Quotations, Production speed and the future (2011-09-01)


EvilDragon

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Firstly, I apologize to everyone who is waiting for eMail replies, repaired Pandoras or similar from me.


The business plan and the planning of the production in Germany did eat most of my time, so I'm way behind with emails and Pandora repairs!


It's the most important thing right now. Once the business plan is finished (probably early next week), it's time to find investors to get all the money needed and then it's time to sign the offer with Global Components.


Once that's done, the move to a german production company will finally have started and take a while. That's when I will have a lot more time to work on mails, Hotfix 6 and repairing Pandoras.


Even if some won't believe it: I'm only human. Yes, really :)


Now, time for some news, isn't it?


1. Quotation from Global Components


I got the final quotation yesterday. As expected, it's more expensive than CircuitCo (Germany is ALWAYS more expensive), but I'm pretty content with it.


As the price is calculated on the time that is needed for production, I also got a first estimation of how fast the production can happen.


Basically, calculating the estimated time is simple:


The main population is being done by a machine.


It is known, how many parts per minute the machine can place on the boards. So based on the amount of parts that are on a Pandora board, the time can be calculated.


First you load all the needed reels with the parts into the machine. Depending on how many different parts you have, this takes a while.


For the Pandora, this actually takes a full working day (8 hours!).


Then the machine automatically populates the PCBs. This happens in three steps for the Pandora: Both sides need to be populated and the RAM needs to be put PoP (package on package) on the OMAP.


It takes 22 hours to populate 1000 PCBs (approx. every 1,5 minutes one PCB is fully populated).


After that, they go into the oven so that the parts are baked onto the PCB. And that's it.


So SMD population of 1000 boards takes about 30 hours. That is about a week. Nice :)


After that, there's manual soldering to be done. Nubs, Volume wheels. And testing. Each test takes 4 minutes.


Since they have multiple people working on this, it will be another 30 hours.


However, that can be done while the population goes on.


So basically, they could theoretically produce 1000 boards within two weeks.


Right now, I'm planning with 1000 boards each month for a start. That should be realistic. And better be safe than sorry... something we learnt the hard way.


So, while production speed actually seems to be pretty fast, this does not mean that we'll have thousands of Pandoras soon.


The machine needs to be programmed, bare PCBs need to be prepared and a prototype testing run needs to be done (though if that one goes without issues, the real production can start right away).


And: It won't happen before the order is signed - and therefore, money is needed.


Which leads us to the next point...


2. Investors for OpenPandora GmbH welcome :)


To move the production to Germany, money is needed.


There were quite a few refunds lately and CircuitCo delivering boards at a crawling speed is not helping much either.


And we need to make sure there's also money there when more people want to get a refund before the Pandoras are finished!


Of course, we could try to fund it with iControlPad sales at some time - but who knows how long that would need.


Aditionally, we don't just want to deliver all remaining preorders but have the Pandora produced at a regular basis so future users can buy them without having to wait.


Production needs to become reliable and steady.


That's the reason I've been working on a business plan for the last weeks: It actually is a pretty accurate calculation of the costs and time needed.


Once all preorders are fullfilled, there can be made some money from it. I discussed this with my tax counsellor (who is experienced with stuff like this) and she thinks it should certainly be possible to get some big investor.


I prefer trusted community members and known Pandora users. You can be sure notch will be one of the very first to receive a copy of the business plan!


Of course, anyone here from the boards can also help us out with some investments.


We need to set a minimum amount though, otherwise it will be way too much paperwork. The minimum amount should be something like 10.000 EUR.


If everything goes according to the plan, the invested money would be fully refinanced next year May and from then on, it's time to make money with the Pandora.


This should be a very interesting opportunity for every investor. You can be sure my main goal in September will be to find an investor and sign the order for the production as soon as possible.


If you are seriously interested in investing money or do know someone who would be interested, get in touch with me (via PM or eMail). I'll send you a copy of the business plan as well as soon as it's finished.


One thing is sure: I'll only accept silent investors. That is: Investors who get their share of profit each year, but are not involved in any decisions. We all want to keep the Pandora the way it is!


I'm happy to share the success of the Pandora with anyone, who helps to make the Pandora successful :)


3. Preorder time!


What? Again?


Are you kidding me?


You want more money from us before you even delivered the units?


Well... no.


Yes, there will be another time to place a preorder soon.


But no: You won't need to pay any money upfront.


As said, we really NEED to move away from paid preorders.


So what's the reason we want more preorders then?


Easy. Basically, there are two reasons:


1. I get so many eMails from people who want to order the Pandora. A preorder makes sense :)


2. The more preorders we get, the more easy it is to find an investor! Just imagine you can tell an investor "Hey, I already got way more customers than I need!"... this will certainly help a lot.


I will start taking preorders probably the end of next week.


If you are interested in a second unit or know anyone who would love to get a Pandora: Let them know!


The more orders we get, the better. And there is no risk involved - well, except for that you will have to buy a Pandora once it's finished.


4. What about CircuitCo?


They are still repairing the remaining boards. That takes some time.


They shipped another 50 boards last week.


So there will be some more Pandoras shipped soon, but I personally don't expect them to be able to repair much faster.


That's why I'm currently concentrating on the future Pandora production.


5. Conclusion


In my opinion, things are looking good.


Yes, it surely will take a while until the "German Pandoras" will be finished. I'm happy if we get the first units until November / December, but I can't guarantee anything.


Well, I can guarantee to keep you informed about every step that happens.


First step is to gather enough money to make this happen. But this certainly seems possible. The Pandora will keep alive. I'm sure of that, because as a community, we can achieve everything if we just try to do so :)


So for everyone who walked with us the long way: Thanks a lot! You really rock!


And to newcomers: The Pandora rocks. That's what so many people who got one tell you. And that's why you can be sure we will do EVERYTHING we're capable of to continue the production!
 

fusion_power

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Wow, that are alot of facts and things happening, pretty impressive.


The production numbers you drop in are actualy lightyears over that what CC was able to do. So it can't be impossible to produce the Pandora board in acceptable speed. I really wonder what was CC's philosophy there. XD


However, starting the entire process from 0 could take a while, I guess it can't simply profited from CCs endless testings, experience in Pandora Board making and Machine settings to speed up these things in the new german Factory?


Preordering is OK. You will not have trouble to get enough interested People when Notch mentions the Project in his blog. ;)


Investors seems to be the only possible way left, still impressive how far Pandora Team came without any.


"Silent Investor"? So I can't just drop 500K Dollar and say you should redo the Pandora Case in solid Metal? ;) Damn, now I have to spent the money on another Project. ^^


I just wish that you find more time for your work or better, find people that help you, ED. So for example some devs do not wait ay longer for their RMA Pandoras (happend i case of the Midori porter)
 

EvilDragon

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Wow, that are alot of facts and things happening, pretty impressive.


The production numbers you drop in are actualy lightyears over that what CC was able to do. So it can't be impossible to produce the Pandora board in acceptable speed. I really wonder what was CC's philosophy there. XD

No idea. Maybe they just use old machines. Or don't know how to use it.

However, starting the entire process from 0 could take a while, I guess it can't simply profited from CCs endless testings, experience in Pandora Board making and Machine settings to speed up these things in the new german Factory?

No, that won't help. The machine needs to be programmed with where to place the parts, and after that, you HAVE to create a few test boards to see that it works before screwing the rest :)

Investors seems to be the only possible way left, still impressive how far Pandora Team came without any.

Sadly. If it wasn't for CC, it would've worked out.

"Silent Investor"? So I can't just drop 500K Dollar and say you should redo the Pandora Case in solid Metal? ;) Damn, now I have to spent the money on another Project. ^^

You can be sure I'll make an aluminium case if you throw in 500K USD.


I'd love to switch do aluminium cases in the future, but first, the most important thing is to make the production reliable.

I just wish that you find more time for your work or better, find people that help you, ED. So for example some devs do not wait ay longer for their RMA Pandoras (happend i case of the Midori porter)

Well, once this is all setup, I've got more time for repairs :)
 

Invader Amoto

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The news looks good! I have one question though. What is the projected price point of the Pandora in the future? Specifically what will these unpaid preorders be advertised as costing? Will the price point of the preorder fluctuate as time goes on if something else goes wrong (just in case) or will the price listed when you preorder be the one you pay regardless of what happens in the future? I imagine your business plan has these details sorted out for the most part.
 

EvilDragon

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The news looks good! I have one question though. What is the projected price point of the Pandora in the future? Specifically what will these unpaid preorders be advertised as costing? Will the price point of the preorder fluctuate as time goes on if something else goes wrong (just in case) or will the price listed when you preorder be the one you pay regardless of what happens in the future? I imagine your business plan has these details sorted out for the most part.

Right now, the price won't differ compared to the Premium units.


We can't go much cheaper right now, but depending on demand, production might become cheaper (the more you order at once, the cheaper it gets).
 

evg2000

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Sorry if I missed something, but is the plan for CC to complete the boards for all of the outstanding orders, or will we be waiting for the German manufacture to get up to speed?
 

EvilDragon

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Sorry if I missed something, but is the plan for CC to complete the boards for all of the outstanding orders, or will we be waiting for the German manufacture to get up to speed?

Their plan is to finish the remaining 1000 boards which would be all Batch 1 orders.
 

WizardStan

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If I hadn't just made a very huge investment already, I'd be more than happy to see your business plan. As it is, I won't have that kind of money again until April of next year, and by then you should either be well on your way to success and I missed the boat, or death and I'll count myself lucky. :p
 

Wrath Of Khan

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Hope it all works out and pandora production resumes as soon as possible. It really is a great emulation device.
 

SavageMind

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What's the minimum investment you require? I may have a group of individuals that would be willing to pool investment.
 

THB

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I have a couple of questions regarding future pre-orders.


1) Will the future pre-order queue be handled as one queue, with an accurate estimation of where everyone is placed in the queue?


2) Will there be a Premium order situation ever again while there is a pre-order queue in place?


Thank you
 

SavageMind

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What's the minimum investment you require? I may have a group of individuals that would be willing to pool investment.
10,000 EUR (ED mentions this in his post)

I read his post is says something "like" 10000 EUR. That is not specific. I can't go to people and ask of a round about figure and find out later it is not sufficient. Thanks for sharpshooting. :blink:
 

freamon

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I read his post is says something "like" 10000 EUR. That is not specific. I can't go to people and ask of a round about figure and find out later it is not sufficient. Thanks for sharpshooting. :blink:

Oh. Sorry - I really didn't mean this in a narky way. I only wrote about the figure being in ED's post as a way of citing my sources - I assumed you'd overlooked it in the wall of text.
 
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