The team in Shanghai is back from Chinese New Year and Brandon and I are heading to Shanghai soon for the first sample run. This update includes pictures of the ceramic burrs, sample parts for the black grinder and the plan for the first sample run.
We also need your help to finalize the packaging design, brew magnet design and instruction manual. Please click the link to the survey at the bottom of this update to contribute to these design decisions.
Finally we are planning to attend the SCAA Expo in Atlanta next month. We have 5 tickets ($250 value each) that we are giving away so you can join us at the show. Read below about how to request a ticket.
It took nearly a week for the ceramic factory to heat up the furnace that is used to fire the ceramic burrs. After the furnace is heated, the burrs spend 8 days drying in the heat. Pictured above are the first samples we have of the two different burr designs. They are on their way to us from Shanghai right now and will be here by Thursday.
These are samples of the top and rings that will be used for the black finish. They are being sent to us along with the burrs which should get here by Thursday.
Platform88, our manufacturing partner, recommended that we do a sample run of 500 units instead of our initially planned 100 units. The additional units will give us a better sample size to determine defect rates and give the assembly workers more practice.
Many factories specialize in a specific type of material or process so we are working with many different factories to produce all of the components for Handground. There are 33 parts in total that make up Handground. Those 33 parts are made from 10 different materials (ABS, POM, PMMA, Brass, 304 Steel, Glass, Pakka wood, Aluminum, Silicone and Ceramic). Once parts are complete, each factory sends them to the assembly factory in Ningbo, China.
We are scheduled to assemble the first 500 grinders between March 23rd and 31st. During the sample production run, assembly will be slower than it is during full production because there will be extra QC checks at each step throughout the assembly. Brandon and I will be at the factory working with the team to make sure that each grinder is properly assembled and calibrated.
Grinders from the sample run will undergo food safety inspections to be certified for international food safe standards. We have arranged with our factories to begin producing parts for full production as the sample run grinders are being inspected so that we can immediately begin full production once the grinders are certified. Grinders made in the first production run will go towards fulfilling all rewards from Kickstarter and pre-orders up to this date.
We plan to bring 100 grinders back with us in suitcases for the SCAA show in Atlanta, on April 14-17th. Grinders will not be for sale at the show. However, if you are a backer you may pick up your grinder there in person. If you would like to pick your grinder up at the show please make sure to let us know in the survey below so we can account for what finishes we need to bring.
After the show we plan to send grinders to the Handground Partner coffee shops who backed us on Kickstarter at the distributor level. The idea is to have the grinders available at a public place so anyone can go and see them as we wait for the container ship to arrive with everyone's orders. The partner shops have made a big investment in Handground and we can't thank them enough for all of their support.
At this time we will also be sending grinders to the 25 Handground prelaunch campaign winners. We promised that the first 25 grinders made would be sent to them and we plan to fulfill that promise. The Handground prelaunch campaign started a few months before Handground launched on Kickstarter as a way to spread the word about Handground. Many of the winners of the campaign have been with Handground since it was just a concept and they ended up referring over 100 people each. We would not of had as successful of a Kickstarter launch without their help.
We will begin shipping the remaining 400 units directly from Shanghai to international backers once food safety inspections are complete. This means that grinders will be on the way to some international backers in the first or second week of April.
The full production run will be under way as we are at SCAA. All rewards from Kickstarter and pre-orders up to this date will be fulfilled through this first production run. We should have the grinders on a boat before the end of April and arriving to the US at the end of May where they will then be sent out for delivery.
This is the final design for packaging and we would really appreciate if you could look it over for any mistakes or unclear wording before we start printing them. See additional pictures in the survey below.
We updated the brew magnet to reflect the move to numbers on the coarseness adjustment ring. The dots between the numbers signify the coarseness settings halfway between each number, for 15 steps total. We also replaced tablespoons in the brown ring for lines that correspond to the measurement marks on the side of the Handground hopper.
You may notice that the green ring that contained instructions for each brew method is missing. In daily use we found that we never used the instructions and the main benefit of the magnet is the amount of coffee and water. Let us know what you think in the survey below.
We designed a two sided instruction manual that will be folded up and included in the box with every grinder. Our goal is to communicate how the grinder works, how to use the brew guide and tips for cleaning and using the grinder. The survey has large images of each page of the manual so you can read the details.
Handground will have a booth at the SCAA event in Atlanta on April 14-17th. Our booth number is 1564. As an exhibitor, we receive a few extra two day passes to the event ($250 value). This year the SCAA event is also host to the US Coffee Championships which are a thrill to watch.
So if you are interested in attending and can make it to Atlanta on April 14th-17th please let us know in the survey below. If more than 5 people sign up we will randomly select the winners.