We’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! We think 2019 is going to be a big year for connected eyewear, and we’re excited to share that with you all. As mentioned in our previous update, we knew January was going to be a busy month due to all the work we had slated to get done prior to the Chinese New Year shutdown. Let’s dive in!
This has been our most exciting month yet. Our full production line is up and running, and we’ve been watching units go all the way into final packaging! We’d like to walk everyone through the entire process, discuss where we’re at, what we finished prior to CNY, and what we’ll pick up after.
Production starts by making most of the smaller components, including our electronics and housings. The frames, for example, are made at our injection molding facility where they are molded, trimmed, polished, painted, and dried. One of the first steps is to trim off excess material from the parts and perform a brief quality inspection.
Once these parts have finished the post-processing work, they are painted in large batches and sent to a drying rack.
The other components, including the legs, are sent through their own painting and drying process as well.
Once the housing is manufactured, processed, and inspected, they are sent to our assembly factory where they are staged for assembly along with the electronics.
The actual assembly process is what has been taking up the bulk of our time in the past several months. While each individual component of the glasses (like the frames, legs, or electronics) contain their own engineering and manufacturing challenges in and of themselves, the act of assembling all of those pieces into the final product is quite complex.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and it is through training, mistakes, and learning from those mistakes that ultimately the product comes to fruition. Though challenging, it’s been rewarding to better understand the process and to see our manufacturing partners work with us to bring Vue to life!
Below you'll see a section of the production line assembling legs for the glasses.
The following video is of the charging case assembly line, which is also up and running from start to finish.
Throughout the assembly process, there are also a few different inspection and testing points where we look for defects and test functionality. This includes anything from scratches on the frames to the ability of the glasses to pair via Bluetooth.
Once the glasses are inspected and the lenses inserted, each pair of Vue glasses is given its own charging case and is placed into packaging. Once it's in its packaging, it is sent to a machine where a protective film is applied.
Once the protective film has been applied, each Vue box is placed into a shipping box.
From here, labels are scanned, shipping labels printed, and the boxes are staged in the shipping area where they are sent off to our courier, and ultimately, to all of you! This is a high-level overview of the process from start to finish, and it’s been awesome to see the production line truly come to life and become fully functional from start to finish throughout January.
Though the production line is now fully operational, there were still a few bumps in the process that need adjusting. Namely, we found that our glue fixture's tolerances were off. Occasionally, the dispensing nozzle would collide with part of the glasses and damage the tip. When the glue nozzle is damaged, it’s unable to perform any dispensing accurately and thus production is halted until it is fixed.
We've ordered an adjusted fixture to be made to ensure that the clearance remains sufficient throughout production. There were a few other issues we found during production—including kinked wires or shorted electronics—though these are resolved by revising our assembly instructions and re-training operators.
Of the first 1000 units, we opted to make the “Classic - Carbon Fiber” units first as those were the most popular. Doing this would keep production less confusing during our first batch. We actually finished some of these units, but due to a translation error with our lens factory, we received lenses cut for Trendy frames instead of Classic. It’s a really small detail, but sometimes when you are rushing to get things done, small things go unnoticed. With the CNY holiday break, we won’t get lenses re-cut until mid-February.
This means early backers can expect their units to be shipping next month. We’ll continue to reach out to backers via email to lock down addresses and prescriptions, and we’ll provide tracking numbers once able.
The full schedule of shipping will become clearer next month once we pick up production again and run production with some of the above mentioned issues fixed. We’ll then have a better understanding of throughput which we’ll use to put timelines on everyone else’s units.
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, and remember the following before emailing:
- The quickest way for us to help is by emailing email@example.com.
- To change your shipping address, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are still accepting prescription changes at email@example.com.
- We are no longer accepting changes to frame styles, colors, or lens types.
- You absolutely must send the email using the email that you originally used to make the pledge. For example, we cannot provide account access if you originally used “firstname.lastname@example.org” but now you email us from “email@example.com”. If you don’t do this, we’ll just ask you to email us using the other email and it will extend the time it takes to assist you!
We receive hundreds more emails than normal immediately after posting updates, so we apologize if it takes longer than expected for us to get back to you!
Until next time!
the Vue team