As mentioned in our previous update, we’re knee deep in the final assembly stage of Instafloss’ manufacturing and updating you directly from the factory in Mexico. We're excited to be in the final stages of manufacturing, so while we normally update you guys once a month, things are happening fast now so we're giving you the play-by-play. Some of you love this, so keep reading. Some of you have told us you don't want such frequent updates, so just hold on and we'll let you know when your unit is ready. On to the details…
An Issue with Leak Testing
On our 2nd day of mass assembly, we were thrown a curveball when our leak testing rig decided to put us to the test. Every Instafloss unit that is assembled undergoes a leak test, where pressurized air is sent through the system to ensure that no defects in adhesives application, plastics molding, or any prior step of assembly. Instafloss units were passing with flying colors, but suddenly every unit tested was failing.
We spent the entire day working through what could be the cause of the issue. Are the hoses being properly secured? Is there a gap in the adhesive application process letting water slip through? Are the internal o-rings not sealing properly? We were looking at every possibility, and then it hit us…
We realized that the leaks weren’t coming from the Instafloss units, but rather the testing machine itself! You can imagine our relief that the issue wasn’t with parts or assembly, despite taking a full day to realize. But hey, who doesn’t love a good plot twist?
Here’s a video of our troublesome testing rig. We are now waiting for a new part to get it back in working order:
Until that new part comes in, we have to do a “leak test” on our longevity testing machine. As part of the production process, one additional Instafloss per day is run until it either breaks or is well past the warranty period (so far always the second!) Unfortunately, this is a much slower process to set up.
Aiming for 250 Units Produced Each Day
As we mentioned previously, our goal is to get to 250 units/day as quickly as we can. We aren’t ramping up as quickly as we had anticipated, which is the reason for the rapid fire update. We wanted to let you know as soon as we realized we weren’t going to hit our time target.
In addition to the testing rig issue, it seems that assembling an Instafloss is more challenging for the technicians than it was for the engineers who created all previous units. There are many instances where a subtle nuance can lead to the difference between an Instafloss passing or failing QC. These nuances were subconsciously done by the engineers but aren’t so second nature for our technicians.
Plus, when operating with a time constraint it can be hard to reliably assemble certain parts. With both of these factors in mind, we’re actively working out steps to speed up our assembly and get the timeline back on track. There’s a number of steps we can take but there are three main avenues we’re pursuing simultaneously:
- Creating new jigs for steps that are hard for technicians to reliably and repeatedly do by hand.
- Making more of our existing jigs so there can be more stations at a time.
- Training an additional shift (or two!) of workers so that Instafloss can be produced day and night.
Our team is working tirelessly to keep us moving forward and to reach our goal of 250 units a day and will keep you up to date with the latest delivery estimates as soon as they’re available.
Considering the recent developments, our timeline is moving a smidge later. Rather than completing production on the week of June 19th, our production completion date is set to be sometime in July.
We don’t want to give a specific week as it all depends on how quickly we can ramp up production numbers, but as soon as we have a better grasp on that date, you’ll be the first to know.
Please know that these slight delays and challenges are a relatively normal part of the process and we’re managing them with your best interests in mind. That is, to deliver a product quickly, without compromising on quality.
Potential for Shipping to Begin with Smaller Quantities
And as a bit of good news, our manufacturing partner is exploring shipping Instafloss by the pallet. They have various connections with other businesses and many shipping providers. If we can make it economical, we want to start shipping Instafloss as soon as they are ready, instead of waiting to fill a truck.
The ability to send out a pallet at a time could result in some of the earliest backers getting their units quicker than anticipated, and we’ll be sure to update you if we can make this a reality.
A Word of Thanks (and a Fun Fact Too!)
We can’t wait to get Instafloss into your hands and every day we get closer to that moment. In the meantime, we can’t express our gratitude enough for your continued patience and support.P.S. Discussing our plans to pursue day and night manufacturing of Instafloss reminded us of a cool fact that we’ve yet to share. Our assembly factory is 100% solar powered! That’s right, they utilize rooftop solar panels and batteries to function entirely on clean energy. There’s actually a surplus so that they are often paid for contributing electricity to the power grid. This was a surprising fact we learned while in Mexico and aligns nicely with our mission to minimize Instafloss’s carbon footprint.