16th February 2023, News

Production Update – Injection Moulding in Manufacture

With production design and suppliers finalised we are now in a position to refine our retail prices, and these will be released along with the option to pre-order in the coming weeks. This has been a long time coming and we’re really excited to get the products online so you can get your hands on them!

As you may remember, due to global component shortages we were forced to swap out some components on our circuitboards. Testing our latest boards we discovered very high current draw in standby mode, meaning the battery would be drained after just 36 hours which is clearly unacceptable. We tracked this down to a regulator we had switched to having terrible efficiency at low current draw. This is where having a local electronic supplier has proven to be critically helpful – they were able to manually replace these regulators and modify the boards to suit, allowing us to check that the alternative regulator fixes our issue. We have proven the design of all three boards now, having taken delivery of the first aerodrome boards last week, so launching production volumes this week.

Extreme Sports Mountain Climbing

Pre-production circuitboards for all 3 Aerosensor devices.

We have now secured components to cover stock for the foreseeable – future proofing all three products, and it’s exciting to see these start to arrive for assembly!

Extreme Sports Mountain Climbing

500 batteries ready for assembly.

We had been progressing with an injection moulding manufacturer over the past two months as previously reported. However, as we progressed the constraints on design were increasingly restrictive to keep costs manageable, compromising the quality of our products to an unacceptable extent. As a result, we made the decision in the last few weeks to switch to a different manufacturer who can offer more flexibility in design. The downside to all of this is that our new manufacturer has longer lead time, so inevitably we will be further delayed. Currently we are set to receive plastics around the end of May, meaning we should ship sometime in June or early July. We have released final designs now to this manufacturer, so the process is now locked in.

Why have we taken so long to finalise design for injection moulding? Injection moulding is complex, requiring expensive mould tools. We will be spending around £40k on the moulds themselves – these will last for thousands of parts, with the parts themselves cost just a few pounds each.  In the context of a £55k Indiegogo campaign, we cannot afford to get this wrong. The process has taken longer than we predicted because of both the complexity of the design, and necessity for zero design errors. We are transitioning from essentially an R&D company to a manufacturing company, and that process has been a very steep learning curve!

The good news is that we are locked in now, so the next 3 months should be a lot more straightforward. Purchase orders are out, components bought, suppliers contracted!

As the design phase is now complete, we have switched focus back to testing and software refinement. This month we have 4 separate groups testing our devices in Wind Tunnels, Velodromes and on the road, pushing our devices to the limit to find weak points in our process and fix them before shipping. Check out our Instagram for the latest updates and behind the scenes content.

Finally, thank you once again for your support of aerosensor, and your patience. People like you make innovation possible by believing in companies like ours.

If you’d like to get in touch regarding our devices, or if you have any questions please contact us at hello@aerosensor.tech