Hello, hello, community!
I’m back with some of the updates that we’ve been waiting on. The Vs that you’re all awaiting are about to take flight, and it’s a good time to show what their travel bags look like - only haute couture for these machines. We’ll take you through the process of making the boxes, applying the print, and finally actually boxing the V and accessories.
Just so you know, this is my first stab at any sort of video editing, and I apologize in advance for not being able to provide the quality videos that you’re accustomed to seeing. That being said, I’m always open to suggestions and comments on how to improve your viewing experience moving forward. So, sit back, relax, and stay a while, as we visit the last part of the mass production line before our little birds take wing and fly into a neighborhood near you.
So, to start the process off, the factory prints the outer veneer (which I’ll refer to as box wrap), as well as any related inserts (for the V, we have the Quick Start Guide), because this is a long, complicated process, which even includes color validation. Although the order (doing this first) may seem a bit weird, this printing is the longest part, so it’s easiest to complete first.
To start off with, if you’ve ever used a color laser printer, then this process will seem familiar. Each color used during the printing process is printed individually onto the stock, one color at a time, and the appropriate saturation of each color blends together to achieve the final output. So, naturally, we first have to have the colors themselves - called dyes for this process - in order to actually print. However, you don’t just throw stock in and hit the print button - everything has to be carefully calibrated, and that means a lot of initial test runs just for this purpose.
Referring to my earlier analogy, the stock is fed through a series of machines that print each of the colors separately. It’s like that color laser I mentioned - only much, much larger in scale. During the calibration phase, though, different pieces of stock are run through each color print phase, so they can be assessed individually and the machines calibrated before a full test print phase is run.
Grant (@Lore_Wonder) behind the scenes during a box wrap print calibration - notice the stock only has blue printing on it currently. During this phase, each color is run through to verify the various parameters necessary to achieve the final print run.
After the test prints are completed, they are validated for color accuracy. The technician here is a quality control auditor, in that he is auditing the accuracy of the colors applied to the print in a variety of areas.
Evaluation of the color print using the printed calibration at the edge as well as random spots in the print area of these Quick Start Guide samples. The device’s results are used to determine if the sample will be accepted or not. If accepted, the final print phase can begin, but if not, adjustments will need to be made and another test run performed.
Once samples have been validated and are accepted, they are ready for the box manufacturing phase. This includes the box wrap as well as inserts.
Here’s is a video combining all of the above steps.
Now that the exterior and interior prints are done, the boxes are manufactured, and the required prints are attached by glue to the boxes, to folded appropriately to be inserted in the box. During this phase, the different pieces that make up the boxes are assembled, covered with appropriate paper, wraps, and any interior pieces are also assembled. This process goes a bit faster as the prints are ready and can be adhered to the box upon assembly, and while parts are automated, such as the application of glue, the majority is performed manually.
The box assembly is performed through several steps, using a lot of human interaction to complete. Cut pieces are shaped, glued, covered with paper, touched up, and any insert pieces are also assembled.
Here is a mashup of the box assembly.
After all of the above, it’s finally time to start packaging the Vs and the accessories in those visually appealing boxes. But, it’s still not a simple process. You can’t just grab a V, drop it in the box, and call it a day! There is a fair bit of prep work involved. The units need to be cleaned thoroughly, then protective layers have to be applied, and then inspected, prior to being placed in its box. Add in the Quick Start Guide, and then the box top, which is placed in a very specific way, and you have the final complete package - ready to ship.
Now you know I’m not going to leave you hanging with a single pic, so for your viewing pleasure, the last video - the boxing process.
So, there you have it. All of this to not only protect the product until you have it in your hands, but also to make it look good - even if you just look at the box. It’s beautiful to look at, and yet, while aesthetically pleasing, the boxes themselves are rather minimalistic. Who says good things don’t come in small packages?
Oh, and before I go - a little birdie told me that these boxes are about to make some big moves. So, we need to start publishing files - drivers, firmware, and the like, right? And don’t forget - straight out of the box, they’re ready to upgrade to Windows 11 - if you so choose. Until next time, then.