QC issues required a few parts to be re-made. This was human error on the factory's side, and they're working to fix it and remake the parts.
Those parts have been bumped to the front of the queue at this particular factory and will be made in the next week and shipped out on Friday, to be delivered to us by ~ Monday or Tuesday (week of the 29th).
In the meantime, our foam is In Transit (it was supposed to arrive this week, but hit COVID related delays at the docks), and as soon as it is State-side and clears customs, we'll be able to start shipping the cases we have parts for.
We anticipate cases will start shipping by the end of March, since these QC errors are the last thing in our way.
This will likely delay the sale of Batch 2 on our website by a week (Now going on sale early April), as I will uphold my promise of not taking orders until we've delivered the batch in flight. This is to avoid situations that other companies have experienced with multiple overlapping orders that considerably push back the delivery date.
What led to the delay?
During QC, we found a dimensional issue the manufacturer did not catch, due to an incorrect entry on one of the CMM machines. This resulted in a nearly 24% error rate on this particular part, which is far higher than the typical overage we accounted for. In future batches, we will increase our overage on orders to reduce the likelihood of this problem occurring.
How will this affect Batch 2?
We've ordered packaging for Batch 2, to be delivered in April. Additionally, we'll switch to larger overages for Batch 2 parts that haven't arrived to prevent last minute delays due to QC, like we just had with Batch 1. We have already ordered some Batch 2 parts and accessories.
We had some unexpected issues in Batch 1, but we're already implementing ways to prevent these from occurring in Batch 2 and beyond.
A Peek Behind the QC Process for Winter One
Quality Control is a complex beast, and the hardest thing to undertake on any project when it is new. Our QC Process is a 3-tier system:
1. At-Factory QC (QC1)
After parts are produced, they are placed on a Coordinate Measuring Machine that maps out the dimensions and checks for tolerance errors. This automated process ensures that we do not get parts that are dimensionally inaccurate, as when those errors happen, the factory is able to trace the source, and the damaged part is re-made at the factory, either by corrective re-working (if possible) or as a new part.
2. Post-Finishing (QC2)
After production, the parts are sent for anodization. After the process of coating, the parts are visually inspected, cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, and packed away for shipping. Typically, this means parts leaving the anodization factory are of good quality.
3. Final QC at Winter Design (QC3)
The QC process at Winter Design is unique in that we do not spot-check the batch or use statistical QC. When the parts arrive here, I clean and carefully inspect every single part. I go over the CMM reports and manually check any parts that were at the edge of tolerances. Because we require every part to be inspected at each stage, our error rates have been less than 5% on most parts. To prevent delays, we order an extra 10% of parts to absorb errors.
The Current To-Do List
Parts in Flight
Last shipment of machined parts (in transit, mid next week)
Packaging foam (in transit - 26th)
Re-run of QC-failed parts (queued for Production, week after)
Parts To Be QC'd
Incoming Shipment of Machined Parts
Re-Run of QC-failed parts
Packing and Shipping
Generating Shipping Labels
Packing parts in foam trays & sealing boxes
Shipping Batch 1
Community and Socials
I wanted to create a few spaces where people can interact more regularly, get a closer look at what's going on at Winter Design, and share knowledge and information about Winter One. I've planned a few social events for the delivery week of Batch 1.
You Can Find Winter Design On:
Discord - Join this for build help, feedback, and access to inside information.
Instagram - Follow us for pictures of the QC process in the coming days. We’ll also feature some of your builds in the future.
Twitter - We’ll make quick announcements and updates here.
When the new website goes live, you will be able to submit pictures of your Winter One build, and we'll be selecting builds to feature on our website/socials (more details after the website update).
3D Printed Mods
We're working on creating a space for users to share 3D-printed mods for Winter One, and we will be featuring these in the community section of the new website.
To see all images from this post, visit the Kickstarter.