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Events

MJBizCon 2021: Vape-Jet Has Entered the Game

Two years ago our exec team showed up to MJBizCon 2019 in our signature hoodies with brochures in their pockets and high hopes. They networked while walking the expo floor and met with potential partners and customers offsite to establish working relationships and promote the only machine we had in production at that time; the Vape-Jet 2.0 fully-automatic filling machine.


Fast forward two years through a vaping crisis and a global pandemic to MJBizCon 2021. This year our team arrived on the expo floor with a dedicated booth, a new semi-automatic filling machine (Jet Fueler 2.0), an upgraded fully-automatic filling machine (Vape-Jet 3.0), a brand new automatic capping machine (Squish-o-Matic 1000), and our same signature hoodies. (Plus a few gold doge coins in our pockets.)

Vape-Jet Exec Team 2019 and 2021: Brian Kuo – CFO, Ryan Hoitt – CEO, Devon Reid – COO
Standard Currency at Vape-Jet

This year our crew was able to connect with hundreds of attendees looking for affordable automation solutions in the face of a nationwide labor shortage, economic inflation, and supply chain disruptions. Those we spoke to were looking for solutions to their production challenges that provided low labor costs, increased workflow efficiency, and allowed them to adapt to different cartridge types as the availability of their usual hardware has become less reliable in recent months. At Vape-Jet we pride ourselves on our ability to innovate, adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of our customers. All traits that have become increasingly important during a period where “unprecedented times” have become the norm.

Devon Reid Talking Through the Benefits of the Machine Vision Feature of the Vape-Jet Fully-Automatic Filling Machine
Vape-Jet Booth and a Visit from Nate with N.B.Oler

As we’ve grown as a company, we’ve expanded our network of partners.

Amongst these are brands like Arcane Aromatics, a new-to-market supplier offering botanical terpene blends, hemp botanical extracts, and hemp + botanical terpene blends available at prices you won’t find elsewhere. If you visited our booth at the convention, you likely would have picked up on the scent of Arcane’s samples before you even saw our team as these aromatic creations were impossible to miss. Visit ArcaneAromatics.com to learn more about their pre-launch catalog and get early access to their product line. (Pro Tip: Arcane offers partner pricing for current and new Vape-Jet customers for orders of 60mL through 1L.)

Grant of Arcane Aromatics Discussing Their Pre-Launch Catalog
A Peek at Arcane Aromatics’ Botanical Terpene Blends

Also on display at MJBizCon were products from Advanced Vapor Devices (AVD) who produce a variety of the highest quality vape hardware. All AVD products work seamlessly with the Vape-Jet and Jet Fueler filling machines, as well as the Squish-o-Matic 1000 capping machine. For oil brands and processors AVD offers a test hardware kit that includes cartridges, disposables and batteries at no cost. Learn more at AVD710.com.

Vape-Jet 3.0 Demoing Dry Runs with AVD Cartridges
The AVD Social Media Team Stopped by for a Quick Interview with CEO Ryan Hoitt

Another excellent hardware manufacturing partner present on the expo floor was the team at BeGreen Supply. They offer custom engineered and branded cannabis hardware and packaging solutions that can be filled with our automatic filling machines. BeGreen shares the Vape-Jet perspective that your brand “deserves the ability to react to shifts in market and customer demand” and offer custom branded hardware in 30 days or less allowing production to stay agile and flexible. Learn more at BeGreenSupply.com

The Jet Fueler 2.0 and a Variety of Compatible Cartridges Including BeGreen Supply

In addition to our partners in manufacturing and suppliers our team met with several current customers who had great feedback on their experience with our products. Recently our customer Alex of Dime Industries (CA) told us “The Jet Fueler speaks for itself. There’s not another machine on the market that will last a million fills with no maintenance.”

The Jet Fueler 2.0 Demo Unit on Display
A Variety of Compatible Cartridges by AVD, Ilo and More

If you stopped by our booth during the show you may have met another one of our customers, James of Natural Roots Extracts (OR) who remains one of our most loyal customers having used every variation of our machines from Vape-Jet 1.0 and Jet Fueler 1.0 up to our latest iterations. He was also one of the original test users of our new automatic capping machine and is credited with coming up with the official name, Squish-o-Matic 1000. James recently said “The Vape-Jet 3.0 has really blown my mind. The improvement to our workflow has been literally life-changing.” We’re glad he was able to attend the show and share his experience and expertise with anyone interested in our filling and capping solutions.

James of Natural Roots Extracts Discussing Cartridge Styles
James’ Vape-Jet 3.0 Unit Performing Dry Runs During the Show

All in all MJBizCon 2021 was a major success for the Vape-Jet team and a clear reflection of how far we have grown since hitting the expo floor in 2019. Thank you to everyone on the team who made this show possible. We’ll see you all again in 2022!

The Vape-Jet Booth
Brian Kuo – CFO, Ryan Hoitt – CEO, Sawyer Sheppard – Sales Rep
Two Legends Meet: Tommy Chong and Brian Kuo
Squish-o-Matic 1000 on Display
Until next year!
Categories
Uncategorized

Open Jobs

Manufacturing Technician I

We’re looking for a Manufacturing Technician to add to our fast-growing team! You will be responsible for building state-of-the-art robotic systems under supervision.

This position will report directly to the Director of Operations. The preferred candidate must have a desire to learn new technologies and adapt to rapidly changing processes. This is a wonderful opportunity to grow with a fast-moving startup that deploys robotics and machine vision to the cannabis industry. Please visit Vape-Jet.com and click on the “Team” tab to learn more about the team before applying. On-the-job training will be provided.

This position will require work to be done in-person at our manufacturing facility in Tigard.

Founded in 2019, Vape-Jet is an automation technology company in Tigard, OR, in the exciting world of ancillary cannabis solutions. Specifically, we manufacture automation machines and create software that automates filling for cartridges and other devices. To get a feel for our team and technology, check out: https://vape-jet.com/about/ . We are #startuplyfe, but we are kicking butt, and want someone to come join us to kick even more butt.

Responsibilities:

● Assemble electrical and mechanical components under the direction of the Director of Operations.

● Provide general shop assistance, including administrative tasks.

● Operate and maintain production equipment (3D printers and CNC mills).

● Restocking components, cleaning, and organizing production areas.

● Maintain inventory logs and perform shipping and receiving activities.

Qualifications:

● Excellent communication skills.

● Strong attention to detail and note taking required.

● Team-oriented with the ability to work independently as needed.

● Effective hand-tool (occasional power tools) usage and the ability to follow written and verbal instructions.

● The ability to stand for long periods of time and occasionally lift 50 pounds.

● Computer literacy including Windows OS and Office Suite (JIRA, Odoo/ERP familiarity is a plus).

● Previous electronics wiring experience desired.

Pay Rate/Method:

● 100% coverage for basic health benefits/dental (this is unheard of for a start-up…please take note that we take care of our people)

● Simple IRA with 3% matching (also unheard of for startup companies! Notice a trend?)

● 10 days paid vacation and paid holidays

● Flexible schedules (as long as clients are taken care of)

● Bi-weekly production bonus pool after 60 days.

● 4×10 schedule available after training if desired.

● Occasional cat memes

Categories
Vape Hardware

Vape Cartridges: History & Future

Vaping has been around for longer than you think, and their use case has morphed drastically from decreasing nicotine consumption to indulging in cannabis products. As the hysteria caused by lack of facts and misinformation from the recent EVALI crisis subsides – vape cartridges are slated for increased demand as the cannabis industry continues to rev its powerful engine.

There’s no better time than now to incorporate industry-leading automated vape cartridge filling technology to reap the benefits of tomorrow. Read along to understand how to scale up your vape cartridge production process to effectively reduce overhead and increase revenue, while improving consumer safety and quality control. 

The History of Vape Cartridges

Before vape cartridges existed as we know them today –  they were first a concept that was drawn up by Joseph Robinson in the 1930s. Although it’s unknown whether he created a  prototype – he is credited as the first person to come up with the idea.

From that point onward, many iterations of vaping devices came and went. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that vaping became a commercial success – thanks to the invention of the vape cartridge. However, all of these products were geared towards nicotine consumption in the form of e-cigarettes. [1]

As we fast-forward through time, vaping became a rapidly rising trend as of 2011 with over 7-million users. It’s since ballooned to over 41-million users as of 2018. [2]

It’s likely that the dramatic rise in use is the culmination of new and more reliable vape products and the convenience of the vape cartridge as a consumption device. Vape devices are unmatched in consumer preference when it comes to form-factor and ease of use.

The Modern-Day Vape Cartridge

Currently, vape cartridges can be filled with any type of oil – whether it’s THC, CBD, or nicotine-based. These oils should be produced according to regulations that demand safe production practices and ingredients. However, as evidenced by the recent EVALI crisis, shortcuts taken during the product formulation stage can have dire results.

Aside from the vape oil itself – vaping hardware and filling techniques are the most widely scrutinized aspects of vape cartridges. The reason behind this is due to the prevalence of the black market that continues to distribute faulty and ill-equipped vaping cartridges, or utilize filling processes that expose the oil to toxic materials. Poor handling techniques during the filling process can lead to product contamination, illness, and in severe cases injury and death. 

The vaping scandal of 2019 was the result of the black market selling tainted THC vape cartridges, which is widely believed to be the compound vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E was used to ‘cut’ the THC distillate, reducing the potency and reducing production costs.[3]

Since the EVALI crisis, the FDA and federal regulators have tightened their grip on the vaping industry, which means everything if your business incorporates or produces vape products.

A Growing Demand Despite Hesitations

According to Grand View Research, a leading market analysis group, the vape industry is slated to reach over $67 billion by 2027. The vape industry, which is tied with both the tobacco and cannabis industry, is currently worth $12 billion as of 2019. [5]

Global Vape Cartridge Users by Year
Source: Euromonitor Internationl via BBC

While the EVALI health crisis caused a public perception hit to the perceived safety of the vape cartridge, it is a good idea to remember why consumers chose them in the first place. While those using personal vaporizer devices for nicotine consumption list health and safety as their primary motivating factor in purchasing decisions, those consumers consuming cannabis and hemp derived products overwhelmingly select them for convenience and form-factor, not perceived health effects.

As consumer confidence rebounds, and proper QA techniques are adopted, the potential is sky-high for your vape-based businesses. 

What Does This Mean for Your Business?

With increased regulations and rapidly rising demand – your vape business is staring directly at the crossroads. How will you incorporate heightened quality control checks while managing the pressure of increasing demand?

The answer lies in consolidation and scalability. However, the idea of revamping your entire production process may sound daunting and, quite frankly, difficult to incorporate.

However, consolidation and scalability are accomplished with the help of automation. Automation can take many forms, but typically when we think of automation we think of production and manufacturing devices such as the Vape Jet automatic distillate cartridge filling machine.

The process of filling and checking the quality of vape cartridges is incredibly time-consuming when done manually. However, automated systems, such as the Vape Jet, incorporate a pharmaceutical-grade fluid handling system and advanced machine vision alignment capabilities. 

With the use of an automated vape cartridge filler, multiple tasks are accomplished effectively and up to regulatory standards. By using a vape cartridge filler for co2, rosin, or distillate, your business can quickly consolidate resources and scale accordingly to the demands of the market.

No longer will your business suffer from the love-hate relationship of increased demand. Instead, an automated vape cartridge filler will streamline the production process while simultaneously ensuring quality control. 

Vape Cartridge Users Projections
Source: Grand View Research

Reduce Your Overhead Through Automation

If you have yet to incorporate automation into your vape business – you’re likely paying more than you have to. Without automation, your payroll is dedicated to individuals who are hard-capped as to the number of vape cartridges they can fill per day.

Automation opens the horizon to thousands of vape cartridges filled per day in comparison. This means that you’ll never miss out on a large order because you aren’t producing at scale. Instead, your clients will never lose confidence in your company’s ability to generate any amount of vape cartridges – at any time.

The result of producing products at scale is that you’ll never miss a profitable opportunity. Furthermore, your overhead will plummet as you incorporate automation into your oil cartridge filling process. 

Let’s take a look at how your business can reduce overhead while increasing revenue with Vape Jet.

  • Reduce labor cost
  • Increase production of vape cartridges
  • Decrease the cost of each vape cartridge
  • Reduce overall operational cost
  • Decrease the number of wasted cartridges
  • Find defective cartridges before the filling process

As you can see, the Vape Jet system single-handedly reduces the need for a large workforce while simultaneously increasing output. Overall, the Vape Jet system consolidates your entire vape cartridge filling workforce under a single automated machine. In other words – pure efficiency

Distillate Vape Cartridges
Distillate Vape Cartridges from Highland Provisions filled with Vape-Jet

Further Reading

Categories
Vape Hardware

Vape Hardware Safety Concerns for Your Business

Beginning in June 2019, doctors in a small city of Wisconsin noticed a sudden rise in lung-related illnesses. Each of the cases was similar, yet they did not follow the same path of other documented lung illnesses, such as pneumonia. This was something new – and they were right.

Vape Cartridges and Cannabis Extracts

After 54 deaths and over 2,400 people sent to the hospital, federal authorities and researchers honed in on the culprit – vitamin E acetate.(1) More importantly, it was found that this compound tested positive in illicit THC vape products that were purchased on the street or via online shops.

The vape industry for cannabis and tobacco products came to a screeching halt. What was once a multi-billion dollar sector was now poised for a complete collapse as legislators and lawmakers began pointing fingers as the vape scare raged on.

However, once the CDC pinpointed the cause of the outbreak and concluded that illicit manufacturers were to blame, the vape industry is experiencing a rise to its former heights – and beyond.

However, the latest vape scare came with a price. The industry must collectively change to ensure compliance with state and federal regulators. Aside from the vape product itself, vape hardware must change to keep consumers safe and to keep your business out of the iron-sights of regulators.

If you own a cannabis extraction facility or manage a vape production facility – read along.

Get Your Cartridges Tested

Testing THC vape carts for heavy metal contaminants such as lead.

There’s no better time than now to get your cartridges tested to ensure that your vape company remains in compliance with regulations. Unless your business has the capacity to do quality control checks in-house, then you’ll need the help of a third-party to ensure your cartridges are free of contaminants and are faultless. 

Not only does it mean a better and safer experience for the end-user, but it also reduces the instance of returns/recalls. By reducing the rate of returns, your business will turn a quicker profit.
The balance of regulation, client satisfaction, and consumer safety is met by having your cartridges tested.

Enhance Quality Control Measures

Quality control is beyond necessary across every manufacturing channel. From the tiniest screw to an intricate piece of hardware – everything must undergo a safety test that meets specific standards.

The standards for the vape industry are continuously changing, however, regulators all agree that they want to ensure that vape manufacturers are producing clean cannabis extracts without additives into cartridges that work.

There have been many instances where vape cartridges break, leak, or overheat prematurely. The time is now to step up your cartridge safety before you’re forced to.

Upgrade Your Vape Cartridge Hardware

Vape Cartridges and Pods Filled with Oil

The vape scare left many consumers and regulators on the edge of their seats. Although the vast majority of vape products were legitimate and untainted by vitamin E acetate – the damage was done.

Upgrading your vape products with enhanced hardware is an incredible way to recapture the confidence that so many vape companies once enjoyed. As a business owner or manager of a cannabis extraction facility, you want to ensure your product is enjoyed safely and carried by legal marijuana dispensaries.

If consumers are weary of your product because they contain “old” parts, then you may see a drastic drop in sales. Any business-minded individual knows that change is necessary, and we’re currently in a transitional phase.

Switch to Tamper-Proof Mouthpieces

Aside from keeping your clients happy and the end-user absolutely safe – what about from a legal standpoint?

The revelation from the CDC spurred the FDA to come down hard on all vape companies – not just those related to cannabis.

One of the most notable changes from the FDA is that from this point on, all vape companies must comply with preventing access by minors. (2)

If you’re wondering how you can prevent minors from accessing vape cartridges filled with potent THC, it’s through the use of press-fit mouthpieces that are entirely tamper-proof. The overall vape industry is quickly moving away from twist-top mouthpieces and transitioning to the press-fit design because it prevents content exposure.

Once a manufacturer installs the press-fit mouthpiece, the end-user cannot remove it. This is seen as a child-safe and tamper-proof method that complies entirely with the wishes of the FDA.

Furthermore, this method stops end-users from removing the mouthpiece easily to add additional ingredients into the vape product. In other words, the press-fit design is a protective measure for end-users and for your business.

The last thing your cannabis extraction or vape company needs is a sudden report that your product made someone sick – although they added additional “flavorings” to the cannabis extract.

The Success of Your Business Relies on Compliance

Compliance is essential to a successful vape cartridge company.

Ultimately, the vape scare has changed the cannabis extraction and vape industry forever. Some may argue that it was better before; however, the end result is a focus on consumer safety.

Overall, upgrading your vape hardware should be seen in a positive light because it only adds to your company’s value. Legal cannabis dispensaries were also affected by the vape scare heavily. Therefore, it only makes sense that they will want to only carry safe, reliable, and high-quality vape cartridges that are made from compliant hardware.

With the help of a few uncomplicated hardware upgrades for your cannabis or vape business, you’ll find success quickly by staying ahead of the curve.