I hope you had a good turn of the year and are all healthy!
December was spent ordering the first components for the series, refining the mechanical concepts, starting the first tests in the final case, advancing the certification process, and testing the assembly of the Vapor Phase One. All in all, it was a very productive month, with many uncertainties clarified.
Our housing supplier has delivered a pre -prototype of the housing, and the result looks really phenomenal. We thought long and hard about whether we wanted to have the case bent rather than built in individual panels as we had thought from the start. To be completely honest, the method with the plates would have been much cheaper than the current variant - but for functional and design reasons we decided on this variant. We want to reward the trust of our backers with significantly improved product quality. In order to remain true to our claim, we have to accept that this first batch will be much more expensive to produce than anticipated.
After the case and parts arrived, we did a test assembly of the Vapor Phase One with the final production parts. We noticed some details were not yet ideal. We also noticed some potential for improvement, which we will incorporate into the series.
Attached is a short time-lapse video of the assembly:
As mentioned above, we have been working on CE and LPC certifications. This is the first machine we have certified for both inside and outside the EU, so the process is still very new for us. We will probably work with with TÜV Süd, which operates globally and is known for its certifications. It turns out we have underestimated the certification costs which are about five times more than anticipated. But we will remain faithful to our ideals and want to reward the trust you’ve given us with quality.
Germany is currently in a a strict COVID lockdown, so we’ve had to change everything so we can continue to work "normally" on the Vapor Phase. We are working remotely and no longer onsite on the product, which slows down the whole process, especially with regard to embedded software. Similarly, hardware development is definitely not getting easier. Our suppliers and partners have similar problems, of course, so things are a bit up in the air right now. According to the current schedule, we see the delivery on 15.02.2021 (with many contingencies). According to the project schedule, 15.02 is still realistic, but things are unpredictable in Germany and worldwide.
This project and product demands a lot from us, but we are working day and night to keep the promise we made to you and even exceed it!
The whole PCB Arts team wishes you a great start of the year.
With best regards from Germany.