The G20 Summit in China may have closed some of our suppliers down for 2 weeks but that hasn't slowed us down! Over the last three weeks we visited the supplier factories that were behind schedule because of the G20 closures. We were able to work with them to increase their production capacity and to make deliveries in batches so we could continue assembly on time.
The hard work has paid off and we have not been constrained by shortages of any parts. The grinders are coming out great and we are on schedule to ship a container that will fulfill all US backer orders and pre-orders. Shipping arrangements have already been made to pick up from the factory on Sept 30th. The grinders will then go to port and be loaded onto a ship that sets sail on Oct 4th. The ship is scheduled to arrive in the US on Oct 22nd and the grinders will then make their way to Amazon fulfillment warehouses.
Every day for the last three weeks we have been going to the factory to work on the assembly line and make sure we get all the little details right. We will be here until Sept 30th, when Handground leaves the factory to make the journey to you! The factory will be closed Oct 1-7th for China national day and then assembly will continue to fulfill international orders.
International orders will be delivered by a local coffee equipment distributor or shipped directly to you from China. We will post the exact dates and methods for each region as we get closer to that point.
The rest of this update contains updates on the manufacturing progress and photos from the visit to the steel axle factory.
The brushed nickel pieces are in and they look stunning. The factory made a new machine for the brushing process and is using a new finer material that creates a smoother, more satin-like finish. The result is much better than the nickel grinders in the pilot run and there is no longer a slight mirror effect on the parts. You really have to see it in person to appreciate how the light reflects off of it!
Achieving a strong and durable copper finish was giving us some trouble so we sent out a survey to all of the backers who ordered a copper grinder. The decision was between using a copper colored paint that chips easily or using real copper that must be maintained to prevent oxidation.
The results of the survey were clear, not a single vote was cast for the copper paint and the real brushed copper finish won the majority. We agree that this is the right way to go; the brushed copper looks stunning in person. Thanks for helping make the decision quickly.
When we arrived in China at the beginning of the month we only had 500 axles at the assembly factory and we were expecting to have 8500. We took a trip to visit the factory the first day that they were open after being closed for the G20 summit. Our goal was to learn about the production process and see if we could increase the production rate to match our assembly rate.
This video shows the 5-axis CNC machine in action. The streams of brown liquid that are directed at the cutting tool are a cutting fluid that is used as a coolant and lubricant.
The next step is to add threads to the bottom of the axle. This is the section of the axle where the inner burr mounts onto. Then the thumb nut is screwed onto the threads to secure the inner burr.
The axle factory was able to increase its production to meet our timeline by adding a third shift to keep the machines operating 20 hours a day instead of 12. Normal operation is 6 days a week but they also added a shift on Sunday. Visiting the factory in person really helped create a plan that would not slow down our assembly schedule. We are grateful for all the extra work they've put in to keep the project on track.
The assembly factory will be working at least 12 hours per day for the next 7 days to make the goal of filling up the container by next Friday. We now have 20 people on the assembly line and Daniel is personally inspecting and boxing hundreds of grinders each day. We could not be more excited to get Handground in your hands!Please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Thanks for your support,
Daniel & Brandon