Jun-Jul 2021 Progress Update

August 20, 2021

News

First of all, apologies this update is coming out later than usual. Summer always leaves us understaffed, making us slower at communications.

Something new that has kept us busy lately is the preparation for fundraising. If you are interested in helping us move the company to the next level and unlock lots of new creative experiences, please reach out.

Now, back to the newsletter:

Manufacturing

In July, new machines shipped to the US, Canada, and the UK. Machines going to the EU are the ones that remain to be shipped from this batch. We are now collecting shipping expenses for those, and the shipment is scheduled towards the end of August.

In the meantime, we started sourcing components for the next batch of machines a few weeks ago. Most of them are still in the works, but we received a few:

Machined carriage parts in steel. Each carriage has tens of different steel movable parts, in charge of individually selecting the needles to carry different actions.


Stepper motors are custom-made for the carriage. These motors move some of the cams of the carriage.


Needle beds are carefully inspected before entering the assembly line.

Most of the components for the machines of this next batch will be made in China, as we are slowly transitioning suppliers to Europe. Having said that, some of these components will be very difficult to source in Europe. We will continue working with Chinese suppliers until we figure out how to do them locally. In some cases, it will be a challenge solved with economies of scale. As we scale our orders, we have more leverage with suppliers and can ask them to dedicate more time to our requests.

And this is currently an issue we are facing in China, where economies of scale play a more significant role. The issue we have with Chinese suppliers is that they are not prioritizing our orders since we are still very small for Chinese manufacturing standards. They are used to work on hundreds or thousands of pieces per order. We will scale production to larger orders in future batches, but we are keeping it very small for the upcoming one to make sure we aren’t making expensive missteps with the first production run in Europe.

The fact that Chinese manufacturers are prioritizing other larger orders has introduced some delays for the next batch. Its new estimated shipping date is now November-December 2021. We need to receive the components in China, inspect, and ship them to Europe when everything is correct. It then takes around 45 days for them to arrive at our new production facilities. From that point, it will be at least a month until the first machines start being shipped.

For the following batches, we will start sourcing components earlier to prevent setbacks of this kind. Please visit the updated timeline here (backers only forum) to know more about your machine.

Software

Good progress has been made on the software side towards releasing the new GUI later this summer.

This time, we are sharing the new stitches palette. We’ve made it easier to use and have added many more possibilities.

We’ve created symbols that combine different actions to simplify the design process. In most cases, racking will now be automatically added with the symbols that require moving stitches around, like decreasing or increasing your piece.

Kniterate is growing

We are introducing Leon Fedotov, our new front-end software developer. Leon has been working with us for over two months, and great progress has been made for the new graphic interface of the design app.

Leon is a self-taught engineer, a maker, and an independent internet explorer. He loves to spend time thinking about innovation and technology, designing electronics, and woodworking, among other things. Growing up with a mom and sister who knit, machine knitting was a perfect match for his latest hobby – one which turned into an obsession, a knitting machine collection – and a job at Kniterate! Now his Mom can help him with homework again 🙂

Machine’s new price

We are very excited about manufacturing machines in Europe. It aligns better with our sustainability goals and gives us better control of the production process. However, this move comes with additional costs: the initial setup costs, the parts made locally, the local worker’s rate, etc., to produce every machine. For this reason, we are increasing the price of the machine.

On the 1st of October this year, the Kniterate machine will change to:

USD15,999 | CAD20,499 | EUR15,999 | GBP15,999

After a few increases due to evolving designs, this will be its final price, with its final design and our new manufacturing home in Spain. Until September 30, you can still purchase the machine at its current price of:

USD13,999 | CAD17,799 | EUR13,999 | GBP13,999

Thank you for reading!

-Kniterate Team

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