Troubling Shells and Shellfish
Hey everyone, Daniel here with another update from the XY factory in China.
We have a solution to the hairline crack problem. When I say “we”, I really mean our partners at the factory — I came down with some kind of food poisoning yesterday, so I was mainly there for moral support. As a side note, all-you-can-eat seafood breakfast buffet that comes free with your hotel room might seem like a good deal, but it really isn’t.
I digress. We determined the the susceptible shells all came from the same set of injection molded parts. … as some of you already predicted in the comments section of the previous update. In injection molding, a hollowed-out steel mold (the tooling) is used to shape liquid polymers as it cools and solidifies into the desired design. The thin passageway for the polymers to enter mold cavity is called the gate. Due to its small size, the gate and the area surrounding it are normally the first place to solidify. In our case, the fracturing tend to occur at the gate, for one of the molds.
Now that we know which shells, we still don’t know exactly why. It could be due to any combinations of material, design, and/or production parameters, e.g. cooling speed.
In any case, the factory will now manually QC every beacon shell, both already assembled and those still in parts. The affected shell will be discarded and remade using the “correct” mold process. Roughly 50% of the parts will be remade. The exact impact to schedule will not be known until Tuesday, as Monday September 9th is actually a national holiday in China. However our project manager reassured me it will not be a big deal, i.e. possibly days instead of weeks.
We also resolved a few comparatively minor issues with the white rubber coating, which I will detail in tonight's update. Wishing y'all a happy Mid-Autumn festival. ... and go niners!