Project Update February 2017

This is a short technical update but we hope that it is nevertheless understandable for everyone.

Since we last updated you, the electronics for the receivers (HomeStation) have been fully manufactured and put into operation with the new firmware. There were no major problems as expected. Currently the cases are being fabricated in our 3D printer. All we need is a little time since we have already done all the preparatory work. How a 3D printer works and what it looks like  is shown in our video published in the May 2016 update: 6/projektupdate-mai-2016. We are still fascinated by this innovation and if you have not seen it yet, you should definitely check out the video.

We ran into some complications with regards to the collar productions. But they are now solved. Originally the Flex-Print could not be produced in time. But after a successful search for an alternative flex-print-producer we managed it. Now we have two suppliers and this will certainly have a positive effect on our future production.

Everything is now ready for the PCB assembly. Unfortunately we have an unusually long delay for one single component. This is annoying because it was ordered early in January with a delivery time of 3-4 days. There is currently a “bottleneck” and the delivery date has been shifted 3 times already. We now hope that the delivery, as promised, will take place this week. If this is the case we can proceed with the production and have the collar electronics ready this week. We can then fit the prints into the case and test thoroughly.

Such production delays are not unusual but they are, of course, very annoying. We will publish another update as soon as we are in possession of the new sets. On the other hand, it is a great relief that we now have a reliable manufacturer, who is able to carry out productions of greater quantities (mass production). And one who now possesses fully implemented production processes which work. A lot of production know-how has been elaborated together and we are glad to undertake future productions with a competent partner. The focus now lies on increasing the efficiency even further.

As our firmware programmer has done his work so far (and exceptionally good), we gladly allowed him a week of skiing holidays.

He definitely earned it. Take a look at this fantastic mountain (the Matterhorn Zermatt) and view. Just beautiful!

Kind regards,
Alan & Claudio

Project Update January 2017

Good Start into the Year 2017

We hope you all started well into 2017. We had a great start! We would also like to thank you all for the many Christmas and New Year’s wishes, they were appreciated.

Just before Christmas the contract with our manufacturer was negotiated and the new GPS cat collars were ordered. They are being produced as we write this newsletter. At the same time our manufacturer gets the opportunity to prepare everything for the upcoming pilot series.

Upon completion of the production a manufacturing analysis will be carried out in order to negotiate the final terms and conditions. At the same time, the tooling for the final case material will begin. This is by the way a very exciting step and a kind of “work of art” in itself. A good tooling builder can create a lot of efficiency in the production process and it is very interesting to follow his work. The construction itself however, is a time-intensive step, which will take at least 8 weeks. We therefore want to tackle this step as quickly as possible. The CAD and design work from our side work on the GPS cat collar and homestation has been completed. The “Go ahead” will be given as soon as we have received and tested the prototypes (in March).

Many questions have been asked, one of them whether the petTracer GPS cat collar will be available in spring. This would, of course, be our greatest wish too. Spring is the time when our beloved cats have an increased urge to go outside and into nature.

If we continue with our good progress, then it seems to be realistic to manufacture the Indiegogo collars in the end of the first half of the year and then deliver them. We are very pleased that the long waiting period will soon come to an end. For all non Indiegogo backers, we are sorry to say, that you will need to wait a little bit longer until we can communicate a realistic delivery date. But we will do our best to inform as soon as possible.

Kind regards,
Alan & Claudio