We’re up and running with our factory and have been working on the unique challenges of engineering our prototype for manufacturing. Although we designed our prototype with mass manufacturing in mind, there are large and small changes being made internally to make sure that the Nomiku can be assembled efficiently, with minimal potential for mistakes. The UL safety agency just came out with new guidelines this spring which we have on our desks in a massive three ringed binder. Beyond just electrical guidelines, there are requirements to make sure the Nomiku is used properly and users are aware of issues such as heat and the proper immersion level. We are working with the factory to meet these rigorous specifications so that everyone can make beautiful meals safely. As we ship and go through US customs, if one component does not correctly match with the version sent to UL for approval, there can be major delays. We’re putting in the time and effort (in parallel with manufacturing) to make sure this scenario does not happen. However, it means the final design must be locked in once we submit the Nomiku to UL, and the UL approval process can take 8-10 weeks. This is tight, but we’re confident we’re doing the best job possible, and working with the best people, to meet our deadline.
We are creating a giant matrix of internal electrical and external tests that will ensure the Nomiku can survive a drop from the counter, last for years of continuous use, and survive a rough journey overseas.
So far, we’re on track to delivering on time. The challenge we’re most worried about is making sure we have proper communication with our factory to ensure quality. Kickstarter and big business projects alike have been delayed by wrong components and/or incongruous engineering. To combat this, we’re leaning on a project manager and a quality engineer — Cindy and Connie! Cindy used to work with Apple and Connie is the most up to date person on quality control we’ve ever met. They come to us through our partnership with D2M.
Creating a product with a factory is way more complicated than just saying “please do this.” Social relationships must be finessed, terms of payment and IP protection must be established, and every single person brought in must come up to speed with the system design and quality requirements. We’re really lucky we have such amazing support from our backers so we can be on the ground and on-call at all times.
And thanks to you, before we left for China we got some time in at San Francisco’s TechShop to prototype the external aspects of the Nomiku. We’re able to test early and test often — something most hardware start-ups can only dream of.
Oh yeah — and WE’RE HAVING LOTS OF FUN!
We have the best jobs in the whole world! We get to test recipes every day. Here’s rabbit loin wrapped in bacon (based on a Thomas Keller recipe) sizzling and creating an amazing savory smell in the kitchen.
Eating out is cheap in Hong Kong. In fact, most locals eat out for every meal since it actually costs more to cook at home. We get to nom away at some of most interesting food on this planet.
This breakfast toast is amazing. Condensed milk and butter on beautifully crusty bread. We ate it at a street stall but it tasted very sophisticated.
The snacks in Asia take you down a tasty and intensely textured rabbit hole. Wolfberry and white fungus oatmeal is truly the breakfast of champions.
Another perk of manufacturing is that our factory takes us out for very good food to cement social relationships. At one meeting we got to eat fresh water shrimp—- the shrimp was so, so sweet and it was a joy to suck out its brains.
Does anywhere else in the world have sesame encrusted croissants?
Or fresh jackfruit at 1 am?
Or a hot stone bowl for breakfast?
For more frequent updates you can “like” us on Facebook. We also have a Tumblr and aTwitter.
You can also email Lisa at [email protected], but please know that communication may be spotty since we’re always traveling back and forth from our factory.
Please let us know if you’d like to learn anything else about what’s going on with Nomiku and what you’d like to see more of in our updates.
Committed to you,
Lisa, Abe, and Bam