Project: Spectrum | Packaging Factory Tour

Beloved community,

Let’s sit down and enjoy a journey to the packaging factory where Spectrum’s monitor box will be assembled!

New to the project?

Welcome! We summarized Project: Spectrum’s critical milestones; hope it helps to quickly onboard you with our crowd-development journey.

Why cardboard?

Many of you are keen on doing as little harm to our environment as possible have and asked us to move away from the Styrofoam packaging that we initially considered. The main benefit cardboard packaging offers over such plastic material is its much lower environmental impact. While plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose when disposed of in a landfill, cardboard only takes about two months under the right circumstances. Additionally, the cardboard used by our factory contains 80% recyclable material and is made from a sustainable source. We also considered expanded polyethylene (EPE) for its exceptional anti-vibration capability before settling on the more environmental-friendly cardboard. Our current goal is to design and drop test the box to ensure it can safeguard Spectrum against impact while eliminating all but the most needed plastic parts.

Cardboard assembly is the process of making plain cardboard into boxes. It is commonly used for manufacturing cardboard packaging for a wide range of products. The process involves applying paint, die-cutting flat cardboard to the required size and shape, and folding it into a box. A cardboard box packs a product and ensures it can be transported to its customer well-protected. Our Spectrum monitor box has dedicated sections for holding the power brick and manual in addition to containing the monitor itself. The footage in this update was recorded earlier this week when our project manager @Kira visited our packaging factory.

The visit

Our packaging factory specializes in the design and assembly of all varieties of cardboard boxes, cardboard structure, EPE boxes, and other kinds of large packaging. The assembly begins with offset printing. Suitably sized flat cardboard is shipped into warehouses and loaded onto the assembly lines. A conveyor takes the cardboard into the printing machine where cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) paint is applied before the painted parts move on to the die-cutting process. The print machine’s size scales with the cardboard’s size, usually having a width of about four to five times that of the cardboard’s length. Each machine has blowers placed at the exit to dry the paint; the larger the machine, the more blowers it has. Offset printing is known for producing high-quality images while having low emissions and cost at high unit quantities.


Offset printing machine, blowers, and printed cardboard

Next, another machine accurately die-cuts the painted cardboard into the desired size and shape, with all the flaps and grips in just the right place. The tooling is made of a wooden board with knives attached blade-up. These blades are covered by plastic foam to prevent accidents or injury; when pressure is applied when cutting, the foam compresses to reveal the blade. Semi-automatic die-cutting is an alternative that uses the same tooling as the machine, except here an operator manually places the painted cardboard on a flat metal plate that has guidelines attached. The plate then closes against a second one that is mounted vertically. After a second the machine opens and rotates back so that the operator can remove the cut cardboard and all the cut waste by hand. This manual procedure is speedier to set up than the die-cutting machine and does not require as much tuning, which makes it very suitable for small-volume packaging runs. Due to the sheer volume required, our Spectrum package will be machine-cut.


Cardboard warehouse, wooden tooling, and finished boxes of various brands

Depending on the box design, the cardboard may or may not require stapling and pre-folding after the previous processes. Semi-auto stapling is done on a relatively small machine that requires an operator to feed the cardboard manually. A nearly fully-automatic assembly line has machines purely to take on every single part that needs to be pre-folded. The fluidity of such a machine makes me gasp at its beauty even after re-watching it multiple times.

Automatic pre-folding machine; Spectrum box will not require this process

Here comes the end of the assembly lines, where cardboard is folded manually into boxes. Any inner structure will be folded separately, and adhesives are applied if required to strengthen the boxes’ rigidity. Full boxes are created and go through the QC process, which checks the print’s clarity and position as well as the boxes’ dimension. Robust boxes are now ready to host their products.

Operators folding Nike, Alienware, and Dell boxes

Factory tour in action :point_down:

More tests!

We are glad to announce that our latest printed circuit board (PCB) development samples passed electrostatic discharge (ESD) and capacitor life tests. We have adjusted short-lived components from previous tests, with good results. Spectrum was tested with 100W charging, max brightness, and all ports on high load. It was able to sustain these extreme conditions for over 48 hours without any of its components failing. It is mostly Spectrum’s flagship specs and many community-requested features that require us to test and improve multiple times before we can give all components a pass. Spectrum also made a sizable step up in PCB thermals when compared to our preliminary test results. We will continue to analyze the reports to improve Spectrum’s every aspect and schedule further testing as we do so.

test results crimped
left: thermal test and capacitor life test; right: enclosure and all ports tested in ESD

We also played some titles on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch following our Xbox One S and PC compatibility test. Initially, our sample did not post when hooked up to a PlayStation 4. After troubleshooting, we were able to get it running smoothly in both 1080p and 4K at 60Hz. We plan to test Spectrum’s compatibility with a broader range of PCs, consoles, laptops, smartphones, and USB devices shortly.


The OSD implemented in these samples is based on the chip manufacturer’s defaults and is still pretty far away from its final look and functionality. We will release more OSD details later in a dedicated topic.

We will soon have more up-to-date content to share with you. Stay tuned, and talk soon!

nlbanner

37 Likes

Great update guys. Glad to hear you’re taking sustainability of the packaging seriously. Keep up the great work!

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Seeing that the final design of the cardboard box has not been revealed in the video, I would assume that you guys have not reached that stage yet. Which increases my doubts of you guys being able to deliver the monitors at the promised date of around February. When will we expect to see the final design of the packaging?

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We have shared our project’s status and are on schedule to ship on 26th Feb. We are exploring the best packaging solution for Spectrum to balance safety, sustainability, and cost, as mentioned in the post. As always, we will keep our community updated with the latest development news.

5 Likes

The box the Spectrum Monitor comes in is very important to me. I have kept every single monitor box I’ve ever owned because I move frequently and need to package my monitors back up to transport them safely from location to location without damaging the screen. For what it’s worth, I hope the Spectrum box will be easily reusable if the customer decides to keep it. Thank you for sharing all this info!

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Great update! Does this mean we’ll know what will ship in the box soon accessory-wise?

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I remember an earlier post where we were discussing accessories for the monitor that the box may be considered as a way for people that want to transport their screen. Is that consideration still at play?

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Fairly certain I saw Dell boxes in the images and videos above; and having owned various of their monitors their packaging is very well suited to protecting the product. Looks like this is in safe hands. Just needs an insane Black-Red-Triangle Design = ]

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Thanks for updates as always guys. Can’t wait to get my hands on the Spectrum =)

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We can confirm that the power brick will be shipped in the box together with the monitor. We are looking into whether to include a free cable in the box, the range of free cables we may offer, and how we decide or let our customers choose which cable to have. We have already received lots of great feedback from our community regarding the free cable such as 1, 2, and 3. Please keep them coming!


We will talk with our industrial designers about your interest in reusability. Our current goal is to make sure the box can protect Spectrum free from impact during the shipping while having as small of a volume as possible and as easily recyclable as our budget allows.


Do you guys have any suggestions on what painting shall be offset printed on Spectrum’s box and the stand’s box? Any design concepts you would like to create/recommend?

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Excellent progress and I like you are using cardboard instead of expanded plastics. At 27" can you tell the difference between 1440P and 4K. I thought you had to have a larger screen to appreciate 4K.

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depends on how close you sit to the screen.

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Nothing, it would cost something and it’s literally useless. It’s better to redirect the money to color calibration or cables or even nothing

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I have said this many times before, but I have never bought a separate cable to hook up my monitors. I have always bought name brand, quality monitors that came with the cables I needed. The average consumer does this as well. I do not care about cables being a little bit too long or looking basic. If they choose to not include cables in the box they will almost certainly get negative press for it. LTT always comments on the cables in the box when they do monitor reviews. I can already see him saying how Eve wants to compete with the big players, but can’t include basic cables like all the others do. “The Spectrum is the master of ports, yet gives you nothing to be able to use them” or something like that.

It is important to remember that while the people who have backed this project up to now are very important, and the monitor has been designed based on their preferences, Eve still needs to sell this to general consumers to succeed. This means making decisions that may not make sense for some of the niche high end consumers that many of us are. I believe Eve is targeting this monitor as a good value, high end monitor over being a budget monitor that wins on price alone.

To me the bare minimum that should be included is a basic DP 1.4a and an USB 3.1 type B cable. These cables can be bought from Chinese suppliers in bulk for very cheap. Even basic HDMI 2.1 cables can be had for less then $5 in bulk. I would recommend including one of these with model 2 & 3, but if costs need to be cut then you could argue that DP 1.4a with DSC can fully run both monitors.

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I would definitely say that the HDMI 2.1 cable would be the best choice as this monitor is going to be one of the firsts with it and the driving force behind the demand for the model 2&3 and why consumers are going to buy this. DP and USB are going to be more common cables that many probably already own with HDMI being more popular and widely used than DP and HDMI 2.1 being brand new to the general public. The importance of cables should be HDMI 2.1>DP>USB 3.1.

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Cheap hdmi 2.1 cable have been the cause of some issues in TVs this year, so I would hope eve avoid this or at least test any hdmi cable they sell or include. Whether they should include, I’ve made a post on another thread saying it should be a consumer choice. Most people don’t have a hdmi 2.1 graphics card (the main audience), most of the console audience will be able to utilise it but the consoles come with hdmi 2.1 cable. Most pc people will need to use display port until they upgrade their graphics card (7 years is the average upgrade cycle). Some people will prefer no cable, and view any included cable as e-waste. This is why I think a sales model that allows choice for those who want it, is the best way forward; even if this is only possible on eve’s main website, and not in other retail sites/stores.

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100% agree. HDMI 2.1 all the way. It’s the main reason people are buying this monitor

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HDMI just recently started to officially certify 2.1 cables where as before companies were allowed to say it was HDMI 2.1 if it claimed to have all the necessary components. To have a 6’ certified HDMI 2.1 cable would, as was said above by @JayD and others, that the resolution and capability of the monitor could be maximized and with a solid cable, any issues that arise could be more quickly decided if it was the monitor or something it was attached to.

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From what I have heard the problems were from cheap, long HDMI 2.1 cables and not the more standard short ones which did not seem to be affected.

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This. This right here. @Lore_Wonder please make sure that whoever is making the decisions on this is aware that the retail units at the very least need to have a cable in the box. If there is no cable in the box, you are going to get bad press about it. Additionally, you really need to consider the fact that one of the big selling points for models 2 & 3 are the HDMI 2.1 features and that again, if you don’t include one in the box you’ll get pushback from reviewers about it. Not as much as no cable at all, but if you can’t take full advantage of the highest feature set with what is included in the box, reviewers will comment on the fact that their viewers will need to go buy an additional cable to get full functionality.

While I agree that it would be nice to allow choice in this way, it’s actually more expensive (due to additional SKUs and processing of orders) for them to offer options (even a no cable option) in this regard. 1 SKU for each model is the only realistic way for Eve to keep costs in check. As a relatively small company, they can’t afford to make special accommodations. Every unit they ship (including the pre order units) needs to be a retail unit so that they can streamline manufacturing, packaging, and shipping to the fewest number of SKUs possible.

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