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Customer Story: Informal

Learn how a hardware freelancing collective is using Lumafield's industrial CT platform to inspect prototypes.

Lumafield’s CT scanner and software gave us superpowers to see exactly what was built,  allowing us to ensure our products are being assembled correctly without destroying units or compromising our testing data.

          - Sam Holland, Co-Founder of Informal

Lumafield partnered with Informal, a hardware freelancing collective, to assess potential leak paths and the weatherproofing robustness of Lodge Sound’s Solar Powered Speaker prototype ahead of its launch.

Lodge’s sleek outdoor wireless speaker is powered by 180+ square inches of solar panels that surround a finely tuned audio system. To confirm the product can safely remain outdoors, engineers at Informal created a realistic simulation of sprinklers and inclement weather to assess possible leak paths. Informal ran numerous water infiltration tests on the speakers and then scanned them using Lumafield’s Neptune industrial X-ray CT scanner. The prototype speaker was exposed to water and then compared to a brand new Lodge Sound speaker using Voyager, Lumafield’s cloud-based software. Informal sliced, measured, and inspected the contract manufacturer’s weatherproofing sealant to check for possible water ingress pathways ahead of the speaker’s release to customers.

Using the Lumafield Neptune, Informal scanned Lodge's outdoor wireless speaker prototype for quality assurance before its launch.

In the past, water ingress testing was binary: either water made its way into the product or it did not. But determining the path the water took was much more complicated. Disassembling products to determine the cause of failure also introduces variables into the testing. Was that gasket installed correctly but moved during disassembly? Did water enter this section, or did it get wet during the process of disassembly? Some companies encase their products in resin and cut them in half to better visualize how gaskets are being compressed and identify voids. This is messy, inaccurate, and can be dangerous when batteries are involved.

Informal conducted numerous carefully calibrated water ingress tests and used Lumafield's Neptune industrial X-ray CT scanner to pinpoint leak paths.

Using Lumafield’s industrial X-ray CT technology, Informal was able to see glue voids throughout the Lodge Sound speakers that could lead to water ingress. The voids in the applied glue are visible beneath the solar panel, at the top of the speaker and vertically along the airtight inner chamber. Without a complete seal, water could enter the unit and damage the circuit boards. The insights from the scans were used to improve the speaker’s manufacturing process to help reduce water ingress in the final product.

While exploring the interactive 3D scan data, the team was also able to verify the speaker’s complicated wire routing paths and ensure the internal gaskets were sealing correctly. Additionally, the Informal team was able to determine optimal antenna placement by finding areas that are less obscured by metal and other electrical components in the assembled product, further increasing the range of the wireless speaker.

Informal is dedicated to bringing their customers the best design and engineering solutions. Lumafield’s easy-to-use Neptune industrial CT scanner and cloud-based Voyager analysis software, made it possible to pinpoint voids in the glue sealant during manufacturing and perfect their customer’s product before launch. By using the power of industrial X-ray CT, Informal ensured that Lodge’s speakers will be ready to withstand inclement weather and backyard sprinklers, while also providing unbeatable sound quality.

On the left, a 2D slice view of the speaker reveals voids in the contract manufacturer’s application of silicone glue, which could contribute to water ingress. On the right, visible water droplets led Informal to conduct additional weatherproof tests.
With Lumafield’s industrial CT technology, it was simple to investigate water ingress without destructive testing on our product, allowing us to inexpensively and effectively deliver the best outdoor speaker on the market. The cloud-based software lets me easily explore the scan data, validate our assembly process and wire routing, and gain confidence in our design.

          - Sam Holland, Co-Founder of Informal

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