News & Case Studies

How injection moulding know-how made Flash Memory familiar

USB sticks are now so ubiquitous they almost feel disposable. There was a time when 256k of memory was a significant investment – yet now multi Gigabyte sticks are commonplace.

This trend that has been driven in no small part by memory giant Integral who have turned flash memory into something that everyone can afford and that is now the de facto standard for small scale temporary data transfer and storage.

Fern-Howard’s relationship with Integral goes back many years and both companies have seen the memory market change, and recognised that the ability to be highly responsive to an ever-changing demand was key. That need for responsiveness meant developing, with Integral, an injection moulded stick that could be both produced and hand assembled at short notice; but one that could still withstand life in the bottom of a desk drawer or being hastily thrown into a handbag.

A two-piece design, fixed together using only moulded-in latches meant that immediate demand could be met by pre-moulded cases kept in stock and hand assembled on demand – but it also meant that same design was suitable for bespoke printing and branding for third-party retailers.

Now producing in excess of 10,000 units a day, these flash memory cases can be seen across the world, often carrying the livery of well-known companies – but all produced using the same Fern-Howard tool and Fern-Howard design.

Final printing is also carried out in Fern-Howard’s Alton factory in the UK and the units can be printed in any number of standard colours alongside specially commissioned finishes.

A good example of how a global tech company, working closely with a UK injection moulder can swiftly bring a product to market by designing out complexity and turning a once bespoke item into a commodity that we now all use.