|Re: 15C Keyboard Issues [EMAIL ME - INFO BELOW]|
Message #7 Posted by Paul Gaster on 19 Sept 2011, 10:34 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Tim Wessman
A "loose" function key is not a keyboard issue. As the steel molds wear towards replacement, the tolerances for those two keys are not as tight and they become a bit looser. You have wear on the key molds, and then on the upper case. Thus two parts wear and the design of the mold takes that into account for the projected life of both molds.
With all due respect, I disagree with this statement. I worked as a project engineer at a contract manufacturing company for 10 years, and I was mostly working on plastic projects. Our factory was in China and I was there 3 times over the years working on project launches. Each time I was there for 2 weeks to a month.
As tools wear, typically the overall size of a part will get larger, not smaller. Of course I would like to see a tool drawing or the tool itself to know for sure, but I can't see how these keys would get smaller over time. Outside to outside measurements grow as the steel wears.
I know from experience that our factory always did everything very steel safe, which seems to be the situation with these function keys. The tool maker is either slightly out of tolerance on the key sizes now, or right at the lower limit, but the tools will wear into spec over time, and eventually the keys will get too large and out of spec. Then it's time for new tools.
Of course the housings are obviously very steel safe too, and that magnifies this issue. Let me explain. The steel features that create the key openings in the housing are bosses or posts that stick out. They will wear smaller over time. When the tools are new, the key openings are the largest they will ever be.
For the keys, as I said, they are the smallest they will be when new. This makes for loose keys when both sets of tools are new, which may be the situation here. Over time this will get better, and this strategy gives you the most tool life, but also the most complaints when your new products are launched.