The modifications on the top/bottom parts did help the warpage quite a bit and so the process is encouraging. The problem is in the details. One of the features was "forgot" to be put in and those that were put in were a result of what they called "hand machining", so they are not yet precision. One was even not centered on the part. This was the result of five days work. Then I was informed that they made a company decision to take a long holiday weekend, so they are not starting on the side parts until today. It continuously appears the details are fixable, but there is the nagging reality that they either can not understand the job the first time or they are just lazy. For those who don't know the history, this is a subcontractor who was brought on by a general contractor. The general was let go in the last two months due to these delays, but the sub is under an arrangement which makes it a long backward step to pull the program.
The general concensus is that the details will get worked out with the current program. However, while I will do nothing to slow down this program I am now going ahead with a parallel effort in which these parts will be individually machined. Again, the current program will be forced as fast as possible. The machined product will cost about 20% more to manufacture and both programs have to be amortized over future operations, so I really hope the current program works out. It's just that, like you, I can not emotionally or, practically, as a business, continue to hope for "this week". We will now have a race between two competing models from two different manufacturing processes (and different vendors). It's going to take several days just to modify the design for machining and over all I'm budgeting three weeks before I can ship products via the machining approach, so it's not that this is a quick fix. I'll just feel better knowing that there is a fall-back (or forward) position.
Robert hit the nail on the head. It is good to have the update and the information ,although not what I was hoping for, makes sense. It is doubtful that having competition from another company will make the first sub do a better job. If they do not understand the project and are not ready to go the extra mile to make you happy they are probably starting to hope the project will just go away. You probably had this feeling yourself long ago. Anyway Shawn, this is the type of informed contact we appreciate and it looks as if I will take a deep breath and start hoping for a June 1st delivery. later
Since you are obviously a perfectionist, and for good reason (optics), can you tell all of us who have been waiting for some time what these pieces you are struggling with do? I'm assuming they are the side panels that hold the prism together - which would seem pretty darn important that they are exact.
I bet that you can't wait until you are posting 'thank you' notes for everyone screaming how awesome this thing is.
Brian, the primary issue is that while the grooves that hold/seal the glass components appear correct, there are enough minor warpages in the four parts that form the lens housing that, when assembled, there will be residual stresses on the grooves that the housing has to fight in maintaining optical alignment. Over an extended period this might cause a change in the performance as the housing slowly loses the battle. The secondary issue is like the feeling you'd have if the door of a new car didn't line up with the rest of car very well even though it was obviously designed that way. If there isn't quality in one area, what does it mean in the areas you can't see? This isn't to say that these parts can't be built, it's just that the vendor is not appreciating the level of quality required. I understand that we can't have things absolutely perfect, but these issues are far from splitting hairs at this point.
I very much appreciate your concern over the quality and longevity of this product. Such concerns will only increases the value of this product in the market place. It really makes the $600 many of us paid look like the deal of the century. The increased costs will be born by those that buy at the final retail price. So those that are waiting better buy at the prerelese price before it goes to $1,999.99.
Thanks again rick
p.s Shawn just how many preorders did you receive from avs anyway. It would be great to know how much we helped.
[This message has been edited by rick e (edited 04-17-2001).]