Kokoon February Update – The Pre-Production Run
Welcome to another Kokoon update. In this update, we’ll be updating you on the latest news from the factory once again, as we progress towards manufacturing.
We are thrilled to announce that our pre-production run has been completed! The aim of a PP (pre-production) run is to manufacture under the same circumstances and with the same processes in place as will ultimately be used on the manufacturing line. With the completion of this run we have taken a big step towards a final format for our production line and learnt a lot in the process. From the headphones we produced in this run, 40 units have arrived in the UK and 31 sets are staying in China.
All boxed up, freshly delivered from the factory
Our PP units, ready for testing!
The 40 units that arrived in the UK from the PP run will be used for external customer testing, as well as ongoing internal testing. The focus of the UK engineering team has now completely turned to testing and quality control, as we are now so close to launch.
The 31 units staying in China will be used for certification (such as CE, FCC, ISED) and factory reliability testing. The factory are now taking a break for the rest of February to celebrate Chinese New Year, however we really appreciate the extra effort they put in to get these units to us before their Holidays began.
We’ve included some photos from the PP run below and, as you can see, the product is now really coming together as a whole. While there are still some tweaks we’ll be making, we now have a fully boxed product, including accessories and manuals. We’re really excited to share these first photos with you of our packaging design and accessories.
The Kickstarter Special Edition and Grey headphones
The unboxed product
All laid out…
And the Special Edition (the audio cable and USB charger are a little hard to see in their case – sorry!)
Please note, the above black units are the special edition sets with green accents, we’ll post some more photos of the standard dark colour shortly.
Eagle-eyed backers will notice that the eye mask is missing from the above photos, however these are in hand and we’re hoping to share photos of them soon.
Production Line improvements
When the factory are back to work in March, we will be hard at work with them improving the production line and ironing out any issues from reliability testing (hopefully only small issues). We managed an overall yield of 71% (71 units out of target 100 units) for this run and will need to improve this to probably somewhere north of 95%. Although it is still early days with regard to the production line, it looks like there will be some relatively easy steps we can take to get us closer to our required yield rates. Some of the big contributors to yield issues are the PCBA production quality, headband fabrics (assembly) and the acoustic seal (assembly) issues we talked about in previous updates. These are where our initial investigations are focusing.
Audio seal refinement update
In the last update we had talked about the audio seal refinement and how the yield rates were too low for Mass Production. We are pleased to report that by using an EVA foam type seal, we have managed to increase yield significantly (see picture below). However, of the 33 units that have completed full acoustic testing, 3 of those units are still seeing issues related to the audio seal, so there is still work to be done. We will be further investigating the cause of the issue as the first step of this process.
Improved Acoustic seals
In the last update we mentioned further adjustments we would be making, which we’re pleased to announce have now all been implemented, including:
- Improving the colour matching between different fabrics
- Increased the ‘hardness’ of the buttons to give a better feel
- Improved the way silicon is applied to the underside of the headband to increase grip
We also talked about issues we had been seeing with ‘cooling marks’, created by the different cooling rates of plastic across varying thicknesses. We worked with our toolers on the issue, to find the optimal settings on our tooling equipment to prevent these marks, however, it was not possible to completely stop these from occurring. We have now opted instead to apply a finishing process which eliminates the appearance of the marks, as you can see below.
Old part on the left, showing a cooling mark. New part on the right.
We are still on track according to our last schedule and will begin shipping in April. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress, and we’ll let you know when your order is ready to ship.
The Kokoon Team