New Product Introduction
Customer developed a solution for RFID tracking of livestock that required Vexos’ involvement at NPI phase for test, mechanical packaging, product identification and device protection. Range of the solution was two to five miles of each device with a three to five year battery life. Key functionality considerations in the product technology was adherence to proper RF production and test protocols. Key considerations for packaging was the requirement for hot plate welding of the plastics case and laser marking for asset identification purposes. Time to market was crucial as design completion to field trials was nine months.
Vexos engineering (test, plastics, manufacturing) worked concurrently with the customer to provide a deliverable solution from initiation phase to delivery of final product. The technical challenges faced included design of low frequency RF volume test system, commissioning of a high volume plastics tool for engineered plastics, development of a volume manufacturing process that integrated test, laser marking and hot plate melting processes at volume.
Vexos team of test engineers, worked together with the customer and developed three FT fixtures to accommodate high volume RF testing and processing. The test was developed at board level and final assembly of the product. At the final assembly stage, the test outputted a Go / No Go signal that initiated the laser marking process. Vexos worked in conjunction with their molding supplier partner to develop a high volume plastics tooling that would minimize parts costs, provide for high volume production, integrated a requirement for laser marking additives and enabled hot plate welding of the finished case. The material selected was thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with a percentage additive for laser marking and color. In order to minimize plastics cost due to excess sprue, Vexos commissioned a hot melt runner system as part of the tooling.
Vexos integrated two key technologies in the process design for this product: hot plate melting and laser marking. These technologies had to integrated into a volume assembly process capable of output of 300,000 per month.