Introduction: The Importance of Plastic Shells
In the children’s toy market it can easily be observed how children’s electronic toy products that feature a cute and charming appearance, as well as a bright surface, attract a great deal of attention and affection from consumers. People also enjoy children’s electronic toy products for reasons besides their appearance, with function, product quality, and service life all being important. When it comes to the quality of children’s electronic toy products they are not only affected by the internal electronic components, but this quality is also reflected in the product shell. Having a high quality and strong plastic shell is like adding an extra layer of protection to a product. It assists in the protection of electronic components within a product from all kinds of destructive external factors. This helps to extend the service life of a product and therefore results in a good user experience for consumers. It is therefore evident that when it comes to the purchasing of children’s electronic toy products that we cannot ignore the importance of shell quality.
Kinds of Plastic Shells on the Market
In regards to products currently on the market, the shell of most children’s electronic toys is made of plastic, with the plastic materials that are most widely used being ABS resin, PVC, PP, POM, PMMA, and so on. This is because they are chemically stable, have good transparency, solid insulation, good wear resistance, and stellar impact resistance. These characteristics are also more conducive to the molding and processing of products as well as safer for environmental protection. When making products that are all in one piece (e.g. conjoined containers), PP (polypropylene) is preferred. This is mainly because of its strength and toughness, the ability to be bent during production, and good heat resistance. Plus, the texture is relatively soft and the surface has a unique luster which is easy to process so that it presents with a bright color. As for ABS resin, the shells and buttons and some game consoles (such as mini bartop arcades, Nintendo’s GB, and the Nintendo Switch) are generally made of this ABS resin. This key reason for this is that the material is 3-5 times harder than a general plastic, has good dielectric performance, and presents with good processing. It also can be ensured to have a stellar degree of product surface smoothness during production and can be tweaked as needed to meet customer’s needs for customization.
How does this plastic material find itself turned into a beautiful shell for children’s electronic toys? To answer this question we’ll take a model of the plastic shell for a game console and see how it works. Generally, any strong and highly-qualified children’s electronic manufacturer will have special production shell injection molding within a department, and this department will have a variety of different types of injection molding machines that inject the plastic material into the different shapes needed for the shell. An injection molding machine tends to come in three styles of large, medium, and small. For example: the shell and operation buttons of the game machine will be made of ABS plastic and be produced via small and medium injection molding machines.
The Production Process of the Shell for a Game Console
The production process that takes place for the shell of a game console goes as such:
- The QA department sends samples and production operation instructions to the customer which they confirm as correct.
- The ABS resin materials are mixed and matched according to the customer’s requirements and specifications.
- The shell mold of the game machine is inserted into a medium-sized injection molding machine.
- The plastic material is poured into the injection molding machine so as to start production.
- The injection molding machine begins melting the ABS resin at a high temperature to make the shell model.
- After the shell is formed, it is cooled for 3-5 minutes and leftover material is trimmed off.
- IPQC inspects the shell that will be used for the game console.
- Should there be no problems, the casing is sent to the assembly department. If there are scratches, the case will be reworked.
Production Factors to Consider
There are a number of factors to consider as well in the production of a game console shell in addition to the aforementioned details that are noted as taking place during the shell’s production. First, it is important that the raw materials ABS be able to pass a strict inspection when, “Incoming,” with the source controlling the quality of the product to ensure it is as high-quality as possible. An issue can arise when a manufacturer tries to lower the cost for themselves and purchases material which results in the shell being thin, having dull color, and being prone to aging faster. Plus, having lower-quality materials can result in issues when mixing the color of the shell–it must be according to the color on an international color card and any obvious difference affects the look of the product immensely. As long as the material is of a high-quality, however, it will pass any checks done at the beginning of the production process using the injection molding machine. As long as the machine’s mold can properly embed a card slot, make a console shell after cold water cooling, keeps its shape, and can be smooth when leftover material is cut off, that is a good kind of materials. Also, IPQC should conduct a patrol inspection every 2 hours, verifying the quality of the product. Should scratches or other issues be apparent on some molds, they will need to be picked out of the line for reworking. It is integral to have strict quality control so as to ensure the case is durable and protects the rest of the product, ensuring its quality and making sure buyers can trust in our products as being trustworthy when it comes to delivering on their expectations.
How We Test a Product’s Shell
Now that we have laid-out the production process for a game console shell, we can see how important that the shell of a product is when it comes to that product’s overall quality. Now we will examine how when we purchase electronic toy products how we test whether the shell for this product will be strong and durable enough according to the following three factors that we judge:
- Is there a strong plastic, “Taste,” and is the color of the shell very dark? Should that be observed that would mean the plastic material used for this product is inferior and will age too quickly and not be resistant to impact.
- When the plastic shell is lightly touched there should not be any obvious scratches. Scratches would indicate that the shell of the product is too thin and fragile, with it breaking far too easily if accidentally knocked-down by a careless adult or child.
- The shell should not feel rough or bumpy, as that would indicate inferior/poor workmanship. A high-quality plastic shell feels very smooth and will have bright colors with no obvious scratching. By having products meet these requirements it means the product will find its life cycle prolonged.
Conclusion: Plastic Shells Are Clearly Important
There are many factors that impact the decision of choosing to purchase a children’s electronic toy, and a high-quality plastic shell is a factor that cannot be ignored. Not only are a product’s core components key, but the plastic shell plays a major role in protecting the electronic components and visually appeals to consumers, giving them a positive experience as they buy the product. High-quality products result in good word-of-mouth and positive reviews from consumers who then continue to buy that brand, raising the brand-awareness a great deal for merchants. Therefore, choosing a manufacturer who controls every detail of their product carefully is very important for buyers. Hopefully, this article helps illustrate that!