Day 1 Recap
Hey everyone, Daniel here, reporting from the XY factory in China.
This is my second trip to the middle kingdom this year and just like last time, I’m impressed and humbled by the professionalism and dedication of everyone involved in our little project. Whether it be assembly line workers, engineers, project manager or the factory boss — people care, and they seem to take great pride in the product. A couple of workers are even sporting XY shirts (strangely enough, we haven’t sent them any shirts… :-)
Not everything is all rosy though, in fact it’s quite maddening: we are having more production issues that will likely cause additional delays for some backers.
The distinctive XY “jewel” outer shell is formed by two injection-molded halves perfectly aligned by a series of plastic flanges. To make the beacon water-resistant, the flanges and the halves are designed to snap together while maintaining a slight tension across the joints; this is in addition to the internal rubber gasket surrounding all electronic components. What we are seeing at final assembly is a small percentage of beacons can develop tiny stress fractures when repeatedly snapped open and close. These fractures are very thin; barely visible to the naked eye, and are at most 2.5mm in length. However, the concern is they may grow over time and affect the beacon’s overall water resistance.
Adding to the mystery, the pattern of fracture is not consistent… or rather, it’s consistently at the same location, but only for some beacons. For now, I decided to temporarily halt production while we investigate the cause.
It’s now late Saturday night in China. We'll all be back at the factory first thing tomorrow. It’s our goal to have the problem identified and a solution in place before I leave in two days. Keep in mind this doesn't in itself prevent us from starting delivery in the next few weeks, but it does greatly reduces the yield as QC must examine every single beacon for this defect.
More update in 24 hours.