Manufacturing Update 8: The Importance of Durability

 
 

Dear Kelloists,

April was a very intense month. We’re moving forward on all aspects of the product but unfortunately we stumbled upon an issue that will cause a delay. 

Logistics & Packaging

As we’re approaching the final steps of manufacturing, we’re now finalizing two major subjects for any hardware project: packaging and logistics.

Packaging 

A good box: 

  • has to be strong (delivering services tend to not treat packages kindly), 
  • must protect the product well, 
  • must look good.

We’ve spent some time on it and we’re very happy with the final result. Below a pictures of the development of these boxes (we won’t show you the final box to avoid spoiling the surprise!).

Durability

During the month of April, our manufacturer ran some destructive testing in order to test Kello’s durability.

Fatigue Testing 

One of the most common tests is very straightforward: pressing a button until it breaks. We used a pneumatic arm to press every Kello button 5,000 times.

After all these presses, Kello was still good as new. The mechanical feedback of the buttons didn’t get loose, and all clicks were correctly registered. 

Drop Testing

Another crucial test is taking a bunch of Kellos and drop them from a height of 1 meter (3 feet and 3 inches).

The outcome of this test was not as good as we hoped: more often that we liked, Kello’s colored shell ended up separated from its the core. Nothing that couldn’t be managed (it is super easy to re-clip the coloured shell part to the core part) but we feared that after several drops things might start to break.

Everybody expects an alarm clock to be durable and we know people won’t be easy with the product. That’s why we decided to rework the molds and slightly change the mechanical design.

This change causes a 4-week delay. We are now going to ship end of next month (4th week of June).

We know this is a big disappointment and quite frankly we’re pretty bummed as well, especially because everything else is ready and we could have pressed the button and ship this version end of May, but after many discussions we realized that 1 month is a good trade-off for a better product that won’t get weakened after a few drops on the floor. 

Next Steps

Production Samples

This change shifted our entire timeline. While our engineers already came up with a better design, we’ll get the final production samples in mid-May, and start mass production in mid-June. 

Apps 

On the bright side, this delay gives us the opportunity to continue working on the apps and the firmware and polish everything a little further.

iOS App

We’re putting the final touches on the iOS app and our next milestone is the App Store submission.

Android App

The Android app is now our top priority. Most of the core functionalities are ready and we’re now focusing on debugging. When it’s stable enough, we’ll start working on the implementation of the Sleep Programs.

You’ll find below a quick demo video of the Android app.

That’s it for this month. If you have any comment or remark, feel free to post a comment!

Best,

The Kello Team.