A Textron Inc. division is personalizing plastic covers for cellular telephones in lot sizes as low as one.
InteSys Technologies invested several hundred thousand dollars in a high-end thermoforming press, digital printing technologies and Web site development for the project, dubbed iSplash.
Linking to a Web menu, a customer selects a cover design including fonts, sizes and colors and downloads the demographics and a desired digital image onto a Web site.
Within 24 hours, Gilbert, Ariz.-based InteSys injection molds, full-surface decorates and ships the individualized iSplash product, charging the incentive sponsor $8-$12 per cover.
Phone companies and handset makers promote the concept - often at no consumer cost - to cinch mobile-service contracts.
That kind of technology has brought InteSys a significant number of business leads, according to Scott Hall, president of the Tempo and InteSys business units within Textron Industrial Products.
Next, InteSys is adding e-commerce for people who want to order and personally pay via credit card for one or more personalized covers beyond the incentive offer.
InteSys anticipates introducing the service during the second quarter.
For a related business line launched in June, InteSys produces promotional sports team, holiday or special occasion covers for $3-$4 per item in low-volume runs of a few thousand.
InteSys molds cell phones typically of an ABS and polycarbonate blend.
The company has applied for patents on the iSplash manufacturing method and Web site customization.