Note: On my first attempt at this update some people could not view the pics, if this continues with Attempt #2, please view this Update on our Kickstarter Home Page http://kck.st/xZHQRk
In this age of instant communication and global media, the world starts to feel like a very small place. That all changes when you get on a 14.5 hour flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong, that is a very long flight. Gladly the long flight passed quickly knowing that I would soon be seeing the product that I have been working on for so long finally being manufactured.
Upon arrival at the factory, we started with a quick tour. The process all starts in the mold shop, which is where blocks of steel are transformed into the molds that plastic is injected into.
Here is a picture of one of our molds that has been opened to show one half of the cavity, the round green areas are four separate parts and are the areas where the plastic inject into.
Here is a picture of the entire mold put together, this is what is inserted into the injection machine in order to create plastic parts.
Plastic in its raw form comes as clear pellets,
in order to create color, colorant powder is added to the pellets just prior to melting. Here is a picture of the colorant being measured out to create the gold for our Medium Winder.
Once the colorant is mixed with the pellets, the mixture is melted in the injection machine, and then injected into the mold. This is when the anticipation rises, knowing I am about to see the winders actually in production.
Here you can see the shells for the Medium Winder coming out of the mold in sets of 4, every 7.5 seconds, the door slides open and another set of four roll out.
Of course nothing is exactly right the first time, so it took some adjustments to the color to zero in on the gold that we are looking for. Here we make adjustments to the colorant to get it just right.
Once the parts were injected, we spent some time assembling the several pieces and assessing the fit and function of the first shots. Here I work with the Production Engineers to figure out how things fit.
As expected, some changes are necessary, so we make small adjustments to the parts.
The next step is bonding the assembly together, here is the sonic welding machine that is used to permanently weld everything together.
The first handful of production Recoil Winders!
The next step was to look at the first draft of the packaging,
So, all-in-all it was a very successful trip. All three sizes looking and working pretty well. But a natural part of the process is that there are several changes that need to be made to the molds before everything fits and functions just as it should, so now I return to the states and wait a few weeks for the changes to be made. At that point I will be traveling back to the factory to approve the final changes and to help the Assembly Engineers work out the assembly and packaging procedures. China is a fascinating place, with surprises around every corner. The funny part is having no idea what most of it actually is. Here was one of the surprises as I headed out to dinner last night…..