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Vape-Jet

Terrapin Care Station: Customer Feature

A Look at Vape-Jet From Terrapin’s Perspective

In our blog, we’ve talked a lot about the Vape-Jet difference; that is, the difference our products make by liberating your production processes from rigid technology constraints and scaling with the success of your business. Whether it’s lower operating costs, freeing up your production workflow, or leveraging the intelligence of Vape-Jet software, our machines are revolutionizing vape cartridge production, and we’ve got the numbers to back it up.  

But this is only part of the story. To fill in some important context, we need to change our perspective a bit. Because we always maintain close contact with our customers, we reached out to get the inside scoop on our equipment in action. After all, the cannabis industry is at its best when we empower each other to continue improving, meet ever-changing customer needs, and celebrate our wins together.   

If we are discussing high-quality cannabis products and building consumer-focused solutions, we have to talk about Terrapin Care Station. Founded in 2009 in Boulder, Colorado, Terrapin has expanded its operations to include Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Michigan. As a cannabis cultivator, processor, and retail provider, you can bet that competitive pricing and strict quality control are paramount to Terrapin’s success—and they have had a lot of success.   

For 13 years, Terrapin has served as a pioneer and leader in the cannabis industry. Prioritizing community engagement—especially around equity and sustainability. Terrapin leads workshops, expungement fairs, and even provides scholarships for cannabis vocational training. In short, Terrapin demonstrates the power of our industry to enact positive social change by investing in the communities they serve and advancing political advocacy and justice initiatives for the people. 

Terrapin Care Station: Cannabis Grown with a Local Mindset. Click to learn more.

Since they field three Vape-Jet fully-automatic filling machines and one Jet Fueler semi-automatic vape cartridge-filling machine, we decided to check in with our friends at Terrapin to see how our products have affected their operation. If we were going to talk to anyone, though, we had to speak with the team member they call the Vape-Jet Guru.

“Four Minutes for Fifty 1g Carts? No Problem.” 

How it Started vs. How It’s Going 

Who is this Vape-Jet Guru? Say “hello” to Terrapin’s Filling Line Lead and in-house master of our fully-automatic vape cartridge-filling machine, Kimberly Long. Working out of Terrapin’s Pennsylvania location, Kimberly has used our machines since 2020 after switching from a competitor’s semi-automatic filler, and things couldn’t be going better. According to Kimberly, before the switch, two operators could only fill approximately 2,500 cartridges during an eight-hour shift. Now, with one operator on our Vape-Jet, she says, we can fill 5,000-6,000 cartridges in eight hours. If the new second shift can match first shift’s pace, “we should be filling about 10,000 [cartridges] a day.” To date, they’ve filled over 600,000

That’s a lot of carts! So many, in fact, that Terrapin once maxed out the data storage capacity of one of their machines—a Vape-Jet first! One operator, more cartridges, better quality control, pushing vape cartridge filling to the limit… that’s a beautiful thing.  

The Vape-Jet Difference 

With Vape-Jet, Terrapin doubled their daily output with half the labor and half the labor cost of their previous machine. “I don’t need two people dedicated to one thing when I can have one person dedicated to it,” Kimberly says. As our COO Devon Reid mentioned in our blog, “Is Vape Cartridge Filling Automation Worth It?”, freeing up labor and eliminating bottlenecks is what Vape-Jet equipment does best, allowing users to reallocate resources to where they are needed most.   

With their Vape-Jet machines reaching average fill speeds of three and a half minutes for 50 0.5g cartridges (and four minutes for 50 1g cartridges), Terrapin has not only reduced labor costs but, through increased efficiency and filling accuracy, filled a much higher quota than before.

Machine Features 

The Vape-Jet Guru highlighted several features of the Vape-Jet that allow it to thrive in Terrapin’s fast-paced environment while maintaining high quality control standards.

Superior Accuracy 

For quality control, Terrapin operators weigh every one hundred cartridges to ensure accurate fill weights and have found the Vape-Jet to be incredibly accurate. Just yesterday, Kimberly mentioned, they only lost ten cartridges out of five thousand total, only four of which were because of fill weight (the other six due to cartridge hardware defects). 

Three Independent Heat Zones   

While their previous machine only heated at one point—causing filling nightmares from letting distillate sit in an unheated fluid path—the Vape-Jet’s chamber, needle, and reservoir are all independently heated. The filling process is much smoother now, Kimberly assured us.

Product Support  

Terrapin operators can go about their day confidently, knowing that our industry-leading product support team has their back. Our Guru has completed self-repairs on the Vape-Jet with the support of our team and used the Vape-Jet HelpDesk to self-educate. “[Your team] has been a great help!” Kimberly says, “You guys are very responsive and get parts overnighted. I come in and fix [the Vape-Jet], and we get things going.”

Data Reporting

Our CEO Ryan Hoitt identified data compliance and collection as one of the key hidden costs of automation. “With industry compliance needs constantly changing,” he says, “it is essential to manufacture your products with compliant hardware.”

Additionally, Kimberly mentions that using the data reporting feature allows her to review the performance of other operators and fine-tune output for maximum capacity. “When the other operator goes to lunch, I’ll jump in and run it,” Kimberly says, “I checked [the Vape-Jet] and sped up the dispensing charge a little bit. I had looked previously, and it was at four minutes 20-something seconds, so I ran a few carts and got her down to four minutes twelve seconds per tray.”

Of course, ten seconds might not seem like much until you consider how many trays Terrapin fills a day—that’s a whole lot of labor!

Tips from Terrapin’s Vape-Jet Guru 

We had to ask whether someone with the nickname “Vape-Jet Guru” had any Vape-Jet tips to pass along. Here are a couple of things Kimberly mentioned:   

  • Customize your filling speed and heat based on distillate properties (e.g. viscosity) to fine-tune and maximize output. You can also work more efficiently by saving configurations and profiles.  
  • Keeping your machine vision lens clean makes a noticeable difference in cart analysis time and overall fill time, especially if you’re constantly running your Vape-Jet like Terrapin does!

Learn More About Vape-Jet  

We want to thank the Terrapin team —and especially the Vape-Jet Guru, Kimberly Long—for not only taking the time to give us an inside peek at their operation but for prioritizing high vape cartridge production standards and for making a positive impact in the cannabis industry and their local communities. We couldn’t be prouder to see our equipment in such capable hands and look forward to watching Terrapin continue to thrive.  

If you want to experience the greatness of your own Vape-Jet, all you need to do is drop us a line. While you’re at it, don’t forget to sign up for our monthly Re:Fill newsletter to get early access to company updates, product releases, and other exciting announcements. Follow us on the essentials, too: Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

Categories
Software Uncategorized Vape-Jet

Vape-Jet 3.0 Software Upgrade Details

Get Ready for MARVIN 

From the beginning, we set out to build the Vape-Jet 3.0, fully-automatic vape cartridge-filling machine to change the game—this meant not only designing the most innovative hardware but also programming our software to set the highest production benchmarks on the market.  

In 2022, we’ve decided to take things up a notch. Say “hello” to our brand-new software platform, MARVIN. 

Boasting increases in daily output of up to 30%, get ready for a faster, better, and smarter Vape-Jet 3.0.

Vape-Jet 3.0 MARVIN Software Interface

With MARVIN, vape cartridge production has never been easier, faster, or more powerful. 

Faster Processes 

MARVIN optimizes the Vape-Jet’s fully-automatic processes to run even smoother while giving users more customization options.  

Enhanced Cartridge Identification

Maintaining the precision and accuracy of the Vape-Jet 3.0’s onboard machine vision camera, MARVIN software upgrades reduce the time between cartridge alignment and filling by more than half, meaning you can now fill a tray of 100 1g cartridges in as little as 4 minutes. (Watch the video below as the Vape-Jet 3.0 fills 50 1g cartridges in less than 2 minutes!)

Configurable Camera Exposure

MARVIN enables users to manually adjust the machine vision exposure level, eliminating auto exposure errors and reducing cartridge alignment time.  

Custom Cleaning and Drying Cycles

Simplify your cleaning processes and reduce the need for additional user input by setting custom cleaning specifications. 

Better Vape-Jet Operation 

How can we increase daily output while simplifying system operations? It all comes down to the fundamentals.  

Dispense Logic Optimization

MARVIN reduces the number of valve and pump movements during the filling process, increasing daily output up to 30% by pulling more product into the syringe and distributing it sequentially before needing to recharge the pump.  

Redesigned User Interface

Automated Vape Cartridge-Filling Systems can appear intimidating, but not so with this new software. In fact, we’ve overhauled the entire user interface, moving extraneous elements to the advanced panel so you can focus on the essentials.  

Vape-Jet 3.0 Advanced Settings

Upgraded Interactive SOPs (standard operating procedures)

With this software upgrade, we’ve updated all Vape-Jet SOPs with supporting visuals to guide users through decision-making processes and emphasize consistent usage while shortening employee training times.

Vape-Jet 3.0 Interactive SOPs

Smarter Settings and Support 

From predicting maintenance needs to error support, Vape-Jet software has your back. 

Improved Error Handling

When encountering errors, MARVIN automatically initializes and resets the Vape-Jet 3.0 pump system, reducing clogging from fluids left to cool. Furthermore, the new software links directly to product support documentation, allowing users to easily submit a HelpDesk support ticket. 

Dry Run Mode

Don’t worry about switching between separate profiles for testing and production. With the brand-new Dry Run Mode, users can now simulate fills without dispensing any oil, reducing errors and product loss.  

Global Settings

With MARVIN, we’ve simplified machine setup and calibration by moving useful settings from individual configurations to machine-wide profiles, cutting down on training time and human error. 

Improved Management

Our unrivaled product support just got better. With new Vape-Jet software, your machine is fully integrated with our support and maintenance systems, allowing us to provide more effective product support, predictive maintenance, and reduce machine downtime. 

Get Ready for MARVIN in February 2022 

At Vape-Jet, we build our machines to grow with you. Whether you already have a Vape-Jet or are looking for a machine, MARVIN will be available to all Vape-Jet 3.0 users starting in February 2022 with no hardware upgrades or machine modifications needed. 

For active 3.0 users, our support team will reach out to schedule the software upgrade at your convenience. 

Interested in early access to the MARVIN platform beta? Contact our support team to enroll.

Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly Re:Fill newsletter to get early access to company updates, product releases, and other exciting announcements. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for updates. 

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Uncategorized

Vape-Jet 2021 Company Review

New Year, New Goals 

As we ring in the new year with our friends and families, we wanted to look back at our achievements last year and look forward to some hopes for Vape-Jet in 2022. After all, what’s a new year without new resolutions?  

We recognize that 2021 had its share of… difficult moments. But in those difficult moments (often, despite them), we managed to grow together. Last year, our company experienced some unprecedented successes. We want to share some of these achievements, not to gloat or become passive in our mission, but to emphasize the decisions that got us here and the people who make us who we are. Who knows, maybe we’ll even reveal something coming for 2022.  

Letter from Vape-Jet CEO Ryan Hoitt 

I am proud to report that 2021 was another excellent year for the Vape-Jet team. Despite a global pandemic, fire storms, ice storms, a heat dome, and ships blocking the Suez, we have continued to innovate and improve by releasing new products, streamlining our operations, increasing our market share, and demonstrating what world-class product support looks like.    

To start 2021 off strong, we released the Jet-Fueler 2.0 Semi-Automatic Vape Cartridge-Filling Machine. Representing a complete overhaul of electronics, software, and structural components from the previous model, the Jet-Fueler 2.0 forced us to reevaluate and expand our manufacturing methods and materials.

These manufacturing improvements complemented incremental upgrades to the Vape-Jet 3.0 Fully-Automatic Vape Cartridge-Filling Machine made throughout the year. 

By mid-year, the team was forging ahead, working with customers who wanted an end-to-end cartridge filling and capping solution that boasted the same quality and industry-leading customer support as our other solutions. Even though global logistics nearly came to a halt in the middle of production, we brought our new Squish-o-Matic 1000 vape cartridge-capping machine to market. 

Of course, Vape-Jet is not just a hardware company. Our dedication to clean code, behavior-driven development, agile methodologies, and microservice architecture shows that we are nothing without the incredible software which drives our powerful vape cartridge-filling machines. One example of our ongoing efforts to improve our software over the last year included reducing the time between customer feature requests and software implementation to mere days. Following this improvement, we applied wizard-based, interactive SOPs (standard operating procedures) to our automated filling systems and overhauled the GUI (graphical user interface) on both the Jet-Fueler and Vape-Jet. You can find these step-by-step SOPs in all our recent updates. 

As we look forward to 2022, we might reflect on the lessons 2021 taught us. Just as ‘no person is an island entire of itself,’ the past year showed us that manufacturing infrastructure and the global supply chain are fragile. While our company was affected like everyone else, the pain would have been worse had we not insisted on strong U.S.-based manufacturing partnerships and found ways to improve (and maintain) safe production standards. I believe our success in 2021 is a testament to our team’s vision, execution, and ability to thrive during uncertain times. 

We are looking forward to a bright and prosperous 2022 with all our friends within the industry and without.

Cheers to you and yours, 

Ryan Hoitt, CEO 

2021 Financial Growth with Vape-Jet CFO Brian Kuo 

When we founded Vape-Jet, we knew we wanted to grow organically and buck the trend of institutional backing. Having identified a lack of innovation in a space that had grown stale with retrofits and dated equipment, our mission has been to grow alongside our customers, assembling a diverse team, making heavy investments in R&D, and emphasizing local manufacturing, assembly, and support. 

Entering 2022, I am pleased to report that we are succeeding in our mission. The quality of our products has instilled new life into vape cartridge production, and our team has grown bigger and stronger.  

Therefore, as we raise our glasses to a new year, I want to take a moment and reflect on some of our accomplishments: 

  • In 2021, our YOY (year-over-year) revenue grew by more than 200%*  
  • We were profitable and cash flow positive in both 2020 and 2021, with an approximate 350% growth in profitability YOY in 2021* 
  • We have simultaneously increased our total assets by more than 240% while decreasing liabilities by ~19%* 
  • We gave our team a profit share bonus, matching retirement plan, and full health benefits  
  • We added a new dedicated product support technician and developed in-depth HelpDesk documentation (with video documentation to follow in 2022) 
In 2021 Vape Jet year-over-year revenue grew by more than 200%
In 2021 Vape-Jet had an approximate 350% growth in profitability

What has this success taught us? For one, we will continue innovating and adding value for our clients in the year ahead by reinvesting our profits into R&D. We will also continue investing in our people, growing our team, and expanding our operation organically. In short, we will use our exceptional results from 2021 as motivation to better serve our customers. 

So, although I hope for more global stability in 2022, I can’t wait to see how much value we can create in this promising new year! 

Brian Kuo, CFO 

*Financial data for illustration purposes only, not to be relied on for investments and not for assurance purposes. 

Operations Growth in 2021 

As Brian noted, we’ve welcomed many new faces to the Vape-Jet crew this past year. In fact, we’ve increased our number of full-time employees by 250%. By adding manufacturing and support technicians—not to mention a new engineer—we’ve effectively doubled our sales capacity while also doubling our software development team. With all this “doubling” going on, we decided to increase our manufacturing capabilities too, expanding into two new facilities and adding over 3,400 square feet of production floor space. To make better use of these new spaces and faces, we also increased our inventory buffers by triple in key areas. With this operational capacity and inventory surplus, we are well-positioned in 2022 and beyond. 

Vape-Jet increased our number of full-time employees by 250% in 2021.

2022 Vape-Jet Growth Goals 

In the spirit of the new year, here are our “Big 3” resolutions: 

  • Maintain our dedication to post-sales support by increasing accessibility with more written and video resources, troubleshooting guides, in-application assistance programs, and software-based SOPs. 
  • Stick to our innovative roots with continued software and hardware improvements. 
  • Scale with our customers by adding operational capacity and maintaining inventory buffers

But what about product releases or upgrades? At Vape-Jet, we don’t like to talk about new stuff until it’s ready, but it’s an exciting new year (and we like to keep the energy up), so stay tuned for a major announcement in the weeks ahead. Can’t wait that long? Well, get ready for a software upgrade that will greatly increase the speed of all existing machines in the Vape-Jet fleet.

More details to come, but for now, enjoy this sneak peek: 

To the future, 

The Vape-Jet Crew

Get Ready

You won’t want to be out of the loop for this one, so sign up for our monthly Re:Fill newsletter and get early access to company updates, product releases, and other exciting announcements. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for real-time updates. 

Categories
Automation Uncategorized

Is Vape Cartridge Filling Automation Worth It? Part Two

Investment Analysis

Investing in Automation: A Technical Perspective 

Businesses understand the importance of sustainable growth, but allocating investment capital can be a difficult process. At Vape-Jet, we believe in approaching these decisions from every angle with the best possible information.  

In our previous article, “Investment Analysis: Is Vape Cartridge Filling Automation Worth It? (Part One)” Director of Sales Josh Maramba and CFO Brian Kuo outlined several key marketing and financial questions to consider during automation investment analysis. Although these questions are vital to new process considerations, they are only one part of your assessment.  

With the help of COO Devon Reid and CEO Ryan Hoitt, this article expands on the technical considerations of your investment, showing how Vape-Jet’s technology reduces bottlenecks and labor costs while allowing you to reallocate resources and establish long-term security.  

Chemistry and Workflow Considerations with Devon Reid

Although the mere mention of chemistry might give some business owners a migraine, resident chemist, engineer, and COO Devon Reid is here to simplify the implications of chemistry and workflow for growing businesses.  

According to Devon, when manufacturing cannabis products, bottlenecks begin at the point of extraction and compound through the process to obtain finished goods.

Unrefined vs Refined Workflow Comparison
Unrefined vs Refined Workflow Comparison

“[The] quality of finished goods flows from upstream processes,” Devon says. While unrefined products are less capital intensive, refined products “yield a more consistent end-product.”  

“If formulation, filling, and packaging bottlenecks are roughly analogous for both workflows,” Devon says, “the major exception lies in the filling of unrefined products.” Filling with a refined product is more consistent because “extraction impurities are removed, and formulation with pure terpenes is precise.” On the other hand, “unrefined products are susceptible to bubbling upon filling, due to impurities and uncontrolled percentages of terpenes.”  

As a result, refined distillate fills faster than unrefined product, while “unrefined workflows generally require more time to produce a product that can be filled.” For example, unrefined products like rosin are labor-intensive to extract, time-intensive to prepare for filling, and slower to fill.   

Unrefined Workflow Labor and Equipment Cost Comparison
Unrefined Workflow Labor and Equipment Cost Comparison
Refined Workflow Labor and Equipment Cost Comparison
Refined Workflow Labor and Equipment Cost Comparison

The solution demands a machine that can react to these highly variable products and workflows. Lucky for us, Devon has spent 10 years developing high-tech automated equipment to eliminate such bottlenecks. He affirms that “automation at any step of either workflow will alleviate bottlenecks and result in a more consistent product.”

Even though unrefined and refined workflows vary from place to place, Vape-Jet’s vape cartridge filling automation technology increases efficiency while decreasing variability, representing a reduction in bottlenecks across the board. With Vape-Jet equipment that you can “set-and-forget,” you can even reallocate labor to other tasks, boosting productivity without increasing labor costs.  

Technical Considerations with Ryan Hoitt

When it comes to investments in new technology, CEO and developer Ryan Hoitt identifies three critical factors to consider: the hidden costs of automation, data collection and compliance, and the rigidity of new machines. 

Reducing the Hidden Costs of Automation

The first hidden cost of automation lies in the training process. The cost of training personnel on complex mechanical automation machines can be high. However, Vape-Jet overcomes this hidden cost “by building the operating procedure into the user interface,” Ryan explains, “users always have the most up-to-date reference information available immediately, lessening the need for extensive training.”  

Secondly, machine adjustments and worker changes lead to slowdowns in the production process. With most machines, Ryan notes, moving between SKUs can be costly and require operator institutional—or legacy—knowledge. If that employee leaves, the company is at risk of losing that knowledge. “With Vape-Jet’s saved profiles, changing between active configurations only takes a few clicks and requires no physical machine interventions.”  

Finally, a prevalent but often ignored cost of automation is equipment maintenance. What happens when something goes wrong with your machine? Can you rely on vendor support? Will getting replacement parts add downtime and negatively affect your production output? “At Vape-Jet, we offer dedicated industry-leading product support with same-day response times and overnight shipping as standard in our support contracts.”

Data Compliance and Collection

With industry compliance needs constantly changing, it is essential to manufacture your products with compliant hardware. Powered by data reporting software, safe fluid paths, and clean-in-place procedures, Vape-Jet exceeds industry standards giving you peace of mind in the face of compliance changes.  

Because manual data collection is “costly and unreliable,” Ryan highlights the importance of computerized data systems. The software in our Vape-Jet collects data from “automated points of inspection, then feeds that data to external systems, with labor cost reductions and increased accuracy.” With this cutting-edge software, you can integrate our automation equipment with your ERP system.  

Machine Rigidity 

Ryan encourages companies to distinguish between flexible and rigid automation. “Heavy investment into single-purpose machines which require extensive adjustments or retrofits to work with evolving product lines can trap you into a cycle of non-innovation.” Instead, flexible machines with remotely updatable software “will always win against rigid designs especially as SKUs and consumer needs evolve.”  

In short, Ryan summarizes, “in a world of rapid technological change, highly specialized automation just doesn’t make sense.” Rather than curtailing innovation and making your business less agile with rigid automation technology, isn’t it better to invest in a machine that can update itself?   

Invest in the Future of Vape Cartridge Filling Automation

With any automation technology comes new opportunities for reducing operating and labor costs, but Vape-Jet machines aren’t just any automation technology. We believe that filling a vape cartridge ought to be as dependable and intuitive as possible.   

With state-of-the-art hardware, unparalleled customer service, and innovative software, our equipment stands alone. Our flexible fully-automatic and semi-automatic machines are designed to complement any workflow and bolster your business for the future.  

Fill smarter than your competitors by investing in high-quality automated equipment from the start. Reach out to our team for a consultation to see if our automation solutions are the right fit for your new production facility or process. 

Categories
Automation Uncategorized

Is Vape Cartridge Filling Automation Worth It? Part One

Investment Analysis

Let’s face it: automation can be intimidating. Representing a movement away from established procedures to something new, the shift to automated machines can be empowering and frightening at the same time. The reality is, whether you are ramping up production or building a brand-new facility, automation technology accelerates the growth of your vape cartridge filling production by standardizing processes, reducing variability, and scaling to meet market demand.  

Although investing in a new piece of equipment can seem daunting, it is important to ask the same questions you would about any other investment: What is my potential return on this investment? How does this equipment increase my workflow efficiency? Does this technology prepare my company for the future?  

At Vape-Jet, we’ve built our products in response to these questions.  

By working through investment considerations with two senior members of our team, we’d like to share how Vape-Jet machines can not only strengthen your business today, but inspire an ambitious and promising future for your company. 

Sales and Marketing Considerations with Josh Maramba

When it comes to quality assurance, what is the cost of short-term thinking? Director of Sales, Josh Maramba, says that some companies, especially early on, overlook the importance of consistency and scaling.  

“During the early stages of their business, some customers are confident that their operators could fill cartridges fast enough by hand and question whether an automated system would make sense.” 

“Even if they matched the filling speed of an automated system,” Josh says, “they would still need to contend with a significantly higher error rate.”  

Ultimately, there is much at stake when implementing a manual filling process. Underfilling leads to bad customer experiences and overfilling means wasted product. By upgrading to an automated system and standardizing processes early, businesses can foster better customer experiences and reduce product loss.  

Purchasing a lower-end automatic filling system is another common short-term oversight Josh stresses. “Sadly, many of our customers come to us only after purchasing a lower quality system and having a terrible experience with inconsistent filling and extremely poor technical support.” 

Josh has heard countless stories from customers detailing how the inconsistency of their old filling systems required them to refill cartridges by hand. “Even though purchasing a lower quality system may save some short-term money,” Josh says, “it often leads to costly problems.”  

With the Vape-Jet, we’ve reduced fill variability to ±0.25%, far outpacing our closest competitor’s ±2.5%, not to mention the inconsistency of hand-filling. Investing in a high-quality automatic system enables you to accommodate for both the short-term and the long-term. Vape-Jet semi- and fully-automatic filling systems have the lowest operating cost of any system, allowing for more flexible and leaner manufacturing operations; you’ll be spared from costly headaches, and able to scale your business while maintaining a dedicated customer base. 

Repeatability Cost comparison of Vape-Jet (0.25%) vs competitors (2.5%)
Repeatability Cost Comparison of Vape-Jet (0.25%) and Closest Competitor (2.5%)
Operating Cost comparison per cartridge of hand fill, jig-load and Vape-Jet
Operating Cost Comparison Per Cartridge of Hand Fill, Jig-Load and Vape-Jet

Financial Considerations with Brian Kuo

With over 15 years of experience in finance, CFO Brian Kuo understands that financial decisions regarding automation can be overwhelming. “Any large capital expenditure can be intimidating, and when a company is investing in filling automation, the financial decision-makers need to spend adequate time analyzing their options.”  

Stressing the significance of this investment analysis period, Brian suggests asking several questions: 

  • What is the return on investment of using human labor vs. automation?  
  • Is full automation necessary, or are we still in a phase where semi-automatic solutions are sufficient? Are there pathways to scale up with semi- and fully-automatic solutions?  
  • What are the risks of a stop in production? Does an automated vape cartridge filling machine attenuate that risk?  
  • How valuable is obtaining data on our operation? Can we reasonably collect data using human labor?  
  • Are there health risks with using only human labor that can be quantified (such as injury/insurance)? What are the safety risks and potential costs with an automated machine?  
  • How valuable is having outside resources and customer service to assist with our automation? How much would it cost us if we tried to contract with engineers to do it on our own?  

As Brian notes, there are numerous considerations when it comes to automation. Yet, with each question comes the opportunity to streamline processes, improve reliability, and increase the scale of your production.  

For an in-depth look at the unit economics and differences between manual and automatic vape cartridge filling, check out our blog post “Why are There so Many People“.

Vape Cartridge Filling Automation: An Investment Worth Making

So, to automate or not to automate? The decision comes down to where you see your business in the future. Delaying investment in vape cartridge filling automation may seem like a prudent financial decision in the short term, but the long-term costs of waiting can negatively impact several aspects of your business. 

But this is only half the story. In part two of our investment analysis series COO Devon Reid and CEO Ryan Hoitt explain how workflow bottlenecks, data collection, and machine rigidity are critical considerations for your investment analysis. 

Fill smarter than your competitors by investing in high-quality automated equipment from the start. Reach out to our team for a consultation to see if our automation solutions are the right fit for your new production facility or process.