New tablet stand for October 2021, news of upcoming version
This is the new slide-in tablet stand we're going to move to, starting with Decent espresso machines made in October 2021 (labelled v1.43). This is the only planned hardware change for that version.
Note the slot cut out of the chassis, in order to make this new feature possible. This is cut from the stainless steel of the front face and the aluminum chassis behind it. We weren't able to make this new feature work without modifying the chassis, which unfortunately makes it not backwards compatible to earlier machines.
With all other designs we tested (and we took 2 years to design and test this), we found them to wobble when tapped, which was super annoying. You can see in this video that this stand design is quite strong, and doesn't wobble. It appears permanently mounted to the chassis, if you were to guess, as you need to give it a good strong pull to get remove the tablet stand from the chassis.
This is the chassis that will start shipping in October, with the DE1 version we are labelling as v1.43. This is the only change in this version, from the DE1 we are currently shipping.
I do not yet have pricing for this v1.43, but it is likely that we will be raising prices, perhaps as much as 10%.
The Global Supply Chain is currently very Precarious
Products that need a lot of different parts are finding it hard to buy everything they need, in time to keep production going. Many car factories have stopped production, but as Ars Technical reports, there are shortages of many high tech products.
We are currently buying for this v.143 version, and finding that our parts costs have risen dramatically. Chips are particularly more expensive, with (for example) our Taiwanese-made CPU rising this month from $15 to $25 each.
What's causing these price increases? A vicious cycle, I think:
- certain product categories, such as ours, have seen huge increases in demand. If it makes your life at home better, chances are that it's selling well, due to COVID-induced lifestyle changes. Decent is ordering larger quantities of parts, but so are all our other supplier's clients. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/04 ... into-2023/
- factories were shut down during COVID, so they have to catch up anyway. At the same time, production capacity has gone down, as many factories went permanently out of business during the COVID shutdown.
- parts prices have gone up, delivery times have increased (typically, from 60 days now to 6 months)
- and so companies are ordering even more, stockpiling parts, to avoid factory shutdowns
- we previously were ordering enough for 7 months at a time. We're now buying for 2 years of parts.
- I think everyone is doing this, which is further driving up costs and delivery times.
- This week, we managed to order parts from the "spot market", at a huge markup, parts that were supposed to be delivered in April, but suddenly were delayed another 6 months. We literally had to pay whatever the sellers wanted to charge, otherwise we'd have to halt production.
Our white chassis supplier fired us a few weeks ago, for being too picky, but a few days ago we found a new supplier whose quality looks good. White is a notoriously difficult color to get in high quality, and I'm hoping the new supplier delivers.
Last week, things looked grim, like a July/August factory shutdown was inevitable. News this past week was all good, as we paid "whatever it takes" and we think we'll not have to stop producing our espresso machines due to parts lacking.