American Prototype saves the day

Yet again Saleae stumbles in the inventory department.  One of our suppliers (not the one in the title of this post) who makes the Logic aluminum cases failed to deliver despite massive lead time.  Ultimately I’m the one at the helm of this thing so it’s my fault.  And certainly my problem!  Here’s some takeaways:

1.  If a supplier has historically been late and otherwise problematic, that’s not going to change with time.  (maybe it will, but hoping is not a good strategy)

2.  Order product from your backup suppler before it becomes obvious that you’re going to go out of stock. (duuh, I know)

So I called up our first supplier (well, the first one who did serious quantities) and luckily for us they were happy to help us out.  It costs much more of course but at least we have parts coming in now.  Meanwhile we’re quoting/sampling with another, lower cost supplier that I trust from the other stuff they’ve done for us.  AP knows this.

Check this out.  The bar stock at the left is what Logic is made of. It’s extruded 6061 aluminum.  The shiny machined piece is a LOGIC-TOP part, completely machined on one side.  It’s not sitting on a square piece of aluminum, it’s all one piece.  This gets turned over and the back side is machined.  Then the part is “tumble de-burred” to clean it up and give it a smooth texture.  Then they go off to the anodizer, and last they are laser etched.

When I was down at American Prototype I shot this video.  You can’t see much, but you get the idea.  It was extreemly cool to see in person.  I really like the automatic tool changes in particular.