It's been an incredibly busy month for us, but we're now fully moved in and setup in our new space! Moving took longer than expected but we managed to stay on top of everything else (production, customer service, etc) in the meantime which is awesome. The major updates as of today are that all of our "pre-multiplex" units are now fully assembled and boxed (see below), and the first set of Multiplex units should be heading out the door in just over a week - so we've minimized the delay in transitioning as much as possible.
Boxes on pallets ready to go out - and new sheetmetal coming in for more units!
In terms of our Multiplex order, we should be receiving our first set of parts at the start of next week. We've already had all of our samples in and the parts are right on spec and look fantastic! It turns out that we were producing parts at a higher throughput and tolerance than they were expecting given our machinery and staffing, which meant it took a little bit longer for them to get set up - but is also a huge testament to the quality of work Siraj and the whole machine team have been doing so far.
The first of six parts...clockwise from top left, the interlock mount, interlock arm, grinder idler plate, grinder chain case, grinder outer mount, and grinder inner mount.
All of the specs checked out on our grinder chain case...and everything else! The parts look great and we're excited to get the rest of them in next week.
We've also streamlined our assembly process to start shipping units on a more regular basis instead of in larger batches like we've done to date. This means instead of shipping 60-80 units a month, we'll ship 15-20 a week...allowing a more continual flow in our output and minimizing the amount of inventory we have to hold at once. We originally thought this would increase the "per unit" assembly time, making things slower overall, but after digging down and getting inspired by Toyota (among others), we've realized that we can drastically reduce our setup times if we design our assembly area to flow more effectively, and actually reduce our overall time for every unit by cutting down on batch size.
One of the many ways we've streamlined assembly over our move - pre quantified parts bins for a sub assembly (in this case, the hot end of the extruder) line a station for each major component. As soon as a bin runs out, a new one is ready to grab - this means we're able to maximize our throughput and productivity.
This means that we'll be able to really ramp up production now that we're fully in the new space, which is extremely exciting news for us. We took the opportunity to review our entire assembly procedure, are adding some staff to the production team, and should be able to roughly double our throughput over the next month or two. This will allow us to get through our entire backlog much faster than the admittedly slow progress we've been making so far - something I'm sure everyone is happy to hear!
Those who remember our old store "room" will appreciate what a huge improvement this proper racking and inventory control system is - the longer back racks hold bins of raw parts (see pic above) while the shorter middle racks hold completed sub assemblies. It's all setup and in action, and so far it's working great!
Last but not least, we've been teasing a new video and a few other updates for some time now. We had to put those on hold to ensure moving, production, and customer service - our highest priorities - kept moving forward. But now that everything is taken care of on that front, we've managed to get the website and video nearly complete as well. We're just stress testing the new website and will then move the server over on the long weekend - by mid next week everything should be up and running.
Otherwise we hope everyone else enjoys the long weekend - we'll be working to get units out the door, but hopefully you get some time off!
-The ReDeTec team