Dear Narrative Customers,
The past few weeks we have gotten a lot of questions on how the production and shipping is going. We have taken most common ones and done a little Q and A here.
Trial Assembly Photos
Q1: Have the first Kickstarter backers received their Narrative Clips yet?
Excluding the cameras that have gone out to testers, not as of yet, and the reason is the units don’t meet our required standards. We have discovered a quality issue in the camera units that were due for shipping last week; essentially they passed our production tests at the first stages of assembly but a certain percentage of the fully assembled units failed the last tests we do before shipping (the units are exposed to a whole battery of tests to assure all shipped units are of excellent quality). So even the already manufactured cameras have been held back.
Q2: What is holding you back?
Upon closer analysis the failed tests turned out to depend on quality issues in the printed circuit board and surface mount assembly processes (PCB and SMT, which are done in separate factories). This in turn resulted in a sensitivity to mechanical stress, which happens during transport, or when you assemble boards in our casings, solder batteries etc. Given this, we were very reluctant to ship out even the units that passed all tests, as they are part of the same manufacturing batch and could simply drop dead during transport, out of our control.
Q3: Why can’t you at least ship some and wait with the rest?
When you manufacture something you always have to accept some percentage of manufacturing failures; those you can either choose to ship and hope for the best, or discard. We’ve chosen the latter but what makes it more complicated in this case, is that it’s not entirely possible to decide which units would work fine in the long run and which would eventually break down. The nature of the issue is such that we can’t separate the potentially good units from the bad that could not withstand mechanical stress due to transport and everyday use. Unfortunately, stuff like this happens in this industry sometimes and we are using a high level of technology in our design in order to cram everything into our small form factor.
Q4: So what are you doing to remedy the problems and when can I expect my shipment?
Our PCB and SMT factories have located the quality issues and are re-doing all units for us for free (including extra checks like x-raying all layers in the PCBs as they are glued together), which we expect to have on Friday or Monday for a new assembly and packaging session. We are operating under the assumption that it will work well this time and will keep you posted.
It’s important to know that we have the very best engineers available on the ground in Taiwan, and the problems are not arising from the design or engineering of the Narrative Clip. Our suppliers of PCB and SMT are adjusting their processes to account for the problems that have arisen and are assuring us that they will be remedied.
To keep up with your personal estimated shipping date for your order, please visit, http://shipping.getnarrative.com/. It will be updated with the latest information we have.
The Narrative Team