Since its launch in 2007 the Amazon Kindle has transformed the way readers consume print media, creating debate and even striking fears over the death of the printed book.
The Kindle is a series of e-book readers, launched by Amazon as a medium for books, newspapers, magazines and blogs. The advantages over traditional printed books are numerous: readers can carry around multiple tomes in one vessel, novels from out-of-copyright authors are free, and aspiring authors can publish their own work on Kindle Direct Publishing, meaning they can reach audiences without going through a publisher or agent.
Other e-readers exist on the market, for example the Kobo or Nook, but the Kindle remains dominant, accounting for 48% of the 12.8 million e-readers shipped in 2010, according to a study from the International Data Corporation.
Amazon declined to give any information about the manufacture of the Kindle but last year European Plastics News attended a presentation at France-based Roctool, which described how Flextronics is using its induction heating technology to mould Kindle covers in a PC/ABS blend. The project started in mid-2011 and by the end of that year Flextronics had produced and shipped more than a million e-reader covers from its plant in Zhuhai, China, according to Roctool.
The technology provides an easier way of moulding parts in thicknesses down to below 0.4mm, with long flow parts and without streaks, visible weld lines or skin marks, according to the firm.