Here is a statement that Keyreative posted recently on our Chinese forum regarding the delays on keysets from previous GBs, check out the original post here. We would like to share this with you, so here's a translation of the post:
Jan,2021 KAT Production Status and Doubleshot PBT Update
It’s been 1-2 months since we last posted. We would like to report our current progress on the previous GB sets.
- Injection Workshop Update
The quality of the keycaps injected by factories we out-sourced before Nov.2020 were unstable, yielding a high defective rate.
Thus we are setting up our own injection workshop. Now all machines have been tuned and tested and mass production injection is already on going. By doing this we could do full inspection right next to the machines. This should get us better quality assurance.
- New Air Dye-sub Device Update
Previously, air dye-subbing process required a lot of manual work and intervention. Quality was not stable: color difference and dye-sub legend misalignment and drifting happen very often. In Oct. 2020, we designed our new dye-subbing machines.
Design plan of the new machine
Fully assembled new machines
Programmable logic controller programing
Machine Aging Test
Many people might not have seen the dye-subbing process shown below. With the help of the newly designed structure from the machine, we will be able to monitor the dye-subbing process more easily.
By now, we have fully assembled 4 machines, and they are all undergoing aging and stability tests. Designs for auxiliary devices have also been finished, and they are currently being assembled.
We expect all new machines to be online by late Jan.2021. Then, we will re-evaluate our production capacity. This should solve our issue with insufficient capacity theoretically.
Current production status:
- Injecting Drifter and Arctic (Arctic’s base keycaps were being re-injected with minor adjustments to the plastic ingredient formula)
- Packing Lich. ETA: Mid Jan
3. Dye-subbing Oasis. Regular dye-sub done, air dye-sub ongoing. ETA: Mid Feb
- One more thing
In order to speed up and better some of the previous keyset from GB and potential future sets, we designed and developed the doubleshot version of KAT PBT keycaps. 3 test molds have been made up to now and we have good test runs so far.
The “PAUSE” legend we tested still has inconsistent thickness. This issue has already been addressed.
Since Chinese New Year is near and the influence of the pandemic to the manufacturing of the new molds is uncertain, our current estimation for the factory to fulfill the new molds would be on Apr.20, 2021.
We will then, taking the following factors into consideration, decide to upgrade some GB keysets to doubleshot PBT without extra charge to vendors and designers.
- Overall manufacturing progress of air-dye subbing
- The key design aspect of the keyset (novelties, legends, etc..)
- Buyer’s opinion
- Designer and vendors’ opinion
- The molds are at an early stage. We cannot provide the exact time when they will be eligible for mass injecting. However, we are purchasing and testing doubleshot injecting machines before the molds are finished.
- We have yet to determine which keyset will be changed into doubleshot PBT molding. We will analyze the manufacturing progress, time and most importantly the opinion from buyers before making any decision. (if a majority of the buyers do not want to switch to doubleshot, we will keep using dye-sub)
- We cannot provide how efficient it will be with doubleshot molding with similar reasons above. Therefore no exact production cycle or timespan will be available at the moment.
- Something more
2020 is a very stressful year. We are being questioned and complained by many. We truly understand how the buyers feel. We would feel the same if there were no immediate and precise response on when the GB will be fulfilled or even how the production is going.
We accept all complaints, questions and incomprehension from the community.
However, we truly cannot put out a certain answer when the new devices are not ready, when testing molds are still being tested, and when the doubleshot structural designs are still being proved. For a long time, we have been avoiding the zFrontier community and not knowing how to face the problem.
Your order is safe. We did not squander your money to buy cars or houses or invest in other businesses.
We have detailed and strict contracts with zFrontier to secure the money.
We spend almost all of our profit into new machines, molds and developing new manufacturing procedures. And new GBs will be postponed for some time.
Thank you everyone for your trust. If you still believe in Keyreative, if you still believe in us, we will be doing our best to fulfill your order.
Since the workload is heavy, we will not be able to answer your comments or messages one by one. Thank you again for your support!
With recent talks with Keyreative, they said that the new dye-subbing machines are working more efficiently. The color difference between keys and batches, and legend misalignment issues are more controllable.
Moving in 2021, we will also be working on a more consistent update regarding Keyreative keysets.
Thank you for your support and understanding!