We have some good news to report! As of today, April 6th, 2015 we are on track to start shipping out X-Carve orders by April 30th! Please note, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every order will ship on the 30th. When we start shipping, we will ship as many as we can per day until all orders are fulfilled. Orders will ship in the order in which they were received.
As we continue to prep for shipping X-Carves, we thought it might be nice to give you a behind the scenes look at the process we’ve been setting up. We’ve implemented some new systems to make sure everything is done efficiently and accurately. Everything is starting to come together.
Step 1: Receiving
Raw inventory is delivered daily from our various suppliers around the globe. Once it comes through the door, it’s checked against our purchase orders and inspected to make sure the right stuff is in the box. We also make sure it meets the specifications we provided the supplier. Items that don't meet spec are put on the Failed Shelf.
Step 2: Pre-assembly
Our Operations Manager Phil Lomac issues a work order to the warehouse team to prepare groups of components that will then be put together into X-Carve modules. This involves bagging hardware parts (like nuts and bolts) that go together, cutting spools of belting and wire into the appropriate lengths, flashing Arduinos with GRBL 0.9, and the like. The work orders are checked against the master bill of materials controlled by engineering just before they are issued. This is to make sure we are building assemblies in line with the latest version cleared by engineering.
Step 3: Pre-Assembly Organization
The pre-assemblies are organized into bins and shelves in our new 2-stage kitting area.
Step 4: Module Making
The Kitting line has a whiteboard chart that tracks how many of each type of module, identified in the configurator page, needs to be built each day. This helps us stay on top of the orders coming down the pipeline. Based on that day's needs, the kitting team bundles together X-Carve modules from the pre-assembly parts.
Step 5: Module Organization
Finished X-Carve modules are moved into the dedicated X-Carve shipping area, organized by shelf location in an order that makes it easy for pickers & packers to gather all the modules for a customer’s order.
Steps 6 & 7 (coming soon!):
Customer order sheets are printed and act as a step-by-step guide for the pickers & packers to put everything in a big box, double-check the list, and ship it out.
Overall Progress Report:
We are waiting for the final three outstanding parts: Spindles, X-Carriage and Spindle Carriage extrusions. All are confirmed to arrive within the next 10 days.
We will be shipping on a first-in-first-out basis, meaning that lucky guy that ordered in the first minute we turned on the X-Carve page (you know who you are) is first in line!
At that point, we will produce some number of pre-assemblies and modules on a daily basis, which means we can ship out a certain number of X-Carve orders per day. We will undoubtedly become more efficient as we go, improving our processes and anticipating higher demand for certain modules. We are using this approach so we can eventually offer same-day shipping for orders.
One final image: When you stack a whole lot of extrusions together, they make interesting visual patterns.
Thanks for your patience, and please keep an eye out for more updates as we move into the final stages of prep for shipping.