Changes to how we update
We know that one of our weaknesses as a company has been the delivery of consistent information, particularly for our Raptor customers. We realise that communication to our customers is vital, and although we’ve been providing some updates, they haven’t been as frequent as we would have liked.
So, from now on, we’ll be providing updates twice per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to let all our customers know what’s happening at Enertion.
Updates will be available via email, our website Blog, and abbreviated versions will also be posted to our social media channels for ease of access.
The battle for water ingress protection
While it would have been much easier to admit defeat and forego the pursuit of an IP65 water protection rating for the Raptor 2, we’ve repeatedly demonstrated that we’re in it for the long haul as far as water resistance goes. Here’s a summary of events to date, as well as what’s happening currently in relation to this.
Raptors shipped between July 2017– Feb 2018
The cut-out deck (1st generation design), while being great in theory, proved to be extremely difficult to mass manufacture according to our tolerance ratings. The effect of this was that some R2’s battery enclosures did not seat correctly, which would lead to possible water ingress.
Raptors shipped between March 2018 – April 2018
The original 1st generation cut-out deck design was scrapped, and we forged ahead with a new, flat-bottom deck design along with the introduction of a new silicone battery riser, allowing the fitment of the R2 drive train to the 2nd generation decks.
These 2nd generation decks and risers would prove only to solve one piece of the water resistance puzzle. Our design team also identified that although the foam seals that were used on the 1st gen R2s were functioning after installation, removing and replacing the lid repeatedly could potentially cause loss of integrity over time, due to the structure of the foam material.
Interface seal before
Interface seal after
Further improvements to the lid seal
Feedback from the last batch of boards that were sent out with hand-cut silicone seals showed that these seals were again, not the answer we had been looking for. Although they created a watertight seal between the battery lid and compartment, they also forced the silicone seal covering the LCD slightly out of position due to the hardness of the material used.
We have now created a new seal using silicone with 40A shore rating, which performs to our required specification – this creates a water-tight seal in the battery compartment whilst not deforming the LCD cover. These V3 seals have been greenlit for production, with a lead time of 7 days.
To further bolster the seal between the silicone LCD cover and the battery lid, our assembly team is temporarily using adhesive tape to ensure the seal is in the correct position. In future production runs, modification to the silicone LCD cover’s thickness will be done to perform the same function.
Battery lid tab displacement
During implementation of 2nd gen. decks, it was noticed that the battery lid tab which covers the motor wires was 1-2mm short of where it sat on 1st gen. boards. While this didn’t present as a major issue during production, it has since been found that some users, particularly heavier ones, have noticed the insertion tab of the battery cover being displaced over time.
Although the battery lid tab was never meant to provide a total seal over the motor wire channel (a silicone wire seal prevents water from entering the R2’s electronic compartment through the motor wire channel), it WAS designed to sit firmly under the rear truck of the Raptor 2.The new retainer plate
A new part, which we call a retainer plate, has been developed, which is designed to sit under the rear truck and provide a closer fit that the battery lid tab can fit under. This solution will be implemented in the next 500 production boards, and any previous customers whose battery lids have failed can expect a replacement under warranty. The new seal and lid retainer plate will solve this issue, the seal will allow the battery lid to sit closer to the deck which will reduce the stress on the tab while the retainer plate will hold the tab more completely and increase water proofing.
A number of boards have reached our customers in less-than-ideal condition. Whilst using the wrong screw length might only be seen as a cosmetic issue, and applying too much glue to a wire might not seem to really matter, we take all of these aspects of QC incredibly seriously – we know that our customers demand not only high performance, but also premium quality.
This is why a full audit of both assembly and QC processes has been undertaken, where numerous steps of the assembly process have been revised and appended. In addition to this, our assembly team has implemented increased traceability and accountability via an extensive serial number classification system on critical parts along with access to a live database of QC issues as reported by our customers for reference.
As has been the tale with Enertion over the last 12 months, we understand that everyone wants to know the status of Raptor 2 production. At times, we haven’t had a lot of news to share, as often we’ve been waiting for suppliers to do their job, but we’ve spent the last few months in particular building direct relationships with suppliers in order to gain further visibility about the problems they’re encountering, and to improve accountability.
95% of parts are in stock, and sub-assemblies are well under way
We have ordered and paid for the parts to produce the next 500 Raptor 2s. Our assembly factory is currently assembling wheels and motors onto trucks and hangers, fitting electronics to the battery box, and attaching these to our supply of decks.
Stock of decks and batteries awaiting final assembly
Completed rear and front truck assemblies
So what’s the 5%?
We have ordered the new battery lid seals, which will take 7 days according to our supplier. As stated above, we have enough wheels for 120 boards to be made currently, but pending sample testing and approval, we will be receiving more wheel stock before the end of June to complete this batch of 500 boards.
How long will it be till we have the Raptor 2 in stock?
Our current forecasts show that after we’ve sent out the next 120 boards, it will bring us to a total of 470 delivered Raptor 2s to our amazing customers. This will clear all orders made up to and including June 2017.
Completion of the remaining 380 boards from this batch will occur in 2 further production runs, both scheduled for late June. Once shipped, this will bring the total number of shipped Raptors to 850, which will mean all orders made up to and including February 2018 will be cleared.
Current estimates are that we achieve positive stock levels around the end of August.
A note about wheels
We have enough wheels to make around 120 boards in the next week or two (which are the same formula that was previously sent out,) but expect new wheels with improved formula to be at our assembly factory before the end of June.
Some customers may experience early degradation of these wheels from the first 120 boards in the next batch to be completed. However, this is a known issue, and any customers experiencing problems can expect replacement wheels to be sent out to them if they encounter any cracking or advanced wear and tear that is not considered normal.
Outwheel installation jig
What if things don’t go according to our forecasts?
As most people are aware, along with our customers, we’ve had to face numerous setbacks to our production times to date. Whilst we always do our best to perform realistic forecasts and match them to what is achievable in real-world environments, this may not always be possible, as history has shown.
Suffice to say, May and June are going to be big months for Enertion. If we don’t succeed in making the 500 boards planned in this time, we will complete these in July. Ordering has already begun for the next production batch, so that we do not encounter months without production again.