Apr-May 2021 Progress Update
June 04, 2021
We still haven’t been able to ship machines from this current batch. The calibrating and testing process has been longer than we expected as we have spent additional time on these final steps, fine-tuning and increasing our quality control standards as we are moving along.
We’ve added a few more tests to spot and correct some minor issues some users reported. These issues were arising when knitting 5 or 6 color jacquards, with the clump sensor giving false warnings. That has been corrected with more knitted samples and further mechanical adjustments.
We decided to go for a small batch of 10 machines this time as we have been wrapping up our operations in China and these machines, whilst they work perfectly well, are very inefficient for us to assemble.
Now, most of the machines are fully calibrated and we have started preparing the logistics to ship them. This process has also added delays as we’ve spent additional time getting quotes from different shipping companies to get better prices.
We expect to ship all the machines between June and July. These machines are the last ones we will make and ship from China.
Re-Design for Manufacturing and Assembly
Our current design has been a major roadblock for the growth of Kniterate, stopping us from being able to scale production and fulfill all the orders in a timely manner.
Today, we are very happy to announce that the production, assembly, and calibration of the new prototype in our new factory in Europe has been completed successfully. This is an important milestone for the company as this re-design of the machine will finally allow us to ramp up production and reduce lead times.
Having said that, this won’t be an overnight change. With the development being finished, we are now in preparation to start purchasing components for the next batch of machines, that will be produced in Europe. As much as we are excited about that, we want to be cautious. Since machines will be assembled differently and in a new environment, we will start slowly, making 10 machines as well, to make sure we have a smooth transition and can polish most of the details before we get to scale. This safe but slow approach is inevitably adding more delays to shipping and we are estimating these first machines will start leaving the new factory in September. It is next year when we expect to really scale up operations.
We will soon provide a further update in regards to how meaningful for us it is to assemble machines in Europe, who is our new manufacturing partner, and, how this is helping us get closer to achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals.
We have some exciting work going on behind the scenes. We are preparing the launch of the updated software this summer with new symbols for shaping and introducing our first adjustable templates for a beanie and a sweater. We can’t show our current development yet, but we have a tiny sneak peek for you from a later release: A fresh new look for our modules!
The modules, such as the start, bind-off, and jacquard, will move from the menu ribbon on the right, into the main canvas, just next to the piece you are designing. You can easily add a module and adjust its settings as you like. Above you can see a piece that has the bind-off module activated, and the start module is ready to be added with a button at the bottom of the piece. Do you want to modify your chosen settings after activating a module? Simply click the module button next to the piece and make the changes needed.
We’ve also spent some time improving our documentation. Our support page contains articles on everything Kniterate, like setting up the machine, how to use and maintain it, and programming a design in our software. The software chapter has different sections:
- Getting Started, where you get introduced to the different elements of Knierate’s design app.
- Pattern Mode, where you learn how to create colorwork using jacquards.
- Stitch Mode, where you learn how to program different stitch types and basic structures.
- Troubleshooting, where you can find solutions to issues that come up.
Both ‘Getting Started’ and ‘Stitch Mode’ have a bunch of new articles that will make it a lot easier to translate your creative ideas into a design. You can learn about the relation between stitch size and takedown, or how to program a full milano fabric for example. Keep an eye on our software support articles, there are plenty more coming up!
Kniterate is growing
Introducing Katy Grieve, our new Customer Relations and Sales Associate.
Katy is a multi-disciplinary creative and teacher, working in fashion in the fields of knitwear design, sales, trend forecasting, and creative design. With a master’s in fashion knitwear design, she has experience using a wide range of knitwear machinery and computer-aided design software. She loves to travel, meet new people and see new places, and she moves frequently between the UK and Europe. Based in the Netherlands, Katy believes that the incredibly fast pace of innovation in knit technology, stitch possibilities, and construction techniques means you can be forever learning about the exciting world of knitwear.
You can now book a demo with Katy here.