The increased flow of new orders is not letting up. If anything it’s getting worse as more people discover the joys of owning a EV. The increase in Z2K orders without a corresponding increase in Z1Ks shows me that a number of people are switching away from Z1K’s to Curtis controllers. I can’t blame them for that; 6 months is a long time to wait for a controller. Still I do feel bad that people have to suffer with a Curtis when they really want a Zilla. For that reason and because I’ve decided that this upward trend may be a longer term upswing, I’m taking steps to speed things up at the shop while trying to keep our costs reasonable.

First I should review. Everything has been going as planned in the last month. Carrie built sub-assemblies while I took a much needed break in warmer weather. I came back to a smooth running shop with piles of stuffed PC boards awaiting test. I expect we can assemble and test a mixed batch of both 1000 and 2000 Amp Zillas this week. This should have us shipping orders placed up to mid August of last year.

As for speeding things up, two events are on the horizon:

First off, we have a new assistant starting Monday. With any luck Jack will turn out to be as helpful as he seems and we’ll be speeding through production. At least until the Fall when he runs off to grad school. I’m hoping that he will help us reel in the backorders faster than ever.

The other action that I hope will help speed things up is that I’ve ordered a used pick and place machine to automate our surface mount PC board assembly. This is not exactly low cost, but I believe it will pay for itself within a few years. The machine is a Quad IVc from the mid 1990’s and with the ability to place 6000 components per hour should be able to handle all of our SMT assembly needs.

On the other side things the news is not all rosy. There are a couple of parts on the Hairball and Zilla that have recently become obsolete with no alternates. As a result I will have to re-layout the PC boards. While I am doing that I’ll be sure to optimize the design for use on the new Quad. I just hope I can complete the new designs and testing before we run out of the critical parts.

So, that’s the latest. Thanks again for your patience.