Going down the SMT line.
Happy Thursday Team KANOA! Things have been absolutely crazy, as we're now in production!
The Silicon Valley is often regarded as the tech capital of the world. We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to work in an area where true innovation occurs. When we first started our journey, we wanted to produce KANOA with as much oversight as possible, so we made it our goal to produce KANOA within the US.
China, being a leader in manufacturing, has the capabilities of producing products extremely efficiently at a quick turnaround rate. However, being a small company in San Francisco, on the verge of creating their first ever product, we wanted total control over the manufacturing process.. Our ultimate goal is to have our earphones come off the assembly line, and be everything we envisioned them to be (OCD, I know).
The SMT machine at work.
A US manufacturer that can create a complex consumer electronics product is virtually impossible. No other company chooses to manufacture in the US, but we wanted to ensure that all of you received the absolute best from our team.
We had to be creative with our approach to make US manufacturing all work. Being in a tech capital, we have access to state of the art manufacturers that are skilled in a specific field of technology. We broke KANOA down into separate parts, so that we can divvy up the manufacturing process.
Here’s a snapshot of where your KANOA Wireless Earphones are being manufactured. Different cities around the Bay Area, focusing on one specific function, in order to bring KANOA to life.
Sunnyvale, CA – Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing
San Jose, CA – Manufacturing Technical Specifics and Support
Milpitas, CA – Internal Electronics Manufacturing
Fremont, CA – Printed Circuit Board Assembly and Testing
Pleasanton, CA – Mechanical Parts Manufacturing
In San Francisco, CA - this is where all of the individual components come together to create your pair of KANOA earphones. All assembly, quality assurance testing, and logistics will be handled here.
Carefully removing our charging boards from the SMT tray.
The past week, we have been solely focused on the manufacturing of KANOA. Most of our days are spent at our manufacturing facilities, across the Bay Area - monitoring, reviewing, and testing the parts that are coming off the line.
Yesterday, we manufactured our pentagon circuit boards, but as we were reviewing the boards that were coming off the line, we noticed that the performance of the antenna was not where it should be. We further inspected the boards in a DAGE X-Ray machine, and noticed that the impedance of the antenna was off. What this means is that the input signal of the antenna was not matching the corresponding output. If KANOA was assembled without catching this minor issue, and production was at full scale, antenna performance would be much weaker than what was intended (something we definitely don’t want to happen with our wireless earphones).
Examining our KANOA Printed Circuit Boards
Our engineers are currently fine-tuning the antenna to match the impedance. Luckily, this issue is not hard to resolve, but it does take time. Over the last couple of months, our team has made incredible progress, and has done everything in our power to meet our June timeline. However, we need a few more weeks to fine-tune the antenna to ensure that our wireless earphones actually perform their primary function – play premium audio, completely wirelessly. We’re estimating that first units will begin shipping in Mid-July.
I know many of you were set on our June release, but we can’t rush the tuning process, especially at these crucial final stages before our release. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience, and we can’t thank you enough for your support.