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Getting ready for DVT

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Hello everyone,  


There are a lot of things happening quickly right now, so for this update we’d like to jump right into specifics.

Quick summary: we’re very close (weeks away) to getting our first DVT units off the line, and are currently ironing out the final tweaks to our injection molds. 

Over the last few weeks, we’ve received a large number of production parts and have been doing inspections of everything that has come in. We’ve already spotted a few issues with several of the parts which we are addressing now, but the vast majority of our incoming components look good and should be ready to use in final assembly. The most important parts we’ve received recently have been our first samples of injection molded shells:

First T2 injection molded parts being unboxed
First T2 injection molded parts being unboxed

As we mentioned in our earlier update, injection molding is a complicated process that requires a lot of careful refinement. Not only must the parts be designed properly for the mold tool to work, but painstaking iteration must be done to determine the ideal injection temperature, flow rate, and other aspects of the process to achieve the right characteristics and consistency for each part. The image shown above is of our first “T2” parts, which have gone through several revisions.

Our hope was that the T2 shells would be production-ready, but after initial inspection we noticed that in addition to several cosmetic issues, several of the screw bosses used to hold the vehicle together were cracking below our required loads. We are actively working with the molder now to correct this issue, and hope to have “T3” parts in hand and ready for DVT by the end of this month.

As we address issues related to specific components, there are other aspects of our production line that we are setting up and validating in parallel:

Incoming QC

Some of the first production Trident parts to arrive
Some of the first production Trident parts to arrive

As evidenced by the issues above, “IQC” or “Incoming Quality Control” allows us to identify and mitigate problems before they make their way into assembly. IQC mainly consists of looking at samples of each part and making sure they meet the specifications we sent to the manufacturer. We’ve already validated smaller prototype orders of each of our main components, but when larger quantities of something are made, the manufacturing process often changes, so we are being careful to ensure quality does not decrease as a result of that.

Integration testing

The next step after validating each of the individual DVT parts is to make sure they work together as planned. Integration testing includes basic fit checks, as well as more complex testing procedures to ensure electronics subsystems are communicating with each other properly and that the entire system works as a whole. Of course, our prototype “EVT” builds also incorporated integration testing, but once again, because the process has changed, we want to make sure everything is still working as expected.

Performance testing

After assembling the first sample batch of Tridents with our updated shells, we will enter the performance testing phase of DVT, which is often the most critical (and exciting) part of the entire validation process. Performance testing Trident is similar to doing sea trials for a newly-built ship. With newly-assembled Tridents, we’ll do a myriad of field tests to make sure they meet our expectations, and take quantitative measurements of actual performance to compare to what we expected. Some of the main tests we’ll conduct during this phase will be a pressure test to confirm the true crush depth of the vehicle, battery runtime testing, thermal performance testing, and durability testing. This process will help solidify the final specs of the vehicle. To meet certification requirements, we’ll also do a set of mechanical and electrical tests in a laboratory setting to make sure we comply with national and international regulations.

Assembly line validation

The quality of a device isn’t solely related to the quality of its components. Many product shortcomings are the result of assembly issues. When we were designing Trident, we spent a lot of time considering how it would be manufactured in large quantities efficiently and consistently. As we’ve mentioned in the past, the assembly line validation step of our DVT phase ensures that the processes we’ve put in place work as expected, and that we can produce Tridents at large quantities reliably.

Production QC

The final step in our DVT process will be running quality control on samples of units that come off the production line. While earlier tests of units built with production parts validated the engineering, our final production QC testing will ensure that the entire process, including part quality assurance, assembly, and packaging, is in line with our requirements. 

We’ve been in touch with many of you about the specific plans you have for Trident over the summer, and we'll continue to make our best effort to balance speed with quality assurance. As always, please feel free to reach out to support@openrov.com if you have any questions or concerns. We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience as we’ve taken the time to solve the challenges that come along with this stage properly.

More soon,

Eric

Andrew Thaler, Martin Oliver, and 14 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Rayan M Alhussamy on July 12

      Are we expecting any good news soon??

    2. Jesse Neufeld on July 5

      Hi team, hope you all were able to take some time off and enjoy your country's anniversary. Up in Canada I had an awesome 150+ celebration with family and friends. Spent a lot of time on the lake I grew up in and found my first ROV I built when I was 16. Drain pipe and a bright yellow welding frame, it was powered by bilge pumps and was basically an overweight drop cam.

      10 years later and I can't wait to get the Trident. Arm is coming along nicely, doing some more testing and then I will release my design. How is T3 going? Any DVT updates imminent? I'm leaving on a 2 week sailing trip in August to Desolation Sound in August and I would love to have it by then.

    3. Rayan M Alhussamy on June 23

      And by the way..
      QA is the most important part of this project.

    4. Rayan M Alhussamy on June 23

      Fatih,
      Never let your dreams go away. I honestly believe in OpenROV team. All though their progress is slow but it's for the best to everyone. They want to provide you with the state of the art product which can make this dream true. Therefore, we have to wait until this is accomplished with perfection.
      Since this project was posted on kickstart, I was very ambitious to fly one of these guys but it never happened until now due to the geographical location I'm in. I really can't wait to put my hands on one of these tridents and owning one but what's most important is to have one with zero risk having it drowning while exploring.
      So that's why, I really believe that they will provide a state of the art underwater drone that will make my dream and yours come true.
      All the best to everyone and a specially OpenROV team.

    5. OpenROV 2-time creator on June 23

      Hi Fatih,
      I'm sorry to hear you've left your dreams. Please know we're working as hard and as diligently as we can to get these out to you. When we started, this was an ambitious project that needed the hope of all of you - that's what has made it a reality. We feel a tremendous responsibility to make the very best product we can. I hope getting the robot inspires many new dreams of exploration and adventure.
      -David

    6. Fatih GÜL on June 23

      When this Project fist started, i had many dreams to explore many interesting places and things. However this period took too long... Many things changed too much and i had to left my country now. I left all my dreams back at my country.

      Please do what you promisses on time and dont make people loose their hopes.

      Regrds

    7. Missing avatar

      le foll on June 22

      As my father used to say. When you do a quote something you never did, count wide then double.

      ^^

    8. Rayan M Alhussamy on June 22

      Excellent news.
      Please try your best to have them shipped no later than September. I really can't wait to explore the RedSea with trident.
      All the best guys and we fully support you.

      Thanks to everyone and keep it up.

      Well done.