Despite the challenges with silicon component shortages and increased logistics costs, things are going very well with this production batch. We have just received a huge delivery of casings and PCBs (Heatle housings, and mother boards). We are very pleased with the surface finish and quality of these parts.
Also received another large quantity of disks and rods. We specified a vacuum hardening process for this batch, with a polished surface finish, and we are very happy with the results since the new disks are much less susceptible to scratches.
The next production steps
Whilst waiting for components, we were busy building the main sub-assemblies, (combinations of parts to make a single combined component). This will speed up the next steps making the production batch plug and play. The sub assemblies include, Wooden knob plus magnet, spring etc and the top ring assembly, with the glass, coil, adhesive, shield, and pcbs for the display and knob etc.
Our EMS manufacturing partner, based here in Berlin Germany continues to manufacture the PCBs that go inside the Heatle (of which there are 4 in total). Next steps will be programming, testing, final QA and then packaging. We hope to receive the packaging very shortly. This was heavily delayed also because of the global paper shortage.
Review of Heatle casings delivery in 2 colours, white and black.
We thoroughly check the measurements, surface finish and overall quality of the mass-produced parts. Thankfully are very happy with the quality being delivered from our trusted manufacturing partner.
Inner frame, invisible from the outside, featuring high-precision thread inserts for screws.
Flawless matte finish on the white outside cover.
The smooth, satin finish of the black outside cover has turned out equally impressive.
Splendid results with the wooden knob
Solid oak wooden knobs sourced from sustainable European supplies getting ready for sub-assembly on to the inner parts, magnet, spring etc.
Layers of wooden knobs (flipped over) after sub-assembly, ready to be clicked into the main Heatle assembly.
The design and manufacturing of this wooden knob (to be robust yet attractive) has been a worthwhile challenge. The velvety touch of the oak, the pleasant aroma and the smooth handling on the Heatle, we are very happy with the results.
We believe that wood conveys a touch of warmth and elegance. With the help from the manufacturers, we put a lot of time into perfecting the knob design. Each is hand-finished with high quality German oil. It’s probably the part of your Heatle that you will interact with the most, so it has to look and feel great.
Highly finished polished stainless steel Rods, all lined up after programming and testing. Next step is inserting the handle.
We are aiming to produce a lot more rods than Heatles. Since we opened up the pre-sale for additional rods, the demand has skyrocketed and we increased the production volume. A second rod doesn’t only serve as replacement, but also allows you to heat two cups at once, with Duo Mode.
You can pre-order a second Rod here (separately or in a bundle):
Next step after programming: adding the handle.
From Ukraine with skill and experience
Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine we have been actively supporting the effort to supply aid and services to the people in need. Now that we are in a phase of bulk manufacturing, we have on one hand the need for skilled technicians to assist with assembly and on the other a good opportunity to offer employment to Ukrainians that are looking to work and earn an income here in Germany.
Andriy’s story is quite worthy of sharing.
He was working for a firm in Crimea until it was annexed by Russia. He had to abandon his home and leave quickly. Eventually he found a new home in Kyiv and managed to find employment in a company that produces electrical appliances. In February 2022 he and his fiance went on a short holiday to Georgia. Travelling light, they packed their single suitcase as they usually do. The invasion of Ukraine began in the middle of their holiday. they could not return home. They eventually made it to Germany with the same single suitcase from months ago, nothing else.
We are happy to welcome Andriy to our team and we hope to help him back into a familiar routine amongst our friendly team and diverse community here in Berlin.
Andriy, our experienced engineer from Ukraine soldering components to the user interface board for liquid detection:
Components continue to arrive
After so many delays, we are celebrating every single package that comes in. We keep getting larger deliveries of chips and mechanical components. When we have enough components to make a batch, we go for it. It’s a lot to organise, given that we have many custom parts from different suppliers, but we make great progress every week.
Würth Elektronik is one of our key suppliers. They have a reputation for high quality products. The photo shows a batch of transformers that finally got delivered. They are an important part inside the Heatle for powering the device. They were ordered in May 2021. It’s great to be receiving components at last, but we are starting to run out of storage space. So, we are looking at a larger office space:
Our current office / lab / showroom is located within a shared workspace, which is great for early stage companies, the tech community and development, but we are starting to outgrow the space. We are starting to look to scale up to a nearby industrial complex, which is easy to move into and not affect the ongoing production work.
Photo showing the main hall which will be used for production assembly and QA checking. The building is located within a large and industrial complex in Berlin.
In other news
Duo mode successfully in use at home. It is important to use the same size discs as well as identical vessels to achieve correct results.
One customer has custom-made a device for brewing tea that can be used specifically with the Heatle rod. We will soon introduce a special, very convenient solution for this, but we are happy to see our customers getting creative. Heatle is meant to inspire.
This box may seem small, but there are enough tiny Bluetooth chips inside to enable a significant volume of this year's production. We had waited for over 16 months for delivery and were only able to secure an "early" delivery thanks to David's tireless efforts.