The fabrication division of Mountain Mods use an Amanda Gemini FO3015-NT (4000W) laser cutting machine to forge the majority of parts needed to build the cases. Because of the laser, each part is cut to precise measurements ensuring each panel fits together perfectly (something I will put to the test later in the review). Blemish free sheets of high grade Aluminium are loaded into the machine one at a time and are spewed out at the opposite end once the holes are cut.
The Amanda Gemini is cooled by the means of the extreme overclockers favourite liquid - LN2 (liquid Nitrogen). Sadly, the Ascension is aimed towards those who like to watercool but those huge bottles of LN2 certainly do look the business!
Once the panels are cut, they are stacked and ready to be drilled and counter sunk. When this is done, they are fed into the 'timersaver' one at a time, which gives the aluminium its brushed effect. All of the parts are brushed regardless of whether they are to end up as powder coated or anodised in finish.
With the various panels now brushed, they can be sent to the anodising orpowder coating department. Those panels that need moulding into shape with flanges etc are sent to the Amanda hydraulic press with each component again hand fed into the machine and then stacked ready for collection.
After the panels have been bent into shape with all the relevant flanges correctly pressed, the units are ready to have their threaded inserts fixed using a Haegar 618 insert machine. All of the hand work that goes into the process really is astonishing and it's also reassuring that a robot is not responsible for making your case as any errors in production can be clearly identified and slung into the recycling bin before it gets to you.
With all of the parts now prepared, it's time for the last stage before it goes to powder coating. Little rubber plugs are used in the holes to ensure the threads are not clogged in the powder coating process. Once this is complete, the parts are cleaned of any foreign material, hung from a rack and sprayed with powder (if you are having the parts powder coated that is). The powder is attracted to the parts because they're positively charged by the powder gun and the case components, because they are earthed, attract these positively charged particles so that the powder particles 'stick' to the case.
With all of the components powdered, they are sent to be cooked in the powder coating oven for thirty minutes at 300 degrees. After the baking process is completed, the parts are left to cool off completely before being sent to the packing and distribution section.
The whole process is overseen by human eyes which is very re-assuring and while the major cutting is done by machine, each part is inspected throughout the fabrication process for any errors. Because of the human factors involved, cost is inevitably affected but quality control should not be an issue thanks to the hoards of staff checking, rechecking and checking again before the product is sent out to the consumer.
Let's see how the ordering process is navigated...