Creative thinking is in the Mascot DNA
CREATIVE THINKING IN DESIGN – MORE THAN 80 YEARS ON
Clever thinking has been part of how we work at Mascot ever since the company was founded more than 80 years ago as a pioneer in the manufacture of radio equipment.
High-quality materials - or any type of materials, actually - were scarce in those early years, especially in the late 1940s, and we had to do our best with what could be obtained locally and at reasonable cost. Being unable to get hold of loudspeakers for our radios, we simply had to figure out how make our own. Paper pulp was sourced from one of the local paper factories, while magnets were fashioned from steel retrieved from local scrapyards and used metal dealers, and we made coils and transformers in-house. In some cases we even had to improvise our own machinery, such as the membrane press (see photo).
Happily, that isn’t the case nowadays, but the application of intelligence to designs is what has kept us at the forefront of developments in the charger and power supply market for many decades.
Manufacturing products which are safe, reliable, and fit for purpose is of course vital, but almost as important these days is ensuring they are as simple and cost-effective to manufacture as possible, without compromising on key areas of compliance. Our new Blueline range of products has been well received in the market, with current certifications for medical use, UL-approval and meeting international energy efficiency requirements.
NEW PRODUCTS - NEW CHALLENGES
However, the new products were missing one feature the previous “Wave” range offered: waterproof versions. These so-called IP67 units (standard IEC 60529 defines IP67 (Ingress Protection level) as units that can withstand being immersed in water up to 1 metre without any impact on their operation. These units were filled with a polyurethane which sealed off the PCB. However, the filling method of the “Wave” boxes was not transferrable to the new Blueline units, so the creative juices of the production team had, in collaboration with our Lab, once again, to be called upon.
Clearly, reducing the quantity of individual components would minimise the number of spaces between them, which could allow for ingress to occur. Power supply and charger designs in the past have typically focused on a moulded box with holes at either end for cables to pass through, and seals or gaskets passed around the cable to ensure a snug fit. However, not only does this make for greater assembly work, it does not totally eliminate the risk of ingress.
Seeking a better solution, production technicians in Tallinn plant and HQ design team in Fredrikstad have now come up with a new design which eliminates the needs for seals and gaskets, with the casing redesigned as a single piece, providing complete protection for the mechanical unit inside (see photo).
The new design will be applied across our entire Blueline range, in line with a substantial investment we are making this year in new production equipment to support increased demand from across our global markets.
As well as being estimated at around 30 per cent quicker to manufacture, it is another step forward when it comes to the quality, reliability and performance of Mascot products – and it also demonstrates how the resourcefulness and creative problem-solving spirit of our founders lives on!
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