Hollow Wheel Manufacturing & Shipping Update #22
Here are some quick pictures of production. The wheels are coming off the line and we are dialing in many settings and doing quality inspection as they come off. Things are going well but there have been some minor issues to fix and redo. For first production, it is the small details that can hold up production and cause some small delays, but all of them solvable.
Here are some pictures of the covers:
They will be going to logo printing shortly after the rest of the batch is complete.
We had a color issue on the core in the beginning, which caused a production stop and forced us to redo the covers. In production, this is where you see your quality and manufacturing processes get tested. Sometimes you have some mishaps that require a redo. In this case, there was miscommunication and white pigment was not added to the raw material of the cover core. The cover core raw color is somewhat of a green color. Unfortunately, we had produced all of the covers so we the manufacturer is redoing the batch to correct the color. So this means we need to add an up stream process to make sure color correction is correct before going full speed production. A simple fix, but a little costly. This caused had caused a 2 week delay, but we are currently fixing it now.
The wheel halves are looking really good, but some minor cosmetic issues resultant.
Unfortunately, we ran into the same issues with the wheel halve core where the white color pigment was not added correctly. The factory had produced many of the cores already, so they are in the middle of correcting the color and remolding the cores. Again, a small process change, but still costly and a cause for delay.
Finally, we had another cosmetic issues wherein you can see the injection molding material flow lines. I didn't see that originally because the wheels for testing and validation have always been the raw color, the same greenish kind of color that you see above. During validation, the greenish tint really hid this and so neither the manufacturer or myself saw this. However, when we started to add the black pigment to the tread, the mold flow lines could be seen.
This doesn't pose any functional adversity and it doesn't look quiet as clear when you have the wheel in the face (the camera exposes it more than the naked eye). The wheel circularity isn't impacted, but it is a something that does bug me a little bit. So we are adding more of a textured finish to the mold to reduce the injection molding flow line appearance. The factory is adding the textured surface finish now as we speak.
In this photo above, you can see the wheel in the natural color and it is very difficult or almost impossible to see the mold flow lines. But it can be seen when it is black.
I'll be awaiting new timelines from the manufacturer, but I anticipate production should be complete in the next 30-45 days, then it will board a boat to USA to begin shipping.
I'll post new updates shortly of the logo printing, timelines, and the cosmetic fixes.