area has many stamping and cutting machines that Lian Li uses to form the aluminum plates into the correct shape. Some thicker parts use a laser to cut the pieces from aluminum blocks. Smaller folding machines mold the flat parts into the proper three-dimensional shapes.

Assembly of the cases is always done by hand. Since the production facilities for Lian Li are in Taiwan, they face higher costs than if they produced the cases in China. Lian Li of course feels that the higher cost of manufacturing is worthwhile, and the result is better overall case quality.

There was only one assembly line running at the time of my visit, producing a Lancool chassis. The cases move through the middle of the table and each worker attaches different parts. At the end, the cases are finished and packaged in a box. Then they are stored in a designated area in the warehouse until they make their way into a container and off to the customer.

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  • Webster4 - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - link

    Now I really have more appreciation for my Lian Li 60BPLUSII. They really need an interpreter for their almost non-existent manuals though. Noobs are always complaining about lack of documentation on Newegg. Are Lian Li cases the best? Maybe for the all-aluminum category, but they have their drawbacks like any case manufacturer. I sure like mine though.

    PS. Not all American workers are fat. I'm a prime example. LOL
    Reply
  • anandtech02148 - Monday, January 26, 2009 - link

    Over the years i 've 3-40 Lian Li cases,
    its well worth it. their product is so thought out that it can accomadate.arm's length GPU cards way before you even see other competitor on the market. Not to mention less guady, easy on the eyes if you have to look at your pc year round.
    Lianli just need to use quieter fans, and stop following the guady trends of obnoxious color (flamboyant red) like the others. Nobody has made a better modular case than LianLi, not even ogre looking Silverstone.


    Reply
  • Jaramin - Monday, January 26, 2009 - link

    Any chance you could inquire about working conditions for your next stop? Performance data is easy to get by, knowing how well employees are treated and paid isn't. I could sure use some informed opinion on the matter to help me choose what I buy. Reply
  • ComputerGuyPerson - Monday, January 26, 2009 - link

    Last time I checked, Anandtech wasn't a humanitarian reporting agency. They supply tech news. If you are so concerned with working conditions in China, write to the BBC or your local congress.

    I can tell you this much, they are worked to death and paid absolute minimum. They probably support large families on their small pay. They mostly eat rice because it is cheap to buy and can feed the entire family. Any meats they get are a blessing most of the time. I know people that have lived and worked in a production environment in China and it isn't nice. These fat, lazy, overpaid American workers should consider themselves lucky to have what they do. They have no clue...
    Reply
  • Deadtrees - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - link

    Wow, your ignorance is amazing.

    I've seen people thinking North Korea=South Korea. Someone like you had to go further to claim Twiwan=China.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - link

    "These fat, lazy, overpaid American workers should consider themselves lucky to have what they do."

    Way to go 'Shakespeare' , but at least you make those of us who normally may wonder what kind of people we are in life feel better about ourselves.
    Reply
  • TechDicky - Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - link

    "These fat, lazy, overpaid American workers..."

    Hey, I'm not... well, I don't... I mean, I'm not... hmmm, ok, I give I am... But is being a fat, lazy, overpaid american worker such a bad thing? I try not to take it for granted and I try to appreciate everything I have, but your view is shaped by the people around you... and if you can't afford to travel and are surrounded by other fat, lazy, overpaid, american workers, it can be hard to keep a balanced view relative to the the state or country you live it, much less the world...

    :D
    Reply
  • Davdoc - Monday, January 26, 2009 - link

    Go back to world geography class, or at least at this day and age, check some reliable online resources (like CIA World Factbook about Taiwan: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world...">https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world... before giving out biased opinions.

    Facts:

    1. Taiwan is not China. Although the official country name is "Republic of China" (compared to China's "People's Republic of China"), and inside Taiwan there was a lot of debates regarding relations with China, the current Chinese government (the one in China) has no sovereignty over Taiwan.

    2. Taiwan is essentially a developed country. GDP per capita, based on CIA, is $33000. Its foreign reserve is among the largest in the world, despite its relative small geographic and demographic size.

    3. Taiwan is a fully democratized country and labor laws are fairly up to the world's modern standards. In fact, for a company like Lian Li to stay in Taiwan instead of moving factories to China, it has to withstand quite a bit of financial pressure because the labor cost is way lower (in some instances, only 1/10 of Taiwan). Taiwan's government provides universal healthcare, and additional labor insurance provides pension plan (similar to Social Security but much more robust).
    Reply
  • chewmanji - Monday, January 26, 2009 - link

    Last time I checked, Taiwan was not China. While the working conditions in Taiwan are not up to the standards we've set in North America, I'm sure they are better than what you'd see in China. There's a reason "Made in China" is synonymous for cheap labour. Reply
  • ComputerGuyPerson - Monday, January 26, 2009 - link

    You're right, it isn't China... it's just the Republic of China... governed by China...with... Chinese workers...

    Idiot.
    Reply

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