The status is we are making new tooling
I am very annoyed at myself for sort of breaking my internal rule, which is to not reveal anything publicly until we have it on hand. I'm not a fan of teasing and revealing when in progress. The European company we have been working with for 3 (!!!!) years is slow, very slow but we decided to stick by them as they have huge experience in aluminium cookware, and the Robot was primarily made of Aluminium and my experience is mostly stainless steel. So with a contract, a confirmed timetable and samples form our own tools on hand I thought it was ok to reveal the Robot. The tooling revisions were slow, glacially slow in fact and it was like pulling teeth.
So I split up the project into 2 areas and the European company will focus on a few items only and we will directly handle the bulk and especially the fine detailed items that have very high tolerances. Right now I have started new toolings with our existing stainless investment casting company and they have performed miracles. This time of year is absolutely the worst time of year to start any new item in China as production slots are full and they have zero time for even thinking about new items. But we were able to adjust the drawings for the wax molds within a few days and they are making those molds now.
Maybe it's a different way of doing business, but I found the chinese factories are so efficient and eager, and stick to drawings. What was taking 6 months is now taking just a few weeks. No basket company in Europe would even consider our filter basket as they did not have the production capabilities any more.
Anyway the new way forward is considerably more expensive, a lot more work for Cafelat since we will now takeover the project management and my unit costs just increased by 50%, but hopefully will result in getting this thing finished sooner rather than later and prevent any further delays.
I will update again towards the end of this month.
The good news is the coffee and water will only ever touch stainless steel.