Ever wonder how do they do it? Well, if you are like me, always interested in the nuts & bolts of how things are made, then this is an interesting read for you. We have developed a new process using existing technology to create a unique way to imprint slightly cylindrical shapes with a full-color, full-wrap direct to product imprint. How did we do it?
Here at Toddy Gear, we focus on truly innovating our products through the way they are
made and decorated, focusing on their unique value and quality while meeting the needs of both small orders and the behemoth POs that we get. Let’s talk about the Smart Charge Power Bank 2700, the full-color power bank that wears a full wrap graphic — So what? This is where Toddy Gear excels while others move on to the “easy” and “run-of-the-mill” products to decorate.
So, what makes this power banks decoration different?
We have developed a unique decoration process to digitally imprint a full wrap, full-color image directly on four slightly cylindrical aluminum panels with seamless precision and acute detail. This direct to surface, full-color, full-wrapped imprint process not only showcases brands but also highlights Toddy Gear’s dedication to creativity, innovation, and quality.
What did it take to get it done right?
The Toddy Gear product development team found a uniquely shaped product that was a bit unique, and we set out to make it truly one-of-a-kind. We challenged ourselves to devise a way to decorate it with a full-color wraparound image, not “just a logo” imprinted on a panel.
First, the team needed to find a way to position and maintain precision printing on all four sides of an almost cylindrical product within the limitation of a standard UV printer’s specifications, printing only on flat surfaces. The second challenge faced was aligning the printing process with the specially developed supporting equipment and our art production processes, ensuring both elements worked flawlessly together. We then adjusted and modified as needed to so both processes could be replicated efficiently and cost-effectively.
Our team went to work exploring creative methods of using standard technology to imprint on cylindrical surfaces with precision. We exhausted almost every method we thought of, from custom build jigs to customized rotation mechanisms. We evaluated, tested and repeated. Then repeated again.. We were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and none of the individual solutions resulted in a precision imprint that met Toddy Gear quality standards. But we would not take no for an answer. There had to be a way.
To find an answer, we pulled together teams from across the company. Utilizing the combined strengths of the engineering, product development, production and design teams, the hurdle of producing a seamless design was on the verge of being solved.
The engineering and production teams pulled successful elements from the available test mechanisms and custom developed UV printer add-ons, such as jigs and other devices. Simultaneously, the design and art production teams evaluated the physical production hurdles and tested an obscene number potential art file modifications to try solving the issues not able to be fixed with production equipment mods.
….And finally, after countless hours invested in product development, we hit the jackpot! The team came up with a successful method that resulted in a Toddy Gear quality-approved product. I know you are at the edge of your seat, what did the team come up with? How did you solve the decoration issue?
The creative solution utilizes a self-propelled custom mechanism that rotates the individual power bank in combination with precision art placement that is tied into the placement of a jig-like device to ensure imprint precision. The result is a beautifully-decorated, fully-wrapped, slightly cylindrical paneled power bank.
Thanks to the creative thinking, skills, and teamwork of incredibly talented people, we did it! We developed a new process using existing technology to create a unique way to imprint slightly cylindrical shapes with a full-color, full-wrap direct to hard surface imprint.
What We Learned – When talented and dedicated people want to put a square peg into a round hole, they will find a way, and everyone will be better for it.