In case you missed this Kickstarter update back in November in all the hustle and bustle of the pre-holiday prep, here it is again!
First Batch Shipment Inbound Of Pocket Drivers
We’ve been out to the factories that are producing the metal parts for the pocket drivers, and the big thing on our agenda has been keeping things on schedule. There is nothing quite like being able to see a problem before it un-folds. This is exactly what we noticed while watching the chucks being produced; we had a hunch that they would not all be manufactured on time as we were promised, just by looking at what had been done and the cycle times on the machines. I think they were operating on the ‘it will be all right on the night’ methodology!
Upon realising this we arranged for a split delivery, so they’re sending everything they’ve made up to this point and will keep on working on the rest. It will cost us a bit more to do this in shipping costs, but it will ensure we don’t have any delays in getting your Pocket Drivers out to you.
The plan is to get the parts to MetMo HQ and we can start building as we planned then the rest will arrive just as we need more. It’s a bit more on the edge than we'd like, but will not cause any delays in the end and that’s the main thing!
This means that we currently have all the parts for the pocket drivers in some form currently on the move to us!
The Good Bits From The Visit
We go to the factories now we can instead of using an agent to check components during production, rather than after everything’s been assembled. This means it’s a whole lot easier to catch any faults or niggles and prevent them slipping through the cracks. Plus it’s much easier to fix up the parts prior to heat treating and anodising!
The factory we visited specialises in CNC turning, running 8 Swiss-type CNC lathes with full material stock auto loading systems (swoon). On these machines the chucks, first stages of the barrel, and end cap are machined before the parts are put into CNC milling machines to make the final features.
We were so impressed with the surface finishes of the stainless steel parts (notoriously difficult to machine) that were coming off of these machines! Big shout out to the operators who set those up!
Going For Gold
While out and about in various factories we picked up a full set of 20 stainless steel pocket drivers. These have been picked out and are destined to become the gold tier! Here we have just polished them, and then they’ll need a clean up before they're sent to the gold platers. We used to do the gold plating ourselves many years ago but spending days messing around with chemicals became less and less fun, so now we get a local company to do it for us :)
Leather Products Shipping On The 23rd
We have just recieved a second round of samples from the production batch of leather pouches and Pocket Packs. We noticed with the pocket pouches that despite our best efforts from the previous campaign they are still quite tight to use at first. This is the nature of using real leather as each piece is slightly different and initially can be quite tight to get the bits in and out, but after a little while it does loosen up. We’ve put all the parts in this pack and stretched it out a bit which has pushed it into the right shape, and it’s been great since then.
We will probably release a video showing the best way to set it up for the first time and the best layout in the so you can get the best experience from it when it’s brand new before it wears a bit and loosens up.
These are all now being finalised and will be ready to send to us on the 23rd of November.
Packaging Is On A Boat
The box inserts are all on their way! These moulded pulp guys are one of the furthest away parts that we had made for this project. They are now loaded onto a boat and are heading towards us, all on schedule. These will combine with our outer boxes that are making a much shorter journey from the Netherlands, for these we have a very reliable delivery date of the first week of December. These packaging items are the bulkiest things we have, so it really starts to get real when these arrive!
Ancillary Bits Are Two Weeks From Arriving
We’ve got rather a large amount of bits on their way to us right now that are due to land in two weeks! From the imperial and metric hex bit sets to the different bits that make up the pocket pack. We’re about to have thousands of ancillary bits that need to be checked and assembled.
With all these different parts inbound, we had to start thinking hard about where it was all going to live. Our warehouse has already been subject to a lot of reshuffling, but we’re still expecting boxes upon boxes to arrive. We’ve gone ahead and rented a storage unit close by to the warehouse to store some of our extra packaging materials and ancillary parts, and we’ve been able to give ourselves a bunch more space to play with. With that came the realisation that we had to actually get stuff from the storage unit to the warehouse… so in comes the MetMobile. We took a mini road trip to go and collect the new light of our lives. Just look at it in all its glory! All we need to do now is get it branded up! (or start a drain inspection side hustle)
Some Fun With Design Rights
We also wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who’s been in touch over the past week or so about various counterfeit products of MetMo that have been cropping up across the internet. It’s an ongoing battle we have with this kind of thing, ever since we launched the Grip people have been telling us they can copy our product because it is based on an old patent. That's where the misunderstanding comes in, yes we use old patents as a basis and we have seen people making replicas of those, but we have mostly completely redesigned and upgraded those original patents and in doing so have been able to get new patents and registered designs on what we make.
To be fair, we don't mind someone else remaking the original design from 100 years ago, what we do mind is people who copy our every part, look and feel of how we have done it and then put our name above the adverts to mislead people into thinking they are buying from us when they are not. Its an age old problem and I’m sure we are not the first people to have anything like this happen.
Since the start of this year we have been working with a legal firm, to enforce and take down copies like this, and since the start of the year we have successfully removed 807 infringing products from marketplaces all over the world. So hopefully we can protect people from buying sub-par products or getting scammed!
Our designs we make now for instance are registered designs in the UK, Europe, and China so we can better tackle these copies. We do appreciate everyone who stands up for us online and on the Kickstarter platform (that is increasingly taking a back seat on this issue) it’s so hard for our small team to keep on top of and we really just want to get on with making new and interesting things, and you guys are allowing us to do that, so a full hearted thank you from me and the MetMo team!
Sorry for the monologue, but I hope you enjoyed some of the background info and struggles, that I'm not sure many campaigns share.