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Original Publication Date: 1992-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Jan-11

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Dwight Brooks


Many factors must be considered in the design of pagers today. Four of the most critical are low cost, small size, robotic assembly, and reliabiity. In the area ofhous- ing retention, many methods have been employed to achieve these design objectives for any given pager pro- gram. Today's designers are trying to fmd sound alter- natives to the tried and true method of the past, namely fasteners. One such method that has been attempted is the use of snaps. Snaps have the following advantages; since they are molded as part of the housing there is no additional parts associated with them (screws require two, the screw and the boss) making them essentially free, they take up about the same amount of room required for a screw assembly, and they allow for z-axis robotic assembly. One concern associated with snaps is reliability If a snap is designed stiff enough to prevent housing separation during our stringent drop tests, it most probably will not survive numerous deflections dur- ing assembly and disassembly of the pager. To overcome this problem, designers have incorporated a secondary feature in the housing to lock the housings in a closed position and assist the snaps in retaining the housing. Thus the use of snaps is a viable solution to fasteners if this secondary feature does not add cost, volume, or assembly complexity to the pager design.