Linear Tube Audio
Hi-Fi Amplifier Series
Turnkey Manufacturing, Aluminum Machining, Laser Engraving, Industrial Design, Anodized Aluminum
Our integrated model was ideal for LTA because our team can seamlessly integrate critical aspects of our client’s assembly process and leverage a deep knowledge of our machine shop capabilities.
On the face of it, each of the parts in the chassis of a piece of high end consumer electronics is fairly straightforward: you can find sheet metal & machined plate with anodized & painted finishes in most of the products in the market. The challenge for us in this project was to ask ourselves: “Why are we using this material or process in each application?” and to give our own original and informed answer to this question.
A great finish on the parts was crucial to our clients and their customers.
The principle at the core of this was to give the consumer and our client (the manufacturer) a good experience working with each of the parts and with the final assembled product. Being able to deliver tangible results to make these experiences intersect required us to dig deep into what LTA (Linear Tube Audio) needed and what their customers would appreciate. We conducted initial market research and leveraged our client’s expertise to understand the deeper technical issues and requirements involved in manufacturing high-end tube amplifiers.
Here are some of the key factors integrated into the final designs:
The necessity for good electrical contact surfaces to the chassis. Anodizing & other finishes can impede a good connection. Solution: Masking or in some cases, re-machining the parts to remove the anodized finish.
Ease of initial assembly & repair was central in our design process. This involved working with LTA to: determine hardware and fasteners they preferred to work with, recommending new products, and in some instances designing custom hardware that we manufactured ourselves. This allowed us to thoughtfully support the life cycle of the product line. The result was a cost reduction in the labor of making the product, and a cost reduction in diagnostics and repair.
Integrated machined features in the face & back plates reduced the quantity and variety of hardware required to attached electronic components. This allowed them to be in perfect and secure position, and provided an easy connection to the chassis’ sheet metal components.
In addition to thoughtful component integration, a great finish on the parts was crucial to our clients and their customers. In many ways this can often be the most challenging and important aspect of a product design.
We developed our own proprietary process for delivering a uniform, matte, “hard anodized” finish on the face & back plates. This is where the manufacturing process engineering really stepped up and incorporated everything from tooling and media selection, to material handling and packaging to protect the work in the process. We developed step by step procedures to work through the finishing process to arrive at a consistent result without a high reject rate.
We were able to strategically design common parts throughout the family of products to streamline the design and the manufacturing process.
This consistency enabled the client to make their inventory management leaner and their assembly process more intuitive for their staff. Our integrated design & manufacturing model was ideal for LTA because our team can design around a deep knowledge of our machine shop capabilities and seamlessly integrate important aspects of LTA’s assembly process. The result was a world-class line of amplifiers leading the industry with efficient production and excellent control on quality.