APC Mag writes the new colourful cases for some of Dell's notebooks are causing a lot of problems for the firm. The site reports the new paint coating worked well when Dell was testing it on pre-production models but when they boosted manufacturing volumes the paint didn't meet their quality control standards anymore:
In a posting on the Direct2Dell corporate blog, consumer product group senior vice president Alex Gruzen says Tuxedo Black is the only colour that's meeting the company's quality control standards. The Crimson Red and Pearl White options are causing big problems.
Gruzen explains coloured cases are particularly challenging because they require a huge attention to detail.
"The finish on the XPS M1330 is similar to a custom paint job on a car, but with one additional complexity - on a car, typical viewing occurs from several feet away (but) with a notebook, the typical viewing range is much closer... sometimes a foot or less," he says in his post.
"There was no problem painting hundreds at a time. But as we increased the volume, otherwise manageable factors like dust contamination caused our successful yields to decrease."
Apparently it can take up to five coats of paint on a case to get the kind of consistent finish customers expect. Earlier this month Dell decided it was just too hard to get an acceptable result on its white notebooks and so has stopped taking orders for them. Manufacturing experts are now hard at work trying to find a different method of applying colour to cases.