SPUD Update: Batch 2 Status and Schedule

April 26, 2019

Hello SPUD Supporters!

We are now pushing through the remaining (labor intensive) parts of production prep for the next batch, which specifically means building up lens assemblies, then testing, calibrating, and retesting. This update gives a quick overview of the recent progress we’ve made, an estimate of the remaining schedule, and some Arovia news!

Latest Progress

To date, we have shipped 163 of the outstanding orders, and we are on track to build up and ship out the next ~300-400 (depending on yield of lens assembly when we attach to projector) by mid-May. In the last few weeks, we have:

  • Continued to push the lens supplier and now they are relatively stably making 30-60 lenses per day, though they still have ongoing issues that need active management. For example, they recently had their quality slip on the larger front lens, which has temporarily stopped production. They really need to be actively managed which we are doing by trying to have someone there almost every day!
  • Built up ~400 lens assemblies in preparation for the next production run.
  • Hired a quality control engineer to assist with us needing to simultaneously handle the optics supplier and production of SPUDs.
  • Found a new shipping partner willing to ship out fewer than 500 pieces, which means we can now ship batches of 300+.

Remaining Build Schedule

The mold machine that was out-of-service in the last update is now back up and running, but as mentioned above, our manufacturer is again having quality issues with the larger front lens. Assuming we can quickly resolve these new quality issues, the primary bottleneck is the gluing and polishing process of the two smaller lenses, which is a manual and very time-consuming process, hampered by the continued labor shortage at the optics factory. Our supplier has been able to produce between 30 and 60 finalized lenses per day. At that rate, building up the remaining 1500 lenses needed will take 25-80 business days, or 5-16 weeks (the extra time is accounting for yield loss due to quality issues, currently back to about 50%, though the optics supplier is working to improve that). Note that while that is the time estimate to build up ALL remaining lenses, we plan to continue shipping out in smaller batches.

To put it simply, we plan on shipping the next batch in mid-May, then continue to ship in batches of 300-400 as we receive the lenses until all units are shipped. We are hoping to send out batches on a monthly cycle, but that very much depends on the optics factory quality and output, and the labor available for final manufacturing. As you know, we are pushing the lens supplier, our main assembly supplier, and ourselves very hard to ship as soon as possible. We are very grateful for your support, very happy about the positive feedback from the first batch, and very excited for you to receive your SPUD!!!

Shipping Preparation

If you have not done so already, please confirm or update your shipping address by clicking on the link we recently emailed out (subject “Please confirm your address for your SPUD shipment!”). Keep in mind, we CANNOT ship to PO Box addresses!

Arovia Business News

Recently, we were invited to participate in a business competition in Hong Kong hosted by HKSTP, and George somehow found the time to attend and present. He wowed the judges with his presentation skills and SPUD sample, and we were invited to join the Incu-Tech Program!

“Incu-Tech is a 3-year programme operated by HKSTP to provide a range of business and professional services to assist technology startups during their inception stages.”

This is a great opportunity to get additional funding, business support, and resources to help us scale manufacturing.

Arovia Pics!

George standing in front of four titanium SPUDs hooked up to the testing station.
George in the SPUD testing room.

Coffee shop table with a laptop and SPUD in dual-screen setup.
Alex’s setup at his favorite coffee shop in China.

A bunch of lenses and lens assembly components on a table in the factory.
Building up lens assemblies for a calibration session.

Picture of smiling Leonard, focused George, and selfie Alex.
The Arovia team, now living the majority of their lives at the lens factory.

Alex in a factory room with test setup, with two test engineers.
ODM production workers testing image quality with Alex.

Factory team standing around a table full of SPUD components, with one awkwardly smiling at the camera.
ODM production workers discussing production plan.

 

Thank you all for making SPUD possible!
-Justin, George, Leonard, Alex


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