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In January, thanks to 808 awesome backers, new keycaps for the Amiga line of computers became a reality.She's a beauty again.
In January, thanks to 808 awesome backers, new keycaps for the Amiga line of computers became a reality.She's a beauty again.
808 backers pledged S$ 174,778 to help bring this project to life.

Amiga Keycaps: From lifeless plastic pellets to mass production.

Posted by Philippe Lang (Creator)
7 likes
Factory meeting preparation @China HQ
Factory meeting preparation @China HQ

Dear Backers and Amigans,

⯎ Amiga Keycaps now in Production!

Over the previous three campaign updates we shared details about the non blocking issues to fix on labels and how production for keycaps sets will be handled. 

Phil went to China 10 days to launch mass production and to make sure all lasts bits are in line before hitting the green button.

Photos and footage of the first set being injected are available.

The pace at which campaign updates are published will be slightly higher over the next 45/55 days. We'll try to cover all steps the best we can.

Seppo, Scoopex member & A1200NET team member suggested we should post more material about people working on keycaps instead of just sharing photos of just caps by themselves.

Great idea! We'll do so as much as possible for now.

Understanding production steps

Manufacturing Keycaps is a long and technical succession of several smaller operations.
But we can summarize them into three main categories.  

  • Plastic Injection - To build the keys
  • Label Printing - To apply language layouts
  • Packing - To adjust backers choices (Special keys color / Standard keys color)

This campaign update introduces the first STEP :

-> BATCH #1 Plastic Injection!

Time for photos and videos.

  • 1- Review meeting with PM and QC team managers
  • 2- Injection Factory meeting and discussion about fixing label printing.
  • 3- Mass Production launch the very first black set produced.

1) Review meeting

OCDs issues review about labels before heading to factory.
OCDs issues review about labels before heading to factory.
We went over all the small OCDs we had with latest samples...
We went over all the small OCDs we had with latest samples...

2) Injection Factory - meeting about labels

Left QC Manager / Middle Factory Boss / Right Project Manager
Left QC Manager / Middle Factory Boss / Right Project Manager
Backers will receive their keycaps on the same backpanel.
Backers will receive their keycaps on the same backpanel.
Final review with production boss
Final review with production boss

Sorry no subtitles, however each point is discussed. 
Example: Why there's still a couple labels misaligned? (by a mere fraction, but still...)
Etc...

3) Mass Production debut!

The plastic bag contains the keys injected while setting up the line.
The plastic bag contains the keys injected while setting up the line.
We couldn't take photos while operating - Security matters
We couldn't take photos while operating - Security matters

This video introduces keycaps mass production launch.
And we started with Black color.

Let's continue with schedule and plans...

Schedule and backers delivery (Batch #1 and Batch #2)

It was necessary to review prod. schedule because of the high permutations count.

To cover the complexity of colors and languages permutations, production had to be split into two batches as explained in Update #23.

This help us to gain valuable time and open a first dispatch to backers for Christmas.

  • Schedule
  • > When Batch #1 is done, merchandise is sent over to our warehouse in UK by sea freight. It'll take up to 6/7 weeks.
  • Upon reception at warehouse, keycaps are prepared and dispatched toward backers for Christmas.
  • > Batch #2 starts early 2019. (Mid March)
    For final dispatch of remainings to backers around July.
    (Batch #2 is sea freight worthy as well, 6/7 weeks to reach UK)


Production had to go in two batches:

  • Batch #1 to ensure we can dispatch some of the keycaps toward backers by December!  (around 80%).
  • Batch #2 to finalize production.
    It'll run next year right after Chinese new year has ended. (mid march)

  • ⮞ In between batch #1 and #2,
    We plan to run a second low-goal crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.
    The team gets dozens of emails & messages every couple days from keycaps backers willing to get more sets and/or Amigans who missed the first keycaps campaign and want to join. Also from backers of A500 case campaign.
    This does not slow down anything and permits other Amigans to enjoy keys.

Details on what is produced in each batch

A) ⯈ Production BATCH #1 -  details

  • Languages : UK / US / DE / FR  
  • Colors : Original A1200 / White / Black / CD32 / Translucent 
  • Example; 
    If you pledged for a German (DE) layout with Black special keys and Translucent standard keys, you're in.
    If you're waiting for a French (FR) CD32 themed keycaps set, you're in too.

- However if you pledged for a German (DE) layout with Black special keys but Pink standard keys or any other color, your set will come through Batch #2.  

⮾These language layouts and colors are the most widely requested from backers. Permutations between these options covers 80% of the production.

⮾All remaining languages and colors have to be pushed into Batch #2. This 20% of total production volume requires 90% of all colors and languages permutations within mass production by itself!

To ALL Backers:

The team understands manufacturing sets through Batches may not satisfy all of you. This solution however permits us to go ahead and to delivery most of you by the end of year. And we'll do all we can to assure that.

B) ⯈ Production BATCH #2 - details

  • Languages : ALL remaining
  • Colors : ALL remaining
  • Example;
    If you pledged for a German (DE) layout with Black special keys with Pink standard keys, you're in!

PS:
- Standard keys are = QWERTZ or AZERTY etc... 
- Special keys are = CTRL/TAB/Caps Lock/F1-F10 etc...

The team would like to express many thanks to you again guys for your patience and understanding.

Producing keycaps has been and still is a complex matter. Where no mistakes can be done. 

As usual, the team answers any questions you might have through comments or by email.

Cheers,
The Team.

Seppo Seppälä, Rabbit68, and 5 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Alexey Melnikov on

      Are special editions in first or second batch?

    2. Philippe Lang 3-time creator on

      @Riemer,
      You got it right.
      That's the objective in mind by splitting into two Batches.
      Thank you Riemer.

    3. Missing avatar

      Riemer on

      Thx for the update! So with a bit of luck I receive my translucent (2x), original white, cd32 keys (all us layout) AND my cd32 themed case before christmas? Just to make sure I’ve read it correctly..