First off, we appreciate your understanding as we remain dedicated to our original project goal, to bring the uKeg product to market so craft beverage lovers can keep their favorite beers and other beverages fresh.
uKeg 64 Production
uKeg 64’s are finally shipping!! We’ve received 294 finished uKegs via air cargo last week.
In order to make sure that every uKeg looks and works great when you get it, we’re doing 100% quality inspection on each unit before shipping out to backers. This extra step is making these ship out a bit slower than previously planned, but we feel it’s important to ensure the quality level we all expect for the uKeg. Some of the tests we’re doing are leak testing, flow testing, assembly quality, and cosmetics. The factory is working to improve their processes to eliminate the need for this step, but we’ll continue 100% inspections until the quality meets requirements. We want your uKegs to work well and look good!
uKeg 64’s getting 100% inspection in our shop
Of these 294 units, we did receive a few copper samples, and they look good. However, due to our focus on improving incoming quality on the stainless bottle, no copper units will be shipping in this first batch. These will ship from the factory in a subsequent batch, around late October. We’ll update you once copper uKeg 64’s begin arriving.
The next batch of 600 units are due to ship by container next week. Then we plan to ramp to 1,700 units per week from there, which will begin to arrive to backers and customers in November. We’ll post another update when we confirm the next shipment.
The first ever pallet of uKeg 64’s
uKeg 64 SS and uKeg 64 Cu in factory packaging
uKeg 128 Production
As a reminder from our last update, the plan is to complete our first run of uKeg 64, then switch tooling over to make the uKeg 128 bottles. The neck spin forming machine needed to make the uKeg 128 bottle is nearly ready for testing. Our supply chain agent will be visiting the factory on October 12 to inspect the installation. Brian will be visiting on the first week of November to oversee the first production run of uKeg 128’s.
The bad news: Based on this schedule, and the shipping time required, we unfortunately expect to fulfill very few uKeg 128 orders before the end of 2015.
This is disappointing for us. And we understand this is disappointing for our backers as well. The cause of the delay is two-fold: One, all three teams (GW, supply chain agent, factory) have been focused on pushing through uKeg 64 production, and two, these products cannot currently be made in parallel because we are limited to one production line at the bottle factory. Thus delays in the uKeg 64 have pushed back the 128 schedule.
As a reminder, for those backers who pledged for both uKeg 64 and uKeg 128 rewards, we‘ll be shipping your uKeg 64 and other available rewards separately at our own expense.
Great American Beer Festival in Denver CO
It was great to meet a tons of Kickstarter backers at the GABF last weekend! We had a chance to demo the very first uKeg 64 SS and uKeg 64 Cu, which people really liked, and update backers on the current shipping schedule. We appreciated your support and patience as we’re pushing through making sure all the uKegs are working and meeting high quality standards.
Questions and Service
We’ve received several comments regarding email inquiries and wanted to provide an update. We shoot for a 24-48 hour response time, however, on occasion our response time may grow if we get a lot of inquiries. The latest project information can be found in the updates we’ve been posting on a monthly basis.
We also wanted to let all of you know again how much we appreciate your support and patience. We recognize that our original goal was to deliver in June and July, and that we’re currently on-pace to run about 5 months late due to the additional manufacturing process development, and quality assurance work required. We take this delay personally, and have worked diligently with our supply chain agent and our factory to solve issues and production delays by holding nightly conference calls and frequent onsite meetings.
We remain dedicated to delivering a high quality product to you that works great and is free from defects, albeit slower than originally planned.
Regards,The GrowlerWerks Team