May Manufacturing Update: Electronics Production Continues While Components Shortages Still Loom

May Manufacturing Update: Electronics Production Continues While Components Shortages Still Loom

The main focus of the last update was our new housing and handle design as well as the ability to produce full color housings and handles instead of just silicone cover sleeves. But that wasn’t all! Those of you that read the full update will remember that we mentioned our PCB was in final review.

That review has completed putting us one step closer to delivery and putting our focus now on electronics production as we begin assembling PCBs. We are actually shipping out some of the chips to our manufacturing partner this week and I was able to snap some pictures before they went out.

It is always neat to see the chips spooled like LED light strips!

On the strips themselves you can see the holes for where the mechanical arms pop out the chip in order to then solder it onto the PCB.

It’s tough to make out, but each of those little squares is one of many chips we’ve been fighting so hard to acquire since the start of the global components shortage.

Uncertainty Due to Suppliers Delaying Shipments

With all this said, I’m sure you caught that our title wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. We’re still in the midst of incredibly unpredictable times. The latest manifestation of COVIDs ripple effects on global supply chains seems to be rearing its ugly head.

Shortly after publishing April’s update, we received notification from one of our suppliers that the expected delivery date for thousands of components was pushed back to August! These components were originally anticipated to be delivered that month - though we had anticipated the possibility of a week or two delay.

Potential for Price Increases in the Near Future

On top of this, our cost of manufacturing is creeping up due to the chip shortage and price increases for a lot of the raw materials we’re using. A great example of this is our plastics, which are nearly identical to the FDA approved plastics used in containers for COVID vaccines, which has, and it sounds so weird to say this, caused a plastic shortage. The price of the raw plastic resins has been steadily increasing while the supply continues to dwindle.

We’re working hard to not pass these price increases on to consumers, but it may be a case where we have to stop offering a pre-order discount for future orders and even consider raising the price further than that if this keeps up. Of course, the price at which you got your Instafloss is locked in. 

Wrapping it up

It hasn’t been easy to secure the materials and chips needed to manufacture Instafloss, but we’re happy to have secured the hardest parts and seem to be faring better than most. We’re looking forward to delivering your automatic floss!

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