This beautiful tower of demo units are now grinding in Handground partner coffee shops across the United States. Stop by if there's a shop near you and take one for a spin! (map below)
Production of all components for full scale production is underway and we are starting to close in on the final delivery window. .
In the last update we estimated the total lead time to produce each of the 37 components that go in to Handground to be 2-4 weeks. In reality, this time frame can vary greatly depending on the suppliers schedule and the complexity of the part. This is the first time our suppliers are producing components for us in large quantity so it has been hard for them to estimate how long it will take to stay within our (very tight) tolerances.
Now that production of each component is underway, we have specific delivery dates for each component.
Of the 37 individual components that go into Handground, the hopper is the production bottleneck. Only one hopper can be made at a time because we just have one mold with a single mold cavity.
The hopper has a very complex geometry so the cycle time to mold each hopper is longer than normal. There are three metal studs that must be manually placed into the mold each time before the plastic flows in. The base of the hopper also has a cross section that is very thick which increases the amount of time that the plastic must cool in the mold before the part can be released.
The production of the hoppers will take a total of 7 weeks and we cannot begin assembly with one part missing. After talking with each supplier we are expecting all components to be at the assembly factory by September 5th.
We are doing whatever we can to increase the probability that we will be able to start assembly at scale without any problems. After the first pilot run we made a few small tolerance adjustments and have a new machine for pressing the bushing into the hopper.
We are planning to do a second small pilot run in two weeks to confirm that the changes worked and give the factory workers time to work through the calibration procedures at a slower pace to meet the tolerances we set.
Delivering grinders to backers is our highest priority. We can fit about 6000 grinders on a shipping container so that means once the first 6000 grinders are assembled and ready to go, they will board a shipping container for the US. We were told it should take 20 days for assembly but we are setting a conservative estimate of 30 days which puts ocean shipping to the US on October 5th.
Internationally, we are working with one existing coffee equipment distributor per major country. Most of these distributors have kindly agreed to include backers orders with their shipment of grinders to their country. This will simplify the import process and enable them to use a domestic shipping service to deliver your grinder.
Each international distributor is independently arranging shipment of the grinders to their country so the timeline will vary somewhat depending how long ocean shipping takes to their destination.
The container full of Handgrounds should arrive in the US by the beginning of November and will then be transported by truck to Amazon's warehouse to be shipped out to backers in the United States.
Therefore we are estimating that Handground will be in your hands by the week of November 15th!
August 15th - Second small pilot run to verify the components with updated tolerances and refined assembly processes.
September 5th - All components arrive at factory and assembly begins of 300+ units per day.
October 5th - Shipping container with first 6000 grinders will board a boat for ocean shipping to the US. Assembly will continue to fulfill international orders.
November 5th - Grinders arrive in the US. It is expected to take 7 days to go through customs, be transported by truck from the port to Amazon's warehouse and processing at Amazon's warehouse.
November 12th - Handground begins going out for deliveries.
Each of the locations shown on the map above has a demo unit that was made during the pilot production run. These are the grinders that we brought back with us in our suitcases from our visit to the factory in China. With a limited amount of grinders we had to decide what would be the best thing to do with them.
We determined that sending them to the Handground partner coffee shops to be on display as demo units would be the best solution for a few reasons:
1. The demo units are not final production quality grinders. For instance, the screen printing on the coarseness adjustment ring is off center and they have the old version of the non-slip pad without our logo. We were also unable to bring home the brew magnet, instruction manual or packaging for these demos.
2. We want the greatest number of backers to be able to see and try out the limited number of units we have. Placing a demo unit in a public place where anyone can come in to see and try it out accomplishes this.
3. The partner coffee shops have already paid for their wholesale preorders (6 to 18 units) of Handground. They have been extremely patient and supportive (just like all of our backers!) so having their coffee shop be the first place in the world that Handground can be seen in person is one small way for us to thank them.
To see an interactive map with the locations and addresses of partner shops that have a Handground demo unit: click here
Please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Thanks for your support,
Daniel & Brandon