It’s that time again… time for another production update!
We spent March manufacturing each individual component that makes up the PowerUp 3.0 module. All long lead items – including the first 20,000 PCB Bluetooth modules – are at, or en route to, factory for final assembly. To ensure that each of you gets an impeccable product, we developed a test app and quality checked each of these 20,000 PCB modules with very impressive results (less than 0.65% defect rate)! The second batch of 20,000 is scheduled to arrive in less than three weeks, just in time for final assembly of your reward packages! We are also thrilled to announce that most Beta kits have arrived. Beta testers, if you haven’t received your package yet, it’s flying towards you as we speak! Beta testing is such an integral part of the pre-launch process, and is key to ensuring that you all get the most reliable and durable product possible. We deliberately gave ourselves a little bit of wiggle room during this stage to make small improvements, so here is what we’re doing in the time before shipping out rewards to all backers . . .
Product and App feedback:
Is PowerUp 3.0 all you dreamed of and more? If not, we want to know why and, better yet, how we can make it better. All Beta testers have been invited to our Donedone issue tracker, where you can open cases for any and all issues you come across. It’s through these bits of feedback that we can make meaningful improvements to better the product for everyone. I’d like to send a big shout out to Peter M., Andrew K., Joachim M. and Nick H for being the first Beta testers to provide us with feedback through Donedone. Joachim, for example, suggested that we include a means of fastening the module to its plastic box so that it can double as a carrying case. Great idea! We are now looking into ways to secure the module into the casing before shipping to all backers. We already have 13 tickets open from around the world with issues ranging from LED functionality to packaging suggestions to manual clarity. I’m not only grateful for the time you’re all willing to put towards improving our product, but amazed by how solution-oriented much of your feedback has been so far! Thank you, and please keep it coming!!
It’s essential that we can produce a flawless product – and a lot of them – at the right cost. (Our goal is to assemble 10,000 modules per week!) The Beta stage allows us to tweak the manufacturing process so that mass production can be executed as efficiently and effectively as possible. One example of this is our redesign of the motor mount (the piece that includes the rudder and propeller). We found that the initial production method of the motor mount was much slower than anticipated. When the pieces came out of our original tooling process, they required manual re-work, which is never ideal for a mass-produced product. In addition, Beta testing has shown that the initial design of the motor mount was not robust enough for its purpose. We addressed both the durability and efficiency issues here with a redesign that will not only make the final product more resilient, but also improve production speed through a higher quality retooling process.
PowerUp is hitting the international market this summer, and we want to make sure that all orders – wholesale and retail – will arrive on time (and in one piece!). We’ve hired an operations manager for our supply chain to oversee the logistics of your 20,000+ orders, which we aim to ship out no later than early June. We hope that our efforts in the Beta stage don’t effect our expected delivery date, as we took this “tweak time” into consideration while planning out our production schedule. Once we receive the first delivery of new motors mounts in mid-April, we’ll have a better idea of how close to the initial shipping schedule we are. I will be sure to keep you posted!
In other news . . .
Check out the unboxing videos and awesome flight videos from some of our Beta testers on our Facebook page! We’ll also be uploading a video of the very first Android Beta test flight, so stay tuned for the next update!
Lastly, BackerKit survey response has been great! Over 80% of you have responded already. Our BackerKit survey is where you provide us with your shipping info so we know where to send your PowerUp 3.0 module. If you haven’t completed the survey yet – here it is – hop to it before the deadline!