Anyone involved in volume manufacture knows the old adage ‘if it aint broke don't fix it’; because any slight change in a process seems inevitably to cause an unforeseen problem, and problems in volume manufacture means expensive junk or loss of reputation. We have certainly had both of these trying to develop processes and increase output but it is essential to move forward.
One of the dilemmas has been ensuring the durability of the flight section of Bird2. This is the most vulnerable part and is the thinnest and most difficult to produce. In theory the patented principle of dividing the flight into two sections makes an easier moulding with a faster cycle but there has been years of tool changes and trials to get this right. Once in production the problem has been the level of inspection necessary to ensure quality. Perfectly good looking mouldings moulded under set conditions can still be brittle, sometimes only apparent after several days by which time the product is out there. Tests that should indicate durability have proved unreliable and destruction tests obviously can only be performed on a small sample of mouldings which statistically should work but in practise are problematic.
Luckily we have managed, through speeding up one of our in-line processes, to monitor the eventual strength of the flight moulding in a simple way. This means that we now have immediate 100% inspection integrated into the moulding process at no extra cost which means I can sleep soundly for the first time in two years.
Hi, I'm the designer of the revolutionary Bird2 shuttlecock. Let's change Badminton for the better, together; all comments and feedback are essential to perfecting our products.