27 Jul How it’s Made: Retail POS Display
We’re delighted to bring to you our first instalment of our How it’s Made series of blog posts. This time we bring you a retail POS display unit, made from two pieces of mild steel sheet metal, and complete with powder coated finish, vinyl graphics and working display products.
A simple short video of the steps in sequence to make the Fitbit Retail POS display unit…
How it’s Made Stages and Processes
1: CAD Programming
The team of CAD engineers produced a complete visualisation of the POS Retail Display including the vinyl graphics and product units to be installed onto the display.
2: Raw Materials
The unit is constructed from two sheets of mild steel.
To give the best end result for the customer we used 2mm thick mild steel for some elements, and for small parts, and unseen parts, we used 1.5mm thick mild steel.
3: Laser Cutting
Next the sheet metal is loaded onto the Trumpf TruLaser 3030 for the main shape to be laser cut.
4: Laser Cut Pieces
All the laser cut sheet metal pieces are placed in one container, ready to be fabricated into the POS units.
5: Laser Cut Pieces
This piece of metal is the main body of the POS display, made from 1.5mm thick mild steel. You can see the screw holes, product display sections, TV display cut-out and various shapes cut during the laser cutter stage.
6: Pemserter Stage
A special machine called the Pemserter (a fastener-insertion press), is used to pre-install the nuts that are required throughout the POS display.
7: Pemserter Fixings
Example of two fixing screws pre-installed into the unit using the Pemserter machine.
8: Press Brake
Next the pieces of sheet metal were taken to our suite of Trumpf press brake machines to be bent into shape.
Once bent, the pieces are then taken to the team of welders at Constant. This photo shows Stuart, one of our lead welders, grinding and linishing the back piece of the FitBit POS Display to make sure the entire unit is smooth and free from blemishes.
10. Formed metal units
The welders take all the various pieces and weld them together to form the main base unit for the display. After welding the parts are linished and feltled to clean up all the welds.
11: Test Piece – Round 1
Before the units go to Powder Coating department we assemble one piece to check all the pieces align, fix together and construction is good.
12: Powder Coating Stage: Wash
The individual pieces of the POS display are hung on our powder coating production line.
First step is to go through the clean wash booth. This removes all the dirt, dust, lint, marks and grease from the units. Second stage is pretreatment so the powder finish can adhere to the metal efficiently.
13: Powder Coating Stage: Dry
The pieces of washed metal then go on a long journey through a heat booth to dry them, and then a few dozen meters to let them cool and air dry. It is important that the pieces are clean and dry before the spray coating starts.
You’ll notice the pre-installed screws have small caps on, preventing them from being covered by the paint.
14: Powder Coating Stage: Powder Coating
Our team of painters get ready to paint the units with a white gloss spray of powder making sure every piece is coated.
15: Powder Coating Stage: Powder Coating
The then steel colour unit is now a Powder Coated white gloss ready to go to the oven curing stage.
17: Powder Coating Stage: Finished
Out of the darkness!
The curing oven process allows the powder coating mixture to fix onto the metal, producing a high-quality finish without the need for traditional wet paints.
18: Assembly Stage
When the units are cool, all the pieces are sent to the assembly department. Like all other stages Constant have a full assembly team in-house allowing for all stages of the production to be done under one roof.
19: Test Piece – Round 2
Just like the construction stage, the team build a test piece of the complete metal unit to make sure the assembly stage will go without a hitch. They install the products and the TV display screen to make sure every piece of the final unit will assemble correctly.
20: Assembly Stage: Power Cables
A USB power cable wire is threaded through, to make sure the ‘live’ fitness products on the display will have constant charge.
21: Assembly Stage: Security Measures
The unit’s antitheft bolts and brackets are installed for the products to be fixed to the front of the display.
22: Assembly Stage: TV Installation
The TV unit is placed behind the metal main section, so only the screen, and no plastic, of the flat screen TV is visible to the customer. It is fixed with a sheet metal piece formed and designed to hold the unit securely in place.
The CAD team designed the piece so it’s four central holes aligned to the TV unit’s mounting holes for the most secure outcome. Even though this piece is unseen to the end user, for quality, consistency and professionalism it was powder coated white to match the entire unit.
23: Assembly Stage: Product Installation
This POS display holds a full size set of digital Wi-Fi scales. It was important that these scales were fitted securely, and couldn’t break, move or be stolen.
A bracing bar was designed to hold the scales in place, and a small fixing bolt to the back of the scales to keep them secure.
24: Assembly Stage: Graphics
Magnetic vinyl graphics were organised with our printers of choice, and are designed to ‘snap on’ and ‘snap-off’. Our CAD team liaise with the printers to make sure the end pieces have the correctly measured cut-outs and sizes so nothing is left to chance.
25: Assembly Stage: Product Installation
Finally the dummy and real products were installed into the security brackets. Constant tested all the ‘live’ products to make sure they turned on and were responsive.
The touch-screen TV comes complete with an installed interactive video playing automatically when the TV unit is turned on. Again, Constant tested all TV units were operational, auto-played and the touch screen was responsive.
26: Assembly Stage: Product Installation
One by one the remainder fitness trackers were added to the unit to complete the POS display.
27: Finished Retail Display Unit
Designed, fabricated, painted, assembled to become an interactive Retail Display POS unit all tested and ready to be delivered to the electronic superstores across the UK.
28: Boxed for Delivery
When the client is happy, all the units are packed securely in brown, brandless card boxes. The displays were then delivered next day using our own fleet of lorries to our client.
And here’s the manufactured POS on display!
By design, and request of the customer, we manufactured two types of this POS, one with the scales and back graphic panel, and one without. As you can see the full retail display looks great! This particular unit is situated in a leading high-street electrical and consumer goods retailer.
The alternative version involves just the core part of the display used in conjunction with an existing POP display such as this from a leading high-street department store.