The march toward manufacturing continues...
Manufactured in Taiwan
I know this is a disappointment to some that hoped XOOT would be made in the USA. However, manufacturing in the US is cost prohibitive for our projected volumes. There is a chance that as volumes increase, some production (XOOT Kits) could be moved closer to consumers in USA and Europe.
Still working on costs
There is a lot of back and forth going on between the contract manufacturer and us right now. Most our work is going into reducing costs without reducing quality. This means looking at high cost parts then figuring out different solutions. Changing the design, processes and/or materials to reduce the cost.
Supply Chain (risk vs cost)
Our contract manufacturer will make the majority of XOOT parts. However, there are lots of parts not made by them. (bearings, bolts, cables, circuit boards, power supplies, electromagnets, etc…) for these parts it’s a balancing act:
- What is the risk that parts are not delivered correctly? (Ensure their are multiple alternative suppliers, with known lead times.)
- What is the quality of the parts? This involves ordering samples and testing the samples.
- What is the cost of the parts? This is what starts the investigation but it’s not the one that drives the final decision.
Each XOOT system that rolls off the assembly line will go through a batch of tests to ensure what goes in the box works as expected. This means designing tools for testing and ensuing the testing process is quick and reliable.
The goals of XOOT packaging:
– One Size fits all. Allow one package type to fit multiple XOOT Kits.
– Make it tough. Interest in the XOOT system has been world-wide. Our packaging needs to protect the XOOT system for shipments to distant lands.
– Make it small. Don’t make it any bigger than it needs to be. This keeps packaging material costs lower and makes storage easy.
With design changes come prototype revisions. From the outside, it would be hard to notice the difference between one change to the next. However, each change requires we building and testing. If there is one thing my engineering experience has taught me, (if you don’t build and test it, chances are you are doing it wrong).
We making good progress. I’m hoping to release a timeline and pricing before the end of the year.