We’ve been very fortunate this week, as the eTeknix team were invited along to a special tour of the InWin factory in Taipei, allowing us a first hand look at every aspect of product design, development and production. InWin have proven themselves time and time again over the last few years with their special edition cases such as the H-frame and D-Frame, that they have a passion for engineering great products. So let’s get started and take a quick look at some of the aspect of how InWin produce these products.
The first room we entered was filled with high-end machines that construct and test various components. This included CNC equipment, an EDM (electrical discharge machine), laser measuring systems and more. In here they can create the various tooling components needed for moulds, presses, stamps and other manufacturing components required.
the laser measuring system checks the tolerances of a component against its intended specifications, as things need to be absolutely precise before going into mass production.
Multiple devices are required to complete the early manufacturing processes as some machine can cut edges, others can only cut rounded shapes and devices such as the wire cut can create perfect square edges, which when combined can produce the various components moulds and tools required for the production of a chassis.
Here you can see the tooling mould for a chassis, the lines down the left side of it are what will later for the PCI expansion slots on the back.
Each one of these components is a tool, used by the larger machines in the factory as a guide to cut and stamp out USB ports, audio jacks and other bumps, grooves and cuts; can also confirm they’re freaking heavy to hold too.
In the next room we have the next step in creation some of the incredibly complex moulds that are needed to create a PC chassis, right from the high-end models that InWin make, right down to their small budget and OEM models.
These two huge moulds way hundreds of pounds and are used in an injection moulding system to create the little chassis front panel you can see on display in front of them.
Again here we have two more huge moulds, these two are used to form that intricate little front panel cover you can see on the table.
There are often hundred of parts to each mould, taking a huge amount of engineering to create using the tools in this room, as well as the cutting and measuring equipment we saw in the previous room.
These moulds are huge and InWin have a huge amount of them stacked up and ready to go for each product they create, while also keeping older models on hand should they need to produce a revision or re-use components.
Two huge lines of massive machines use plastic, which is injected under high pressure and force into the moulds, then released down a conveyor belt to be prepared and stacked, ready for the next step in production.
The plastic used for the moulds starts out as simple plastic chips, any left over or waste plastic trimmed from the mould is later recycled back into these chips so that nothing is wasted.
We will be back very shortly with part 2 of the tour, stay tuned.
Update: Read part 2 here.