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If you followed the threads on the official boards, you knew that I was visiting a company today which would be a good candidate to produce Batch 2 (and hopefully many more later batches) of the Pandora.
Doing something like this is always exciting.
Can the company produce the boards?
Do they want to do the job?
Can they do it for a good price?
Will they help you with your project? Or simply do what you tell them to do?
Are they friendly, open and honest?
There's so many stuff swirling around in your head before visiting a company... the future of the Pandora depends on finding the right partner.
Well, I'm pretty sure you all want to know how it went today, right?
The company I paid a visit today is called Global Components and is located in Oberhaching, near Munich. It's about 90km away from me, so it's not too far and I can easily visit them whenever I need.
I arrived at about 11:10am.
Do you know the rare feeling when you enter a building and just know you've come to the right place?
Well, I had that feeling today. I had a real nice meeting and was greeted heartily.
Everyone I've seen there was motivated, they have a great working atmosphere in there.
For me, this is a very good and important sign. It's always a sign of high quality.
The meeting was very assuring.
First I was given a nice company tour. They got high-quality machines in every room, it looks very organized and tidy. I also saw some boards from current production runs and they use even smaller SMD parts than the Pandora.
From what I've seen, I'm pretty sure they can easily produce our boards, and that's one of the most important things!
I brought some pictures with me. Just a little insight into the whole company. I'm happy that i'm allowed to make a movie of the birth of a Pandora board as soon as production starts.
As I had a Pandora PCB with me, their main technician took a look at it. He explained me some things I always wanted to know (like how PoP is being done and how the full population process works, etc.).
He also suggested a solution to place the shoulder buttons way better so we won't have manually fix the plastic with some buttons.
All in all, things looked pretty good for me. They agreed that they want to produce the PCBs :)
I'm now awaiting a quotation from them (this will take a few weeks), then we'll need to check on the leadtime of the parts and while waiting for those, the production will be set up.
This surely will all take a while. There's no company that can just get the gerber files and start with the production the next day.
The PCBs will take a few weeks to produce, the parts have a certain leadtime and the machine also needs to be setup and programmed.
However, once this is done, PCBs will be finished very fast. I'll get the amount of Pandora PCBs they can produce per week within the next weeks.
Oh, on a side note they mentioned that they would try to help us fix boards with issues as well, in case CC doesn't really move forward here.
I'll send them a few ones of them over, so that they can check if a repair is possible and much it would cost. So if CC doesn't do much, we might move the repairs of the remaining boards of Batch 1 to Germany as well.
Parts, setup, etc. need to be paid upfront, so this is another issue we need to take care of. CC did cost us a lot of money, and we still don't know how fast they'll send us more boards - there still are 1000 missing!
The iControlPad helps us earning money as well, which is great, but the faster we have the total amount of needed money available, the faster the production can start.
That's why I'm also checking for additional solutions to raise money faster. I'll keep you informed on that!
If anyone knows someone who'd like to support us, get in contact with me! I'm sure we can make some good deal here.
Well, anyways, it seems we found a new company that can do the production!
I'm very happy about that, as you never can be sure before visiting them.
The next steps for now are:
* Get a quotation from them, check what parts are needed and how fast
* Make a proper new business plan (including total costs, estimated times, etc.)
* Make sure to have money ready when payments are due
* Try to squeeze as many working boards out of CC as possible
Oh, and of course (as soon as got the top priority things done):
* Continue to work on HotFix 6
* Update the website (REAAAALLY needed!)
* Fix the remaining RMAs
* Check the remaining PCBs I got here
I'll let you know any further steps that happen, as usual :)