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Star Prototype opens up new market for its services in Africa

22 February 2012

Muller Commercial Solutions (MCS), one of Africa’s largest providers of computer input devices, including keyboards, mice, joysticks and touch screens, has chosen Star Prototype to provide a range of clear covers for a new hand held point of sale terminal. Rather than using acrylic, which can result in substandard prototypes due to its weaker properties, Star Prototype produced the covers in the stronger polycarbonate – a decision made thanks to its in-house vapour polishing unit.

Gordon Styles, the Teesside businessman who owns Star, commented: “A lot of companies opt to use acrylic when clear prototypes are specified, but vapour polishing allows you to achieve the same clear finish with polycarbonate and as a result deliver a better quality prototype.”

Vapour polishing consists of heating Weldon 4 gas to 43o Celsius and letting the resultant gas flow over the polycarbonate so that it melts at molecular level on the surface. This is a highly skilled and dangerous operation requiring a specially created environment, and is not readily available in Europe.
The parts were CNC machined from 3D CAD data in a matter of days; then hand sanded up to 1,000 grit; and then vapour polished.

The terminal prototypes were completed in just 10 days and delivered to Johannesburg-based MCS within an additional two.

Star Prototype, which is based in China, is pleased to have opened up a new market in South Africa.

“When I set up the company six years ago I was literally starting from scratch,” explained Styles. “Drawing on my experience of running a successful rapid prototyping company in the UK, I am proud to say that we have built a global reputation for innovative techniques, fast turnarounds and competitive pricing and can now boast customers from around the world.” 

Star Prototype says it offers "Western quality at Chinese prices". For further information, click here

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