Update 18: New Factory and Production

Hi backers!

It’s been a while since our last update. We apologize for the wait. In this post we will walk you through our progress regarding the final production and potential challenges.

As you may remember from previous updates, we have been working with a local Bluetooth headset factory in Shenzhen, China on R&D and manufacturing since last November. The first two test batches revealed some structural design and circuit problems, which we hoped to resolve in the third — as well as the last — test batch (T2). In August we planned to manufacture 100 T2 devices within a week based off the results from earlier batches. However, it took the factory almost 4 weeks to deliver 100 functional devices, and some had issues including deformed screen-printing, battery life, and sensor malfunctions.

We realized that the reason why T2 was delayed for nearly 3 weeks was that the factory did not have the capability to fix the problems, and instead had to produce a lot more units than needed to produce 100 working products. After careful consideration and much thought we decided to move the final production run to a bigger and more established factory. It was a very difficult decision for us because we had set everything up with the old factory — molds were at their molding factory, parts were in their warehouse, plastic materials were from their suppliers. However, our final production run will be 1800 units, and it would be a huge risk if we chose to stick with the old factory both quality wise and time wise. It is a risk we cannot take.

We have done everything we could to accelerate the transition. Fortunately, the new factory has been very collaborative and helpful. With their help, we found out a few design flaws in our circuit boards. For example, the flexible printed circuit board (FPCB) connecting the infrared sensor was previously soldered to the main board by hand, which resulted in high failure rate of 8%. We took the new factory’s advice and switched to using connectors. The new connection mechanism greatly improved the success rate.

New design uses a connector between FPCB and main board

We have done a small test batch of 30 functional devices and 60 circuit boards with the new factory and the results were satisfactory. We were especially happy with the white Vigo’s. The color was bright and clean and did not yellow quickly as with the old factory’s batch. The anodized buttons also showed a finer and smoother shade.

White Vigo’s from the new factory

This week is China’s National Day holiday so the factory won’t be open and some of the components we ordered won’t be delivered till next week. We have scheduled our final production run for the Kickstarter units for October 20 and we expect to have our quality control done by the end of October, which makes the estimated shipping time early November. We sincerely apologize for this delay and thank you all for your patience and support

- Vigo Team -

Originally published at www.kickstarter.com.

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