The customer, a leading producer of mobile phone antennas in Japan, approached Advanex with a sketch of a small piece of folded wire that would act as an internal antenna in a mobile phone. At the time (2001), mobile phone antennas had a ‘pop-up’ design, but if this product could be made to work successfully, the design of mobile phones would be greatly improved, while making them smaller. To create a functional internal antenna the customer believed it should be made from a small folded wire spring housed in the body of the phone.
From wire spring to a flat spring insert molding, the change in thinking led to huge success. Advanex was able to offer:
- Innovative solutions to new problems
- Unrivalled expertise in metal manufacturing methods
- Resources to meet a huge production demand
The customer requested that Advanex develop the smallest internal antenna possible, with a high receiving capacity. Advanex developed this antenna utilizing a spiral shaped spring of excellent quality, which was a world first.
In order to get a spiral spring to fit into the phone housing, Advanex first made a prototype resin case. However, the customer could not get a stable signal because the pitch of the spring was affected by the phone’s vibrations. Advanex brainstormed the problem and an insert molding engineer proposed using a press processing method that utilized the spiral shape to get a favorable reception. This lateral thinking was the reason for Advanex’s success.
Based on our sketch the customer cut and bonded copper foil onto a handmade resin prototype and achieved the required reception with the Advanex design. Working with the customer, Advanex then developed trial precision flat springs integrated into an intricate plastic molding. Using this technique and our automated insert molding process, Advanex was able to give the customer a product that gave both good reception characteristics and ease of assembly into the mobile phone.
The change in design from a wire spring to a flat spring insert molding ensured high productivity for both Advanex and the customer. It was a world-first product and gained the customer a reputation for innovation in the industry.
Internal mobile phone antenna
Mobile phone technology
6 months in development
Improving phone design
Advanced equipment technology, creativity
Total sales of over 4 million, a huge success
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