A Buccaneer Manufacturing update

Overview

Here are the various areas of sourcing and how your Buccy is being built. We will go over each and every one of them and talk about them in a later section. We will refer to the various manufacturers by what they do.

Mechanical Manufacturer: Mechanical Parts + Extruder + Assembly: Done in Singapore

Casing Manufacturer: Casing + LED + Spool Tub + Packaging + Manuals: Done in Batam and assembled in Singapore

Electronics Manufacturer: BeeDee board (The name of our beta board), Designed and tested in Singapore, built in Batam and shipped back to Singapore

Power Supplier: Power Supply + Conenctors: Sourced from China

Filament Supplier: Filaments: Sourced from Japan/Taiwan/China

Detailed Plan

Something to take note off before we delve into this is Chinese New Year (CNY). Manufacturing/Logistics around this period is tricky because China goes down for a month and even most of Asia take about 4-5 days break. If all goes to plan, we will be done before CNY. Any delays that occur will set us back an extra 3-5 days up to a max of two weeks on top and beyond that which it takes to correct the error thanks to CNY.

Mechanical

Whats going on: Manufacturing has already begun and slated to finish by this week. I will go down to the factory and take photos of your finished Buccaneers or see if I can get photos of them being made on the line.

What’s the worse that can happen: A line goes down due to errors in jigs / we have a critical failure in the mechanical system put together.

Expectation: We have worked with these guys for months and months and have full faith in their abilities. Test lines have been tested over and over again and risk in this area is minimal.

Casing

Whats going on: Casing production has begun and will finish same time as mechanical.

What’s the worse that can happen: Critical errors in mold will put the entire line down.

Expectation: The first 25 have already been shot and there seems to be no errors. Unless something happens over production there is minimal risk in this area.

Electronics

Whats going on: We delayed giving them the electronics BOM for a week to put out revision 2.5 of BeeDee board. We figured the cost of a slight delay is less deadly than an extra returned unit from the customer. Production of PCBs have already begun and assembly will begin next week.

What’s the worse that can happen: Boards show unexpected errors on the test run after production. They delay production due to unforeseen circumstances.

Expectation: This is the first time we are working with these people. They have the capabilities to finish the boards but I give them a 50-50 on hitting the production schedule. If all goes to plan, they will finish by 24th Jan. If something goes wrong, I expect it not to take more than 2 weeks to solve, being, 7-12th Feb around, taking into account CNY breaks.

Power Supply 

Whats going on: The order has long been placed for the power supplies and they are expected to arrive by the end of next week.

What’s the worse that can happen: The supplier screws us over or logistics gets severely delayed.

Expectation: I am always wary dealing with China. They seemed to have a good track record so I do not expect problems from this area. At worse if the logistics lanes get stuffed because of people rushing before CNY, we may see delays of a week or two. As a mitigation, I have planned an alternate supplier whom I will activate in the rare event the original supplier screws us over and does not deliver at all.

Filament

Whats going on: The order has long been placed for the filament and they are expected to arrive by the end of next week. There were some short delays because we wanted a translucent type spool (to ease our raging designer).

What’s the worse that can happen: The supplier screws us over or logistics gets severely delayed.

Expectation: Same as the power supply bit. We have a few sources but we hope this one supplier goes through with it because they have the best filament thus far.

Conclusion

Manufacturing is looking good. Once everything comes off the line they will be sent for testing. If we discover any quality issues, we will hold back the batch for testing until we are satisfied with the results.

I am quite optimistic about the whole thing and expect minimal delays if anything. Optimistically I would say we would be able to ship on time. Conservatively I would say Feb 10-15 shipment in case anything happens. Disastrously I would say end Feb (read again, Disastrous.)

We have some great news concerning the main batch and we have made headways into many improvements which I hope to share with all of you in the weeks/month ahead. Have some good news regarding warranty too.

For now off I go to visit the manufacturer’s and also on sourcing more suppliers to increase quality / decrease costs.

Have a great weekend ahead and a happy CNY in advance to all our Chinese backers.

Warmly,

Brendan