February 09, 2012
We had a small setback. The engineers called late Wednesday and delayed our technicians trip to
the PLC programmers place until Friday.
They did this because it turns out they have to completely rebuild the
control panel wiring rack which will take a good portion of the day
Thursday. The good news is that the lead
programmer has delayed a vacation that was to start Friday to stay and work on
this project which means they are all taking the time element of this project
seriously. If all goes smoothly, we
should have the new motors programmed and the machine making cigarettes by the
end of the day Friday. Cross your
fingers and pull for us.
In yesterdays update, we told you that we were working on
many small things. If you saw the
Revolution Machine at the trade show in Las Vegas and want to throw out any
suggestions, now is the time for you to tell us. By the time you have read this post, it actually may be too late to tell us, but
every idea will be weighed and considered so chime in if you’ve got something.
Friday, February 10, 2012
the stepper motor didn’t work. Actually, that’s not true, the stepper
motor worked well, everything got programmed, and all was coming up
roses until we introduced tobacco to the process. Then the motor did
not perform as well as our existing motors. It turns out that gear box
that the stepper motor was connected to was not geared right. Our
engineers are setting up meetings for Monday with the stepper motor
company and an independent motor specialist in order to determine the
correct motor and gear ratio so that we don’t go through a bunch of days
of trial and error.
This is not
the report we expected or wanted to write today, but it is what it is. Hopefully we will have a clear course on Monday afternoon.
February 21, 2012
Today we have confirmed that we now have the right motor and
gear box combination. We were
successful in operating the compaction and injection functions flawlessly. Even though we’ve only been stalled on this
part of the project for a few weeks, it has felt like forever. It feels good to be moving forward again.
We now need to make a few changes to the rest of the machine
to accommodate the new motor hardware. Sometime
next week we should have the whole machine back together making cigarettes with
an operating carousel. At that point, we
will start making cigarettes 10 hours per day to stress test the machine. It’s important for us to find any weak links,
and engineer them out, before producing units for sale.