We’re back in Canada and pretty happy to say Hiku is on the home stretch now.
Sharing the Obsession
The obsessing didn’t stop and it feels good to know that there are many other parties in our supply chain who are obsessing their details and our details too.
Production tweaks are in process for two molded parts which will tighten up the fit of the internals. The tooling vendor has also tweaked their injection parameters to improve dimensional accuracy for the exact material we will be using. We’ve always known that numerous variables affect the molding process. Sometimes time of day and ambient conditions have to be considered as well by the engineers that set up the injection machine. Moisture content in the raw pellets as they travel from hopper to the feed screw where they are fed into the injection nozzle matters more for some specialized materials.
The silicone rubber ring on the lid will also be tightened up a bit for a more snug fit. Tool safe modification!
Sound and Feel
In one of the previous updates, we talked a bit about the stainless steel handle and how it is decoupled from the lid. The handle texture is now more refined and the hidden mechanism under the cap does a great job of retaining the handle for those times when Hiku is turned upside down. Why is this important? Some premium grinders require adjustment by a screw mechanism underneath the inner burr which means their lid and handle can fall off and loudly come crashing down onto the countertop during adjustment. Hiku has the stepless adjustment ring too, so it is just more morning-friendly for coffee enthusiasts (and their housemates).
Speaking of the stepless adjustment ring, we confirmed it feels great with production parts. There is enough resistance to avoid unwanted adjustment and it maintains the damped feel we planned.
We haven’t mentioned it in a while, but Hiku also has a unique sound during grinding. We’ve tried a lot of grinders and nothing sounds like this one. We are anxious to hear if backers and customers like it as much as we do.
Final Assembly Plans
Much of this update was about fine tuning and details, but we also want to say that the delivery schedule remains a distinct priority. This is a business, not a hobby, and we want to ship as soon as possible so we can move to the second production run. The refinements to the plastic parts mentioned above will have been addressed before the end of June, so now we can turn our attention to logistics and share some of that here.
We are going to go back to Asia later this month to inspect the completed main enclosure production parts. By then, all other supporting bits will be done and waiting. We said before Hiku will be assembled in Canada. However, a portion of this first production run makes sense to be assembled by ourselves, residents of Canada, near the production facilities so we can ensure everything goes together as expected. We’re likely going to ship perhaps one or two hundred units right from Asia instead of bringing them all back home to ship out. On our team, every designer and engineer who works on a product has at some point had to manually assemble some of those finished goods. This instills the “design for assembly” or “design for testing” thinking that we believe turns out better products. Hiku benefits from their past experiences on other projects and future creations will benefit from Hiku too.
Another update has come to an end! Hope you enjoyed reading. Talk to you in two weeks.
Amanda and team