Now that Purchase Orders for the enclosure tooling are issued, we sit and wait. No, just kidding, we are finding new things to obsess about. We continue to grind a lot more coffee beans than anyone could possibly imagine. Friends and relatives have started to get wise to our bean consumption habits, dropping off bags of beans before they go on holidays so that we can "grind them before they get stale”. Everybody comments on how good our office smells. The shop vac, Roomba and couch cushions are full of grinds...
Details and More Details
The stainless steel handle is a hit. It’s so strong now that we’ll probably reduce the width by 1mm for a slightly more balanced aesthetic. It inserts and removes sweetly with the softest of “clicks” and we can still tune the feel after tooling because we use a combination of hard parts and soft elastomers in the mechanism which requires no levers or buttons. Some debate continues on about which knob prototype feels best so we’ll probably do a mini focus group next week and settle that issue amongst a small circle of trusted influencers.
Testing and More Testing
Years ago when we worked on another premium consumer product, we were introduced to HALT (highly accelerated life testing). This involved an analysis of failure modes and conditions, and developing systematic tests to force the assembly under test to the point of failure. We crafted a test fixture that cycled 24/7 for a million repetitions to simulate decades of product use in a short amount of time. Our colleagues devised other fixtures that were automated with software driven actuators to stress individual components in a repeatable fashion.
The learnings of those experiments helped shape our approach to design for Hiku. Although we won’t be going overboard to write software to test Hiku, we have set up some fixtures to stress test critical components, including the bearings, the adjustment mechanism, and the shaft assembly. In two weeks, we can simulate more than 10 years of daily use.
Connecting with Customers and Potential Partners
We look forward to having a bit more time to engage with potential distribution partners from around the world, as the inquiries seem to be incoming on a pretty steady basis. We may not be great at tooting our own horn, but the word seems to be getting out and we’re really thankful for the kind words of encouragement from emails, the Kanso website form, and the comments here on Kickstarter.
Amanda and team