We have gone into production! At long last we can finally say that the materials are ordered and things are kicking off.
We have had some unforeseen delays which we will outline below:
We extensively tested the welding between the female part and the ring. This has to be as strong as the stainless steel itself as it takes the entire weight of items on the tray in a lever action.
We experimented with MIG, TIG and Laser welding for this part and each have their own relative benefits. The laser welding was very neat but failed up to 20kg weight placed on the tray.
Yes, that’s a lot more than can fit on the tray but when I started this business I said I wanted to make products that would last a long long time and nothing has changed.
We finally settled on TIG welding as the strongest method. It does require a lot of polishing and tidying up but the metal ring itself bends before the weld does. So pretty much as strong as can be plus it does look neat. (although this part is mostly hidden from view when in use)
This was something we always wanted to include in the design and we have included our logo mark and logo text ‘Single Handed’ on the Female part of the Tipsi Tray - the circular part where the handle clips in. It looks great.
This is something vital to the function of the Tipsi Trays and it means there is no need for mechanical fixings or moving parts. Our tolerance for the angle of the female part is to 0.5 degrees which ensures the weight of the handle keeps itself in place.
This wasn’t something we originally intended for customers to do or be able to do but we have found that its really easy to adjust the tension/strength of grip that the handle has. If you want to remove the handle almost every time the Tipsi Tray is used you can use it as it is, or press the handle down gently on top to open up the mouth of the female part. This makes the grip loosen meaning the handle is easier to remove. If you rarely remove the handle and wish for a tighter fit, you can press the female part and ring upside down on the floor to close the grip of the female part ever so slightly. The male part of the handle can then be pushed in the female part and is gripped much more tightly. Of course we dont recommend adjusting regularly as the metal will weaken over time if bent repeatedly back and forth. In normal use it will last a long time.
Samples are always extremely important when it comes to new manufacturing projects. They allow us, the inventors and designers to check the manufactured product against what we originally set out to create. Believe it or not we are currently on our 4th ‘final sample’. Perfection takes time and we will strive for nothing less. This sampling process has unfortunately delayed things by almost 2 months. We would rather do this and create a far better product than to release an inferior product sooner.
Packaging and Printing
In each box we have managed to avoid plastic! All of our Tipsi Trays will be wrapped in branded paper (which you can save for Christmas) which works well as a great alternative to plastic. We actually sent a Tipsi Tray to China, the US, UK and back in this packaging to test it against the very worst that UPS handlers could throw at it.
We have done some extensive testing in the dishwasher and found one potential issues. Super hot washes can distort the plastic tray meaning that it doesnt fit or sit correctly in the ring. Although the dishwasher in question was in a bar and the version that is super super hot. So take it steady on the heat!
Delivery and Shipping
Shipping became a really big issue almost as soon as we had launched with Covid skyrocketing air shipping prices in China. We have a shipping partner lined up in the US and UK who will be fulfilling orders for us. The US arm will fulfill rest of the world orders. UK will fulfill European orders. It is in fact cheaper to ship to the US and then to the rest of the world than it is to ship directly from China at the moment.
We will keep you updated on when we are able to ship the Tipsi Trays out. All being well and production being on time we can hopefully start shipping by sea to the UK and US around the end of September. So likely fulfilling order in early November. We cannot apologise enough for the delays but to say were operating amid a worldwide pandemic we haven’t done too badly. We will update you on production, mid production inspections and when were ready to ship! Exciting times ahead!