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NVision Certification Accelerates Electronic Packaging Approval

Tackling complex packaging challenges with 3D scanning

Published: Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 13:00

(NVision: Southlake, TX) -- Some U.S. global technology companies specializing in consumer electronics, computers, and online services are bringing a portion of their manufacturing back to the United States following rapid certification of American-made product packaging by NVison, an engineering services provider based in Texas. The swift certification resulted in a faster time to market for new electronics devices.

These tech companies have tight specs for things such as mobile and tablet packaging, which require certification from suppliers that their inserts meet stringent measurement demands. When Asian suppliers were unable to produce parts thatmet specifications, the tech companies turned to American suppliers and contacted Dallas-area NVision to provide the necessary inspection and certification.

NVision, a U.S.-based leader in 3D noncontact optical scanning and measurement, laser-scanned the packaging inserts for several product lines and provided digital files certifying that manufacturing specifications were passing quality standards. The speed and convenience of the process resulted in a decision by the tech companies to permanently return some of their production to the U.S.

nvISION HAND HELD 3d SCANNER

Made from a variety of materials such as polypropylene, polycarbonate, and paper and pulp materials, the packaging of mobile devices must meet several functional requirements. These include the need to securely house and protect the device and its accessories in an insert tray while not adding significant bulk or damaging the device’s mechanical controls, such as volume buttons, and ring/silent switches. Depending on the device, the insert may also require the inclusion of slots, indentations, or other spaces to accommodate protruding parts, or hold instructions or related electronics. Because the inserts are placed in an inner box, which must fit tightly inside the outer, covering box, meeting all dimensional tolerances is critical.

“The design and manufacture of consumer electronics packaging is easy for most of us to take for granted,” says Steve Kersen, president of NVision. “While we can easily appreciate the complexities of the device itself, we usually don’t give much thought to the numerous requirements that its packaging must meet.”

NVision offers turnkey solutions for in-house inspection as well as contract services to deliver inspection reports. The company has worked with packaging experts for more than three decades.

After discussing certification requirements, the companies began shipping the suppliers’ packaging, along with their own original design files, to NVision for inspection and comparison. In total, hundreds of insert styles for multiple products were scanned. For the bulk of the scanning, NVision chose to use its HandHeld scanner.

Capable of capturing 60,000 separate measurements per second and accurate to within +/– one-thousandth of an inch, the HandHeld scanner is particularly well-suited to precision measurement. Its ability to accurately inspect for tight tolerances is so well-regarded that its results have even been used in court cases as expert evidence in determining the existence of product flaws and charting their timeline in the manufacturing process.

Able to capture 3D geometry from objects of almost any size or shape, and attached to a mechanical arm that moves about the object, the HandHeld scanner lets the user gather measurement data rapidly with superior precision. As the object is inspected, the scanner generates a point cloud consisting of millions of “points,” each being a specific location on the object’s surface. Together with each point’s x,y,z coordinates and i,j,k vectors, the point cloud comprises an exact duplicate of the object’s surface, down to the most minute detail.

Scanning the packaging was accomplished quickly. Noting the manufacturing precision required of the suppliers, Kersen says, “Even one or two hundredths of an inch deviation from the design can, at any point, render packaging unusable, as it may prevent the device from fitting snugly in the insert, not provide enough storage space for accessories, or make it difficult or impossible for the insert to fit into the box.”

After completing the scanning, the NVision team used the scanner’s integrated software to convert the point cloud to an STL polygon. The STL file was then compared to the CAD master models provided by the client. After NVision certified packaging compliance, manufacturers were able to begin full-scale production.

One unforeseen but welcome result from the scanning was that some manufacturers, citing the ease and convenience of the certifications, moved much of their packaging manufacturing operations from Asia back to the U.S. “This proves that the U.S. has both the production and inspection technology to successfully compete with the most prominent global competitors,” says Kersen.

For more information about NVision’s 3D measurement and engineering services, contact NVision, 577 Commerce St., Suite 100, Southlake, TX 76092. Tel: 817–416–8006, fax: 817–416–8008, email: sales@nvision3d.com,

About NVision

NVision was established in 1990 with one goal in mind: To provide customers with the highest accuracy, noncontact optical-measurement systems and services for reverse engineering and inspection. Focusing its expertise on the aerospace, power generation, and oil/gas industries, NVision provides both contract scanning services and systems sales to companies throughout North America. Its team of engineers provides customers with an unmatchable level of experience and can advise and assist with the most difficult engineering challenges.

NVision's clients include industry leaders such as Boeing, GE, Lockheed, Lear, NASA, Porsche, Raytheon, Siemens, Toyota, and every branch of the U.S. military.

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