Origin Vape / Last Updated March 2019
In every advanced vaper’s arsenal is a powerful box mod. Chances are high that this device is a Sigelei product. From the enduring silicone sleeve that comes with every mod, to the sleek lines found on the side of the 150w box…
Sigelei’s products are rock-solid and have earned them a place on top of the vaping food chain.
Today, Sigelei is known throughout the vaping community for their affordable and efficient mod systems. They were once known for powerful box mods. Before the box mod craze, Sigelei was making variable wattage tube mods and even mechanical mods.
The company’s regulated devices have gained fame for their affordability, reliability and great looks. The first of the dual-in-series devices was the 100W, released in September, 2014. The mod evolved to include higher wattage, with the introduction of the 150W, and more recently temperature limiting technology.
As a veteran sales associate in Sigelei, Mark was excited to talk about the company. He has been with Sigelei for two years and says unprecedented growth in the company has occured during this time.
Established in 2011, Sigelei has cemented its position as a leader in the manufacturing of regulated mods. Their rapid climb to become one of the top electronic cigarette hardware manufacturers is remarkable in the few years that company has been in business.
Their high-powered, durable devices are known all over the world.
Sigelei’s rate of growth is happening so fast, says Mark, that “our company has a plan to be listed on the stock exchange in 5 years.”
The businessman struggled for some time with several ventures before incorporating Sigelei. Mark indicated that, “[Mr. Ou] did business with his friends before...many times…all failed…then after a long period of research, Sigelei was founded.”
The writing was on the wall for Mr. Ou…
The e-cigarette industry was booming in Shenzhen in 2011, and that’s where he wanted to leave a mark. By focusing on high-powered devices, Sigelei targeted the cloud chasing community and the rest is history.
The 100W was a great performer for the price. What used to be limited due to cost and rarity was now accessible to a wide consumer base. Because of his leadership qualities and the singular vision for the company, Mr. Ou was widely revered in Sigelei.
To Mark, Mr. Ou is like a magician, binding all the varied departments into a harmonious system. The ideal product is at the core of Sigelei’s philosophy, and they stick to that principle no matter how hard it is.
We asked Mark to translate Sigelei’s name in Chinese — which was a laborious process.
Instead, he opted to explain the meaning:
“The company upholds a pragmatic attitude…constantly thinking about what is required by the market and how to revise existing products.”
This kind of introspective philosophy is critical to every business, and Sigelei is no different. Mark continued,
“At the same time, the company’s team will continue innovating…allowing the company to continue making breakthroughs…we want to give consumers the ideal product.”
Sigelei’s pragmatic attitude is refreshing given that electronic cigarette technology is moving at breakneck speed.
New technology develops faster than it can be implemented. Sigelei takes time to experiment, refine and stabilize technology and only then adapt it for use with their electronics.
Their signature dual battery box mod has evolved from the 100 watt to the 150 watt and then the 150 watt TC. The final product was the result of combing through months of consumer feedback.
Aside from the data-driven approach, in the early days of the company not much was different...
Mark recalls the Zmax, the first original design made by Sigelei.
The tube-shaped telescopic variable wattage mod was powerful for its time, offering a whopping 15 watts.
In 2011, whether it was an Ego tank, a Kanger Protank, or a genesis RBA, 4 amps of power were now at the vaper’s fingertips. Fast forward to today and we are looking at 150 watt dual-in-series devices, with amp limits depending on overall battery technology, not based on limitations of the device itself.
Sigelei also experimented with mechanical devices, launching the Fu Chai mech mod and RDA set in September, 2014. As demand surged in regulated box mods, Sigelei poured their R&D efforts into this new market segment.
Mark understands the aesthetic value of mechs and says that the demand will always be there for mechanical mods. There are a few caveats, however, “Mech mods need to be refined, simple and luxurious,” says Mark.
We don't often carry mechanical mods here in Origin Vape because we strongly believe that a mechanical mod is only as good as the knowledgeable vaper that is using it. It could be unsafe in the wrong hands. A vaper buying their mod from an online vendor must do the research on their own. They must understand Ohm's law. They must check their builds on an ohm meter prior to affixing the atomizer on their mod.
To ensure this is done appropriately and with proper safety, we leave the mechanical mods to brick and mortar retailers, where customers can get one-on-one with a knowledgeable expert vaper instead of buying a mechanical and then finding out the hard way that there are no safety precautions.
The mech and regulated mod are two different animals altogether. Regulated mods depend on a chip-based platform to measure voltage, amps and resistance. These device rely on having accurate calculations.
The Sigelei ZMax was one of the first regulated mods that had real RMS output. Consistent, measurable voltage is very important to the company, and Mark says that is not the case throughout the industry.
There are some bad practices in the industry. Much controversy surrounds alleged high-powered mods that do not live up to manufacturers’ claims.
“Rather than market gimmicks, our products are real. Our experience in manufacturing offers good quality guaranteed…but our main products focus on user experience…which cannot be achieved without true measurements.”
Some companies make devices that only pretend to reach high wattage. The screen may say 120 watts, but independent tests show that the device does not perform up to the specifications of the offending manufacturer.
A quality product takes time and patience to produce. There have been times when Sigelei’s production runs had to be delayed due to quality control issues. QC is taken very seriously at every step of the production process at the company. That is why their 100 watt mod stood the test of time, and may still have a few users even today, years later.
Even though they may incur lost production time and possibly raw materials, Sigelei’s reputation for quality and dependability is far more important to them than financial losses. Instead of releasing defective products, the company stops production and revises problems directly on the production floor.
This type of lean-production model allows far more flexibility in troubleshooting than mass production. Encouraged to speak up about issues, employees can spot trouble faster than management. All Sigelei employees are proactive about seeking out and finding ways to improve quality.
Mass production works in a vastly different way. A percentage of error is built into mass production and defective products are accounted for, before productions runs begin. Essentially, there will always less defective products in a lean production system.
The end result of lean production is a product that is continuously refined, with a streamlined process in place on the production floor.
Great engineering means building upon a great concept and accepting change as part of the learning process. Sigelei is able to keep up with trends while maintaining a high standard of quality.
Mark to offered a glimpse into what Sigelei thinks of its reputation in the vape community….
He didn’t mince any words, “Sigelei’s current market position is relatively much better than others…the pressure for new releases is not so great…”
They make products that work. Instead of fumbling over recalls and dealing with livid customers, they focus their energy on getting it right the first time.
According to Mark, the entire concept-to-market cycle can take up to “1-2 months, depending on the material supplier.”
Sigelei’s concerns about resources echoes a consensus in manufacturing. Many vape manufacturers have to go to the same raw materials source. For example, Pioneer4You and many other mod makers have also had problems sourcing the necessary components for production. The bigger the order, the more likely the raw materials company will go for it versus the smaller, more refined companies that don't make so many in one shot. Mass production at scale is great for the company's bottom line, but not so good for the end user due to a larger share of defective mods.
The market for raw materials in China is an eternal tug-of-war between buyers and sellers. In an effort to raise prices, supply manufacturers oftentimes make claims of material shortages. A shortage and high demand means higher costs. In an effort to uphold a measure of quality, Sigelei is known to limit production runs to not jeopardize the integrity of their products.
Does Sigelei plan to make a mod that will stand the test of time?
Upgradeable firmware for the next five years? Maybe a waterproof mod you can take scuba diving?
Mark says he is not sure about the ideal product, but he promises that Sigelei takes all user feedback seriously. If the consensus is a triple-26650 box mod that jump-starts your car, Sigelei will make it.
Sigelei released three new temperature control mods by the end of 2015. The Sigelei Mini Book, a 40W single-18650 mod; The Sigelei 75W Plus, a single-26650 mod; and the Sigelei 200W. By 2019, things have changed dramatically. The industry shifted towards pod-based mods and smaller, ultra-portable devices. Sigelei has followed suit with the Fu Chai pod mod and many others on the way.
Mark thought some future ideas being thrown around Sigelei were worth sharing. Mark believes that the newest “programmable board e-cig models will require more stability.” In other words, new features are only as good as they are reliable.
The problem is that we want more complications. Just like any gadget, you want it brimming with functionality. It should open the garage door, feed the cat and double as a backup generator. All humor aside, Sigelei plans to release products that take the individual vaper into consideration.
“Rather than market gimmicks, our products are real. Our experience in manufacturing offers good quality guaranteed… but our main products focus on user experience…”
Along with the individual vaper, Sigelei is also aware of the external challenges we face as a community…
Mark indicates the biggest threat comes from “Government policy…” the United States Federal Government can do more harm than good with broad, indirect legislation. Vapers share this philosophy and manufacturers are aware of US policy trends. Several states have already enacted legislation targeting the electronic cigarette industry.
Mr. Ou himself is the president of Shenzhen Electronic Cigarette Association, an association that keeps track of legislation that affects electronic cigarettes worldwide.
Worldwide legislation is a top priority for the company, however the newest burgeoning marketplace for electronic cigarettes is right in Sigelei’s backyard.
The Chinese ecig market has huge potential, and Sigelei is bracing to tap into it.
According to Mark, “The company will base R&D on the location of customers, and local consumer requirements and habits. This data will help us effectively develop products for that market.”
All countries have vapers with considerably different preferences. From the Rockies to the Cascades, to the Mojave and Appalachia, The United States vaper has a natural affinity for rugged durability. We love our pickup trucks, because a deer should not destroy our vehicles. A dual-battery box mod is perfectly in line with us.
Not to say Sigelei boxes are unpopular across the Atlantic, the opposite is surely the case. According to Sigelei, it is important to know what the region wants before making a product tailored for it.
Although products change from region to region, Sigelei’s values stay the same.
Mark describes the company’s values, they are “customer success, entrepreneurial innovation, integrity and honesty.”
All Sigelei employees share a vision of the company, therefore they work as a cohesive unit. Entrepreneurs think outside the box, and the company encourages employees to do the same.
Taught to “manage the system based on compassionate principles,” Sigelei’s administration cares about employee needs.
Mark is passionate about his job. He is “able to learn, gain industry knowledge, and work with my friends.”
Sigelei also offers dormitory services for workers.
Mark shares an apartment with other Sigelei sales associates. It is much like a college dorm, with shared restroom and kitchen areas. The apartment is paid for by Sigelei, to show their dedication to their employees and to boost the sales department’s morale.
In the United States, doctors receive subsidies on rental apartments by hospitals that they work in. College administrators get fancy digs close to schools, owned by the institution. In Shenzhen, Sigelei sales associates get apartments to share together with their fellow colleagues. Now that's a great deal.
Although Mark never smoked cigarettes, he loves to vape. He uses zero nicotine e-liquid.
Most of the staff at Sigelei gradually took interest in vaping too. Mark’s friends “think this is very cool, and some have begun to vape.”
The trend is catching on all over the world…
Sigelei went to a poverty-stricken area to donate money for poor students who can’t afford their tuition fees…The boss, Mr. Ou said:
“We need to repay society; Wherever help is needed, we will be there. Helping others makes me happy!”
Sigelei’s strong reputation and their mastery of the craft will keep them on top in the years to come.
This is especially true because they are willing to significantly increase their operating costs while the product evolves right on the production floor. This type of commitment is essential to the success of vaping hardware manufacturers.
All in the spirit of creating the ideal product for vapers.
The future looks bright for Sigelei…