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Automation Uncategorized Vape-Jet

Industry Insight: A Look at Automation in Cannabis

Automation in the Cannabis Industry

The cannabis industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years, and as it continues to expand and mature, automation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of production. Automation not only allows for more efficient and precise operations, but it also has the potential to significantly reduce labor costs and improve overall profitability. One area of cannabis production where automation is particularly promising is in the filling of vape cartridges, pods, disposables and other devices. 

The vape cartridge market has exploded in recent years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Vape cartridges offer consumers a convenient and discreet way to consume cannabis, and as a result, they have become a popular choice for both recreational and medical users. However, filling vape cartridges by hand can be time-consuming and prone to errors, which is where automated vape cartridge filling machines like the Vape-Jet and Jet Fueler come in. 

The Benefits of Automated Vape Cartridge Filling Machines 

Automated vape cartridge filling machines are designed to fill vape cartridges with a precise amount of cannabis oil including distillate, live resin, rosin, and more. These machines are equipped with a range of advanced features to ensure accuracy and consistency. With the Vape-Jet 4.0 specifically, this includes precision dispensing, multi-zone temperature control, and the ability to adapt to a variety of different oil viscosities and formulations. 

One of the primary benefits of automated vape cartridge filling machines is increased efficiency. These machines can fill cartridges much faster than manual methods, allowing producers to fill a higher volume of cartridges in a shorter amount of time. This can be particularly beneficial for companies looking to meet high demand or to quickly ramp up production for new product launches. 

In addition to increased efficiency, automated vape cartridge filling machines can also significantly reduce labor costs. These machines can operate continuously with minimal supervision, allowing producers to significantly reduce their labor force or to reassign employees to other manual tasks. For example, one operator can simultaneously run up to four Vape-Jet units. This can be particularly beneficial for companies operating in states where labor costs are high, as automation can help to offset these costs and improve overall profitability. 

Fernway facility: Vape-Jet fully automated vape cartridge filling machine
Learn more about how brands like Fernway have scaled quickly and efficiently with Vape-Jet.
Fernway facility: Vape-Jet fully automated vape cartridge filling machine

Automated vape cartridge filling machines are also able to improve the accuracy and consistency of the filling process. Vape-Jet filling machines are equipped with precise dispensing mechanisms that ensure that each cartridge is filled with the exact same amount of liquid, with an unmatched repeatability rate of ±0.25%. This can be particularly important for companies producing vape cartridges for the medical market, where precise dosing is critical. 

Another benefit of automated vape cartridge filling machines is the ability to handle a wide range of oil viscosities and formulations. Many cannabis oils and concentrates have different viscosities and require specialized filling equipment to ensure that they are accurately and consistently dispensed. Vape-Jet automated filling machines can handle a wide range of viscosities and formulations, allowing producers to expand their product line without the need for multiple filling systems. In fact, with Vape-Jet‘s configuration profile feature operators can save premade settings for each formulation, batch or hardware and simply load it from the library to begin filling. This saves them even more time and ensures a consistent and reliable fill. 

Potential Challenges of Cartridge Filling Automation 

As with any new technology, there are also potential challenges to the adoption of automated vape cartridge filling machines. One of the main challenges is the initial cost of purchasing and installing the equipment. These machines can be expensive, and producers may need to invest in additional equipment such as packaging machinery to fully automate their production process. (If the initial investment is a financial concern, we offer an upgrade path from our semi-automatic Jet Fueler to our fully-automatic Vape-Jet so you can grow your automation as you scale your operation. Reach out to our crew for more information on this offer.) 

Another potential challenge is the learning curve associated with operating and maintaining automated filling machines. These machines can be complex, and producers may need to invest in training and support to ensure that they are able to effectively operate and maintain the equipment. Vape-Jet CEO Ryan Hoitt calls training one of the “hidden costs” of automation. He says “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. Users always have the most up-to-date reference information available immediately, lessening the need for extensive training.” Our machines also come backed by our industry-leading product support, including a one-year renewable warranty that covers installation, training and support.  

Click to Learn More About Vape-Jet's Six Star Service & Product Support
Read more about our product support on our blog.

Despite these potential challenges, the future of automation in cannabis production looks bright, and automated vape cartridge filling machines are likely to play a significant role. As the cannabis industry continues to grow and mature, automation will become increasingly important for improving efficiency, reducing labor costs, and ensuring the accuracy and consistency of products. Producers who can effectively integrate automation like Vape-Jet into their operations will be well-positioned to succeed in this rapidly evolving industry. 

To learn more about how embracing Vape-Jet automation can bring success to your operation, check out these customer features: 

Think Automation is a Thing of the Future? 

This article was written by an AI copywriter. The future is now, so join the revolution or risk getting stuck in the past. If you’re ready to integrate automation into your workflow reach out to our crew with your questions to see what Vape-Jet automation solutions can do for you. 

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, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube

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Vape-Jet

Vape-Jet 2022 Company Review 

As we kick off the new year, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the growth of Vape-Jet in 2022. From expanding our on-site operations to growing our international network of developers, designers, and engineers, we’ve made huge strides in refining our products and providing industry-leading support to our customers. We even traveled across the U.S. to visit with customers and learn about their needs and experiences. In short, it was a productive year at Vape-Jet!  

Join us as we celebrate the progress of Vape-Jet and look forward to an even brighter future: 

2022 Overall Growth with CEO Ryan Hoitt

As we begin 2023, I am proud to reflect on another incredible year for the Vape-Jet team. The year was full of growth and progress, highlighting the importance of prioritizing innovation and building value for our customers. Throughout 2022, we remained committed to these goals, releasing an upgraded, fully-automatic Vape-Jet 4.0, and a new software platform, MARVIN, to improve our already industry-leading products.  

Vape-Jet 4.0 | The Most Advanced Fully-Automatic Vape Cartridge Filling Machine - Click to Learn More

Another highlight in 2022 was the launch of our partner program. Designed to provide a one-stop shop for our customers’ vape cartridge production needs, we thoroughly vetted several vape hardware companies, a terpene supplier, and an equipment manufacturing team to establish a solid foundation for quality vape solutions. 

At MJBizCon 2022, we were thrilled to see the evolution of our brand into a recognized and highly respected company within the cannabis industry. We have come a long way from being a small, relatively unknown company striving for recognition to a crew that people went out of their way to see in person. If any event could signify the growth of our company at a glance, this was it. 

Last but not least, we doubled our manufacturing crew and customer service team in 2022, providing our customers with quick support and troubleshooting options with more room to expand in 2023.  

Ryan Hoitt, CEO  

2022 Financial Growth with CFO Brian Kuo 

In 2022, our strategy was to continue the organic, sustainable growth that made 2021 so strong. While the backdrop of the industry was dire, with many companies experiencing low to negative growth, Vape-Jet bucked that trend by having its best year ever, including record-breaking months in the fourth quarter.  

Our mission of innovation (in a space that has grown stale with retrofits and dated equipment) continues to build value for our clients and pushes us to innovate to pass even more benefits to our customers. This mission emphasizes growth alongside our customers, crew diversity and experience, heavy investments in R&D, and local manufacturing, assembly, and support. 

As we look to the new year, I want to take a moment to reflect on some of our accomplishments:  

  • In 2022, our YoY (year-over-year) revenue grew by almost 200%*  
  • We have been profitable and cash flow positive since 2020, with an approximate 428% growth in profitability YoY in 2022*  
  • We have simultaneously increased our total assets by more than 200% with no new long-term debt  
  • Our crew crushed it this year, so we rewarded their hard work by increasing our employee profit share bonus approximately 200%  

Brian Kuo, CFO  

*Financial data included in this blog is unaudited and not to be relied upon for investment decisions. 2022 has not been closed at the time this blog was written. Some figures are estimates.   

2022 Operational Growth with COO Devon Reid

In 2022, our vape cart filling machines maintained 2021’s stellar growth numbers, allowing us to continue reinvesting in improving the manufacturability of our Vape-Jet cart filler. Now, with the release of our 4.0 model, we can build and ship units much faster than before. Notably, despite the increase in units shipped, remote support handled greater than 99% of customer tickets, with only four issues requiring on-site assistance.  

With increased efficiency on the manufacturing end and scaling product support to maintain our goals, we set our sights on electrical safety certifications for international sales. In that regard, we are pleased to report that the Vape-Jet 4.0 passed its electrical safety inspection on the first attempt (conforming to UL-61010 via CSA SPE-1000); this will enable ETL and CE marks to be obtained in early 2023.   

Devon Reid, COO  

2023 Vape-Jet Growth Goals 

Entering 2023, we know the importance of setting clear and achievable goals to drive growth and stay on track. However, before we dive into our goals for 2023, how did we fare in 2022?  

✓ Maintained 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.  

✓ Stuck to our innovative roots with continued software and hardware improvements.  

✓ Scaled with our customers by adding operational capacity and maintaining inventory buffers by adding office space and on-site storage.  

Having met our goals for 2022, here are our goals for 2023:  

  • Release a major product upgrade in the first quarter 
  • Release a new Vape-Jet product in the first quarter  
  • Obtain necessary certifications for Vape-Jet and Jet Fueler to expand into new international markets 
  • Increase support hours and improve response times ever further 

Get Ready for 2023 

As we wrap up 2022 at Vape-Jet HQ, we hope you’ve gained a better understanding of the hard work, dedication, and innovation that went into making this year a success. From expanding our operations and establishing an international network of partners to refining our products and providing industry-leading support to our customers, we’ve continued to build a strong and sustainable business.   

Looking ahead to 2023, we’re excited to focus on new growth goals and continue building on the progress we’ve made. Most importantly, thank you for joining us on this journey, and here’s to another year of growth and success for Vape-Jet!  

If you are interested in partnering with us, reach out to our crew to learn how Vape-Jet can provide next-level products for your customers.   

Read our customer features:  

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 upcoming product announcements. Follow us on the essentials, too: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter

Categories
Jet Fueler Jet-Fueler Uncategorized Vape-Jet

Customer Feature: Ration, Blue Box Brands & BeGreen Supply

At Vape-Jet, we are always inspired by the innovative ways our customers use our products to drive success in their businesses. That’s why we’re excited to share our interview with a man who truly does it all, Chris Michaud. As the CEO and Founder of Blue Box Brands, Ration Cannabis, and BeGreen Supply, Chris shared valuable insights on how using our products has helped grow his businesses.  

As our newest hardware partner, Chris’s company BeGreen Supply builds custom-branded cannabis hardware and packaging. Moreover, Chris’s team uses our semi-automatic Jet Fueler to fill vape cartridges and disposables for his consumer brand Ration Cannabis, a cause-based cannabis brand dedicated to supporting military veterans. 

Brands like Ration demonstrate that Chris strives to build businesses that give back to the community. So, along with some valuable operational insights and inspiration for other businesses looking to enhance their own workflows, we hope this customer feature serves as a reminder of how the cannabis industry—and associated industries—can give back. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into our interview with Vape-Jet CEO, Developer, and Founder Ryan Hoitt and Chris Michaud. 

Watch the full interview above or check out the written article below.

Who is Blue Box Brands?

With product lines ranging from vaporizers and smokables to mouth sprays and edibles, Blue Box Brands is a collection of high-quality cannabis businesses curated to support community causes and serve niche consumer audiences. 

Chris describes Blue Box Brands as ‘a curator and creator of brands.’ On the macro level, Chris explains, “we work with a couple of organizations in D.C., making sure that we’re paying attention to where policy sits and where veterans have access or don’t have access, or maybe there’s an education hole.”  

On the micro level, Blue Box Brands gives back to more localized organizations. One example is Swim With a Mission. “It’s a great group,” Chris says. “They work with the Navy SEAL Foundation out of Florida. We co-host events every year—this was our second year this past July—where you have a paintball tournament, every team gets a Navy SEAL, and you go through the whole tournament with them.”  

Chris describes these experiences as immersive and rejuvenating, allowing Blue Box to give back to the community and veterans who have laid it all on the line. “We’re able to give back dollars to things like improving household accessibility, giving money towards billing codes, or direct help and counseling.” 

“That’s awesome,” Ryan says. “As a former Navy guy, go Navy.” 

“Whether Ration’s helping on the philanthropy side or Blue Box is helping a brand that’s adjacent to its own portfolio, we’re really about commercializing brands and preparing them for scale,” Chris explains. “We have a good relationship with our sister company BeGreen Supply which helps provide packaging and hardware, and that’s what brings us together with Vape-Jet.”  

Outreach and Advocacy

With philanthropic outreach and advocacy playing a major part in what Chris and his team do, we wanted to highlight the various initiatives his team is involved in and the ways they work to create lasting positive change. 

“Ration does a lot of outreach and advocacy and a lot of philanthropy,” Ryan begins. “Can you tell me more about that, how you got started down that route, and why did you select veterans’ organizations?”  

“Veterans service organizations (VSOs) do a lot, and I’m never going to suggest that we can do their job better. It was important to me to find and vet good VSOs so we could accomplish what we’d like to from a for-profit business perspective,” Chris says.  

The ways Ration works with different VSOs depends on the scale of each organization, Chris explains. “Our favorite component is really getting to find out what these people need. Before starting Ration, we spent the first year down in D.C. talking to different groups and finding out who was going to make sense to partner with, who was not going to be afraid of cannabis, who was going to speak up about cannabis in their lobby sessions, in their peer groups. And we found some fantastic people through that process, whether they be individuals or organizations.” 

From that first year, Chris and his team identified that what veterans need is true support. “Our business is providing support to individuals, whether that’s getting them involved with therapy plus medication plus alternative medication.” 

Providing support to veterans in this way really hits home for Chris, whose father served in the Air Force. “My father, back in the day, caught a piece of ammunition off of a plane that was very, very large and messed his back up. He’s been very successful since then, but just a couple of years ago, his injuries started to flare up again, and very recently, in the last year, he was prescribed a number of opiates and a nerve suppressant,” Chris says. 

Eventually, Chris got a call from a family member in the clinical community: “She said, ‘what can we do to get your dad off of these things?’” It was an odd call, Chris explains, because this family member is the expert. “So, you know, [I shared] any bit of exposure that we’ve had in this space to help them get through that. Within two weeks, he was off of the entire opiate program. He kept the nerve suppressant, but he was off the opiates, and now he’s, you know, it’s his choice he doesn’t continue to use cannabis, but it got him through that moment, and now he’s clear of everything. Small success stories like that yield great results, and I want to see that continued in that community.”  

Building Brands with Vape-Jet

“I know we were introduced through Vape-Jet,” Ryan says. “I believe it is BeGreen Supply that operated and purchased the machine. Can you tell me more about how you found out about Vape-Jet and how that’s been going for you?” 

“Sure,” Chris says. “I found out about Vape-Jet by walking the floor at MJBizCon a few years ago, but it was totally by chance, and we were super happy to find a great team and you leading that team. I have a background in medical devices and FDA compliance and pushing things forward to the next level, which is why I wanted to build a device company before getting into brands. But I was like, ‘this guy gets it.’” 

“That was a great meeting,” Ryan recalls. “I remember because we didn’t have a booth that year. I believe you and [Vape-Jet COO] Devon started chatting heavily about medical devices and all the insanity of bringing devices through marketing and FDA approval and everything else.”  

“That was fun because the origins of why we started in the cannabis space really followed that track. We were, you know, a couple of friends who wanted to get away from how long it took to bring products to market in the medical device industry. Now, we’re on to onto kind of a faster-paced industry. It’s volatile, but it’s a lot of fun, and there’s a ton of opportunity to help people and brands.”  

“Can you tell me more about what Vape-Jet devices you use and how you’re using them?”  

“My interaction with Vape-Jet is from two different lenses,” Chris says, “whether that’s direct through Ration and some of the other brands that we have in-house or some of the customers that we support from BeGreen Supply. I was truly attracted to Vape-Jet from our origin story, but also the fact that I found real success in my customers’ stories back on the BeGreen front, whether that’s supporting MSOs or direct brands like Ration. [Vape-Jet] has really versatile system[s], whether we’re talking about an individual filler, such as the Jet Fueler or the Vape-Jet, that’s a little bit more comprehensive.” 

“From my perspective, I love being able to recommend a myriad of systems, and Vape-Jet is always number one at the top. And it also has a great capping solution, which is pretty rare to find systems that are designed to work together,” Chris explains. “Internally, I love setting up my partners for our own brands. We go in from a manufacturing assessment standpoint, and we ask, ‘okay, what’s the real capacity of this place and what do we want to get them to?’”  

From there, Chris helps teams understand their labor, infrastructure, and facility needs. “We typically like to start groups with a Jet Fueler and then graduate them to a Vape-Jet, and our multistate approach is really aimed at facilitating that conversation through Vape-Jet. So we’re taking Blue Box Brands as a portfolio and going to all these different states, and we’re requiring Vape Jet to be part of that protocol.”  

Currently Filling

With Chris focused on implementing Vape-Jet filling machines into production across brands, we wanted to get an idea of the devices they’ve filled and are filling currently. 

“From the BeGreen front, most of our customers are filling cartridges. 510 remains a pretty strong player in the world of vaporizers, but we have seen an increase in disposables at a national level. Beyond that, though, we have got some things that are being built internally—that [may] be a proprietary pod system that’s coming out here very soon,” Chris hints.  

“Service is King”

“One of my favorite things about Vape-Jet is that, from an executive level, I can pick up the phone and call Vape-Jet, and [you] can log into our machine,” Chris explains. As a benefit he’s enjoyed over the years, Chris knows that he can troubleshoot any Vape-Jet or Jet Fueler issues with our support team and receive quick assistance so his team can get filling again. 

“On that note,” Ryan says, “not a lot of people know this, but our organizational structure is all built around support from the very beginning. Every single one of our departments, it doesn’t matter who they are, reports to support. Sales reports to our support department, manufacturing reports to our support department… Everything is focused around support because I’ve found that with any device you build, any piece of equipment that has moving parts and some that don’t, something is going to break, and the business processes you build around that fact are incredibly important.”  

“Definitely,” Chris agrees. “Service is king; learned that through manufacturing a long time ago, whether it was setting up a big factory or working with mom and pop, it’s all based on service.”  

Thank You

We’d like to thank Chris for taking the time to speak with us and share his insights. It was a pleasure to learn more about the amazing things Blue Box Brands, Ration Cannabis, and BeGreen Supply are doing in the world besides providing high-quality solutions for other businesses and end-users. We wish Chris and his team continued success and fulfillment in the coming years. Keep up the great work supporting veterans, and thank you for making a positive impact. 

Read more of our customer features: 

If you are interested in partnering with us, reach out to our crew to learn how Vape-Jet can provide next-level products for your customers.  

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
Jet-Fueler Vape-Jet

Fernway: Customer Feature

What better way to enjoy New England’s Fall foliage than paying a visit to our good friends at Fernway in Northampton, Massachusetts? As creators of Massachusetts’ 1st recyclable cannabis vapeThe Traveler—and long-time Vape-Jet customers, it was only fitting that we caught up during the changing of the seasons to discuss—well, change.   

Vape-Jet CEO, Developer, and Founder, Ryan Hoitt sat down with Fernway’s COO and co-founder, Kevin Wu, to see how things are going. Read on to learn about Vape-Jet and Fernway’s ongoing collaboration, the move to sustainable industry practices, Vape-Jet tips and tricks, and more:  

The Vape-Jet Experience  

Since their founding in February 2021, Fernway has used Vape-Jet cartridge-filling machines to ensure they maintain high QA standards and have scalable technology to grow with their business. Starting with our Jet Fueler semi-automatic vape cart filler in 2021, Fernway is now up to five Vape-Jet fully-automatic cartridge-filling machines, four of which operate side-by-side in their Northampton facility.  

“How did you learn about Vape-Jet?”  

“It must have been on the internet somewhere… We were just four guys in a house at that time, and we didn’t have the money to spend on a fully automated, big fancy machine,” Kevin says. After testing and evaluating almost every machine on the market, Kevin came across the Jet Fueler — “It was a perfect fit for what we needed and a great machine to learn about oil paths and how distillate and cannabis oil can move through PTFE lines and reservoirs.”   

During those early days, Vape-Jet and Fernway went through the growing pains of high-throughput manufacturing together, allowing both businesses to grow and learn from one another. “You gave us a lot of feedback on things that needed improvement,” Ryan says.   

“Yeah, I think you make it sound a little worse than it was,” Kevin jokes. “I will say that the [Jet Fueler] was repeatable and that was key for us because we wanted to bring a high-quality, consistent vape product to market.”   

When Fernway did run into an issue, Kevin opened a support ticket, and the Vape-Jet support team would stay on the phone until they resolved the issue. “That gave us a lot of peace of mind,” Kevin adds. “If there was an issue with the machine, we wouldn’t be left stranded.”  

“In my opinion, we’ve had a really collaborative relationship,” Ryan says. “A lot of our recent software upgrades—in terms of data reporting, batch records, and whatnot—were direct suggestions from you.”  

“I see us as fellow travelers and kindred spirits in that our products and companies are becoming larger and more sophisticated, and we have to grow together,” Kevin says. “That can only happen if we’re sharing information back and forth.”  

After eventually scaling to three Jet Fuelers, Fernway upgraded to the fully-automatic Vape-Jet. “Now, we have five of them,” Kevin says.  

Growing Together: Switching to a Fully-Automated Workflow  

After realizing their business was scaling too quickly to fill every vape cartridge manually under a needle, the Fernway team realized it was time for some automated assistance.  

“The transition was actually fairly easy because of how familiar we were with the Jet Fuelers,” Kevin says. “The Vape-Jet team helped create profiles that are unique to each piece of our hardware.” So, whether Fernway is filling their 510 half-gram vape cartridges or one of their Traveler sizes, a customized hardware profile is ready to quickly and accurately fill to spec.  

“Beyond setting up those initial profiles, the process of loading the reservoir into the machine, pressurizing the machine with the nitrogen assist, [and] setting the temperature zones was all very familiar to us,” Kevin continues. “It was big relief when we saw that platform and the needle moving around, and we knew we didn’t have to fill those cartridges one by one anymore.”  

Vape-Jet 4.0 | The Most Advanced Fully-Automatic Vape Cartridge Filling Machine - Click to Learn More
Scaling and Sustainability—Friends at Last  

Now selling half and full-gram 510 vape cartridges and Massachussettes’ first recyclable vape cartridge, the Traveler (available in 0.3 and 0.7-gram sizes), Fernway is moving the industry toward more sustainable practices that consumers demand.   

“We’ve been seeing a lot of movement in the market away from 510s toward more disposable packaging,” Ryan Hoitt says. “Could you tell me the challenges involved with setting [the Traveler] up?”  

“We saw the same [trends] you did,” Kevin Wu agrees. “Customers really enjoy the all-in-one form factor with the oil and the battery connected, but we didn’t like the environmental impact of that product form.”   

The solution? Fernway found a recycling partner. “After one of our recyclable [vape cartridges] are spent, [and] the oil is consumed, the customer can bring [the Traveler] back to where they purchased it and deposit it in a recycling box.”  

A few times a year, after the Fernway team collects all the recycled Traveler vapes in their facility, their recycling partner collects the spent devices, dips them into liquid nitrogen, then pulverizes them. “Then they heat it to recover different materials found in the devices,” Kevin says.  

An Innovative Trio: Vape-Jet, Fernway, and Cilicon

“So, I know with the Traveler you’ve been working with Cilicon as the hardware manufacturer,” Ryan says. “Can you describe the experience of developing and launching that product with such a tight feedback loop between their team, the Vape-Jet team, and yourself?” 

“We selected Cilicon as our all-in-one hardware vendor almost a year ago,” Kevin explains. “We went through several rounds of testing and decided that the performance and the profile of [their] product was exactly what we wanted. The missing piece was ‘how are we going to fill these at scale?’ That’s when we reached out to you.”  

When Fernway decided to launch the Traveler, they sent photos of the device and asked if our team could get a Vape-Jet to fill them. “To my surprise—and to our good luck—you were already in contact with [Cilicon] and we were able to design a custom jig which was rapidly prototyped by the Vape-Jet team,” Kevin says. Within a week of that discussion, Fernway validated their new product’s workflow with Vape-Jet automation, ensuring they would not have to invest in additional equipment.   

A few months later when the devices arrived, they came with additional jigs based on Vape-Jet’s initial prototype. “Now, we’re selling tens of thousands a month,” Kevin says. “I would categorize [the Traveler] launch as smooth as [a product launch] could possibly go. So I think that’s a credit to you and a credit to the Cilicon team.”  

Kevin’s Vape-Jet Tips and Tricks

  1. ‘Keep the machines clean!’: “Make sure you’re fully cleaning out the reservoirs after every batch.” Kevin highlights the importance of running isopropyl alcohol through the PTFE lines to ensure operators won’t encounter residual oil from the previous batch.  
     
  2. ‘Take it slow!’: “Once the [Vape-Jet] is up and running, it’s filling a tray of 100 vape cartridges in five or six minutes. There’s no reason to rush the manual parts of the process along.”  

The Power of Partnership 

“I really do appreciate our partnership here. I feel like, even though you’re across the country, we’ve got a partner that’s not going to leave us stranded. If we have a problem, I know someone on your team will help us, and you’ll take the time and clear out the schedule. That’s so rare to find out in the market.”  

“It’s been amazing to watch your business grow,” Ryan says. “It’s been one of the highlights of my career to be able to be that partner in this and just work with you guys. And yeah, we’re a solutions provider, but that feedback loop and the connections we’ve made over the past couple of years… it’s been a highlight of my career, so I really appreciate it.  

What’s next for Fernway?

Kevin mentions a new seasonal pumpkin spice flavor for their Traveler (released in October) and launching a line of live resin vape cartridges for the ultimate cannabis experience. 

Want to share your Vape-Jet story?

Reach out to our crew and let them know you’re ready for your customer feature. Check out our other customer success stories: C3 Industries, True North Collective, Terrapin Care Station.

If you are interested in providing the highest-quality product for your customers, reach out to our crew to learn how Vape-Jet can provide next-level products for your customers.    

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
Uncategorized Vape-Jet

Ask a Vape-Jet Filling Machine Operator

In this article:

‘What’s Going On’ at MJBizCon

It’s that time of year again, and the Vape-Jet team is happy to join the cannabis industry folks at MJBizCon in Las Vegas, Nevada, from November 16-18! This year, we’re bringing along brand representative, Vape-Jet operator, and owner of Natural Roots Extracts, Demetre (James) Janness to answer questions and provide insight into what it’s like working with a Vape-Jet fully-automatic filling machine and Jet Fueler semi-automatic cartridge-filling machine every day.   

If you’re at the expo, make sure to stop by booth #6851 and say “hi!” We’ll provide you with all the information you need about our products and some cat memes for the road!  

A look back at MJBizCon 2021 from our friends at AVD.

Ask a Vape-Jet Operator: Demetre Janness from Natural Roots Extracts 

With the news that our good friend Demetre would be joining us for MJBizCon, it was only fitting that we sat down and discussed his experience with Vape-Jet. Along with some insights he’s gained from the field, we also talked about our new partnership with his vape hardware company, TerpLogic, and how we work together to share benefits with our customers.  

Demetre’s Vape-Jet Experience 

“I’ve been using Vape-Jet filling machines for quite some time,” Demetre says. “I would say at least three and a half years now. I am absolutely pleased with the results.” During those years, Demetre has used several of our products, including the Vape-Jet 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, Jet Fueler 2.0, and Squish-o-Matic 1000.   

Why has Demetre partnered with Vape-Jet through the years? “We’ve been able to increase our volume of work with less people over a very short amount of time.” Vape-Jet cartridge-filling machines are perfect for guaranteeing his company will meet deadlines. Demetre says that their Vape-Jet ‘pretty much guarantees’ that the filling process will always be smooth. “In fact,” Demetre mentions, “[the filling process] is where we usually make up most of the time.”  

When you’re working with automated technology, it always helps to partner with a company that has your back long-term. Demetre explains that one of the great things about Vape-Jet is being able to get in touch with product support and technical assistance in a reasonable timeframe—“Next thing you know, they’re like ‘here, let me fix this for you,’ and, BAM, it’s done!” “Then, with the small exception where I’ve broken my own parts from carelessness,” Demetre continues, “I’ve ordered a new [part] and was able to get it very fast and at a fair, reasonable price.”   

Asked how Vape-Jet cartridge-filling machines compare with other filling systems he’s used, Demetre explains, “like many people in the industry, I started filling by hand. Compared to that you might as well be launching me into space and setting me on Mars because it’s out-of-this-world different.”   

Some of the negatives Demetre points out about hand-filling include stress, physical strain, and employee turnover. Not only does hand-filling have labor consequences, Demetre continues, but it also results in substantial product loss. “When you can reduce the amount of touchpoints to your packaging, you can make the job fun because it’s really great watching the machine do its job… I mean, you can’t compare. You really can’t.” 

Watch Demetre fill and cap simultaneously with the Vape-Jet 3.0 and Squish-o-Matic 1000 side by side.
Vape-Jet Insights 

We asked Demetre if he had any tips for new (and experienced) operators of our vape cartridge-filling machines: “the biggest tip I can give to an operator to [get] the most out of your systems is making sure that you take time to prep,” he says. “Take your time, do your prep work, heat your oil properly, and develop a great SOP for that whole system, so if you have other people working when you’re not around, they’re not going to break the machine.”  

When asked how difficult it was to operate a Vape-Jet fully-automatic cartridge-filling machine as a rookie, Demetre says: “By the end of the [first] day, I was able to jump in comfortably, knowing that the next day, when I’m completely on my own, I don’t have to rely on calling anybody or anything like that.” In fact, Demetre quickly trained most of his staff to operate the machine after just learning it himself. Asked what he considered the hardest part of operating a Vape-Jet, he says, “honestly, whatever I’ve run into thus far has been nothing compared to what we were doing before.”  

With a valuable perspective (having operated several Vape-Jet iterations over the years), Demetre states that the Vape-Jet 4.0 is much quieter than previous generations. Noting the superior speed, build quality, ease-of-use, and built-in touchscreen as key benefits of Vape-Jet automation, Demetre says the upgraded 4.0 software is “outstanding” in its ability to locate and fill vape cartridges and pods quickly. “I was able to test TerpLogic Ally pods with the original 3.0, and it worked great, but the 4.0 is just faster. I think we’re hitting around 4 minutes per tray of 50 pods with a dual fill, full gram with .5g on each side. So, 50g in 4 minutes with caps and everything. And we are able to utilize the Squish-o-Matic in that process, so it’s great.”   

Vape-Jet 4.0 | The Most Advanced Fully-Automatic Vape Cartridge Filling Machine - Click to Learn More

When considering whether to invest in a Vape-Jet cartridge-filling machine, Demetre advises companies to consider how it impacts labor. “You’re allowing your employees to have a job that avoids work-related injuries from repetitive motion and things like that. I think that relates heavily to turnover with staff. It also translates big when it comes to losses. If you’re constantly training someone, then you’re losing money. You need someone there to make sure this machine runs, and that’s it. And it’s going to keep running until your power runs out. And that’s on you.”   

By streamlining their production with Vape-Jet hardware—from the Vape-Jet 4.0 to the Squish-o-Matic 1000—Demetre shows how quickly investing in a Vape-Jet automatic cartridge filler can pay off. Whether it’s labor, product loss, quality control, or scaling considerations, Vape-Jet has the solutions to help you increase revenue and innovate for the future.  

If you want to hear more from folks operating Vape-Jet products in the field, check out our other customer features (Terrapin Care Station, C3 Industries, and True North Collective) and stay tuned for upcoming customer features on our blog page

Our New Hardware Partner: TerpLogic Solutions

Since the launch of our new partner program, we’ve teamed up with a solid group of like-minded companies to bring our customers the most streamlined vape cartridge-filling workflow possible. With the addition of Demetre’s company TerpLogic Solutions, our mission to provide high-quality, comprehensive, and scalable filling processes to the cannabis industry continues.

Who is TerpLogic?  

TerpLogic manufactures The “Ally” All-In-One Rechargeable Vape, one of the most efficient vapes available that ensures proper voltage output for maximum performance, all in a sleek, discrete design with no cotton wicking required.   

Due to his experience with our company, Demetre wanted to ensure The Ally would work seamlessly with our Vape-Jet fully-automatic cartridge-filling machine. “[The Vape-Jet] is able to identify [the Ally’s] center post and two filling holes that exist within our design very quickly. In fact, we’re able to push the limits if we really want to, but, personally, I’m a firm believer in efficiency, and I try to find numbers where everyone can keep up.”   

Demetre also points out that the Vape-Jet saved profile configuration feature allows TerpLogic to quickly switch from 510 cartridges to Ally pods, allowing them to run two cartridge platforms without downtime or wasted product.  

Vape-Jet 4.0 filling the TerpLogic Ally all-in-one pod.

“One of the things that’s great about the TerpLogic Ally pod is it’s an all-in-one with a rechargeable low-capacity battery,” Demetre says. This reduces the amount of lithium needed to operate the device, allowing TerpLogic to reduce their carbon footprint. “We’re able to reduce [emissions] due to The Ally’s lower shipping weight.”  

The Ally also uses a non-cotton-based atomizer with a quartz heating element and ceramic insulator system that protects the oil from rapid changes, so the end-user gets excellent flavor all the way through. “We’ve had great success with our full-gram pods, various thicker oils, and rosins,” Demetre notes.  

How can interested parties test TerpLogic hardware? The best way is to get samples through their website. “Pick up one of our sample kits for a very nominal fee, and, if that’s a great price for you already, you’ll be excited to know that our wholesale pricing jumps down drastically from that price point,” Demetre says. “We are working with Vape-Jet to help provide potential customers with samples so you can test our product partnership.” With other exciting announcements on the horizon, be sure to follow TerpLogic’s Instagram and website for updates.  

Provide Optimal Cartridge-Filling Solutions for Your Customers with Vape-Jet x TerpLogic 

With Demetre’s deep knowledge of Vape-Jet vape cartridge automation, our partnership with TerpLogic is a great route for companies looking for a streamlined workflow that decreases overhead, increases throughput, and provides premium user experiences with high-quality oil vaporizing hardware.  

Have your own questions for Demetre? Find him at the Vape-Jet booth (#6851) at MJBizCon November 16-18 in Las Vegas, Nevada!

If you are interested in providing the highest-quality product for your customers, reach out to our crew to learn how Vape-Jet can provide next-level products for your customers. 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
Jet-Fueler Uncategorized Vape-Jet

How the Global CO₂ Shortage Affects Cannabis Oil Extraction

Industry Insight

For cannabis oil producers, the importance of CO2 cannot be understated. As the primary solvent in one of the most popular cannabis oil extraction methods in the industry today, the recent CO2 shortage has profound implications for oil production processes. With so much volatility in the market, let’s take some time to think about this CO2 dilemma and propose some solutions so oil producers can keep meeting customer demand while maintaining the same high-quality products consumers deserve. 

How did this CO2 Shortage Begin? 

As with any global shift in market availability, the reasons for the current CO2 situation are varied. Perhaps most significantly, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has created extensive oil and natural gas supply interruptions in Europe, leading to volatile petrochemical and agricultural markets which directly affect fertilizer production, of which food grade CO2 is a byproduct.  

This market uncertainty, tied to lack of supply, has already affected other industries close to cannabis. In the brewing industry, for instance, the impact of the CO2 shortage is already playing out, leading to increased input costs which have numerous upstream and downstream workflow ramifications.  

The Significance of CO2 for Vape Cartridge Producers

The benefits of using CO2 for cannabis oil extraction are well-documented, but it’s worth revisiting just how vital CO2 is for vape cartridge production.  

As the most common solvent for Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE), CO2 earns its place because of multiple factors: 

  1. It is one of the safest non-polar solvents 
  2. It is more dependable during SFE for preserving the compounds found in cannabis 
  3. It can pull various cannabinoids from the plant through fractioning 

When Will the Cannabis Oil Extraction Industry Feel the Shortage?

[CO2 demand] from the cannabis industry, for cannabinoid and terpene extraction, [has] been growing quickly, and not enough new capacity is coming online to compensate.” – Craig Bettenhausen, “US faces COshortage” 

The worlds of cannabis production and retail are accustomed to fluctuating markets. Most post-legalization markets, for example, overinvest in production capacity leading to wholesale cost reductions. Dealing with lower prices isn’t new, and it usually leads to consolidation and restructuring until the supply and demand for cannabis come back into alignment. How is this CO2 shortage different, and how is it similar? 

Well, although it can be difficult to predict when and how certain industries will react to a decreased CO2 supply, there are some reasonable expectations of when we will start seeing the shortage affect the cannabis industry. 

The first people to feel the CO2 supply shortage will be grow and cannabis oil extraction facilities, especially when natural gas and oil consumption spike in winter (Butane Hash Oil extractors will likely feel this pain as well). Accordingly, all cannabis flower, extract, and distillate will probably see cost increases by the end of 2022, which will squeeze profit margins on vape cartridges. 

Of course, this spike in the price of natural gas during wintertime will undoubtedly be exacerbated by increased gas exports to Europe from North America. As energy costs inflate due to decreased supply and increased demand, input costs for cannabis cultivation, extraction, and refinement will rise, ultimately yielding lower margins on cannabis products across the board and increasingly small returns. 

In short, with high electricity costs, high CO2 costs, and high butane costs, every step in the cannabis product chain will be affected.  

So, What’s the Solution?

Wholesale and retail marijuana prices continue to fall in most states, with production often outpacing consumption… The glut of cannabis products and brands have retailers in many states increasingly discounting their merchandise in hopes of shrinking bulging inventories and boosting sales amid growing competition.” – Andrew Long, “Midyear State Cannabis Sales a Mixed Bag Across the United States

With such clear indicators of pesky inflation and increased input costs on the horizon, we ought to think of some solutions. After all, we shouldn’t just read this information and run to the closest bar. It’s what we do with the information going forward and how we use it to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the uncertainty that matters. 

So, what can you do? 

Solution 01: Invest in Automation

As input costs rise due to CO2 and other raw materials—and oversupply issues continue for the cannabis industry—prices will continue falling, ultimately squeezing out many operators with high costs and low returns. In other words, cost reduction is key, and reducing labor costs with automation may be the only way to compete.  

Luckily, this solution is our specialty. At Vape-Jet, we manufacture the most advanced fully-automated (Vape–Jet) and semi-automated (Jet Fueler) vape cartridge-filling systems on the market. In fact, we’ve discussed how vape cartridge automation is one of the most proactive, crucial investments you can make in your cartridge filling process quite a bit. 

Not only do our vape cartridge-filling machines fill your cartridges faster, more accurately, and help you overcome cartridge hardware challenges, our team also provides unmatched after-sales support to keep your operation running. That means higher productivity, decreased labor input, and satisfied customers. 

Solution 02: Plan for a New Pricing Strategy

As Krista Raymer writes in her article, “to combat price compression, cannabis retailers can use psychology and consumer behavior tendencies to guide them toward certain products or shopping patterns. One important tactic to do this is through the lens of price perception.”  

Krista lists three strategies cannabis companies can use to stay ahead: ‘visualization of pricing,’ ‘in-store signage,’ and ‘insignificant numbers.’ Read detailed descriptions of these strategies in “Dispensary Pricing Strategy: How to Combat Price Compression.” 

Solution 03: Solventless Cannabis Oil Extraction

As we discussed earlier, CO2 is a dependable solvent for Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE). But what if you moved your workflow away from solvents? Well, it is safe to assume that solventless processes will see a significant boost if solvents inflate high enough. If you want to learn more about this cannabis oil extraction method and how it affects production, product quality, and operation costs, start with this article—“Extracting the Bottom Line.” 

And That’s Where We Come In

As we watch the CO2 shortage impact other industries around us, cannabis businesses should start preparing for the necessary strategies (cultivation, production, sales, etc.) to combat the inevitable results of price increases in our industry. Automation is one of the most straightforward ways to set your business up for success now and especially when uncertainty starts affecting the markets on which we depend. 

Reach out to the Vape-Jet team today, and let’s optimize your operation now and secure your workflow for the long haul. 

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.  

Interested in our new partner program? Learn more here. 

Categories
Uncategorized Vape-Jet

Vape-Jet’s Six Star Service and Product Support

Optimizing Your Cartridge-Filler with Our Six Star Service

When it comes to investing in technology, especially automated technology, it can be difficult to put a price on product support. In the cannabis industry, moving to vape cartridge automation can feel like a big step with many unknowns. Luckily, with Vape-Jet, you’re never flying solo.  

With our Six Star approach to product service and support, we work with our customers to improve their workflows, troubleshoot issues, predict maintenance needs, and even integrate their design suggestions into our machines. We believe pairing our advanced cartridge-filling technology with fast, accessible product support is the best way to ensure every person involved, from vape producer to end-user, is satisfied.  

See how our Six Star approach affects our customers and streamlines post-sales support: 

  1. Consultative Approach to Sales 
  2. Post-Sales Support 
  3. Remote Access 
  4. Proactive Maintenance 
  5. Service Warranty & Response Times 
  6. Customer Feedback Integration 

Consultative Approach

Sales 

What is a consultative approach? For us, it means building an informed relationship with our customers that takes a holistic view of their operation. This relationship begins with our sales process, which focuses on your business’s particular needs. In fact, we won’t suggest investing in a Vape-Jet fully automatic cartridge-filling machine unless it’s the right fit for your production demands.  

As part of our consultative approach, we leverage the combined knowledge and experience of our team to discuss not only your filling and packaging needs but your hardware challenges and process bottlenecks. Our aim—through our vape cartridge-filling machines and industry experience—is always to increase the efficiency of your entire production. Our resident cannabis chemist, Devon Reid, will even diagnose your product formulations or extraction process and offer suggestions for improvement. 

Post Sales

Shipping your brand new fully-automatic Vape-Jet, semi-automatic Jet Fueler, or Squish-o-Matic 1000 is only half our sales process. The other half begins when the equipment ships to your facility. 

  • Our dedicated product support team will guide you through onboarding and shipping. So, when your machine arrives, your team is prepped and ready for installation. 
  • The Vape-Jet HelpDesk allows you to submit support tickets, coordinate remote installations, request hardware compatibility reports, report errors, schedule meetings, and more
  • You’ll receive unlimited training and hardware calibration assistance  

Did we mention that our industry-leading Vape-Jet support team boasts same-day response times? And that’s just the beginning of getting your filling process on the right track. 

Remote Access 

There is nothing quite like hands-on technical support when you need it most. That’s why—in addition to its machine vision alignment camera—each Vape-Jet fully-automatic cartridge-filler comes equipped with an internal system overview camera.  

Using the system overview camera in conjunction with Microsoft Teams, our engineers will walk you through installation, training, machine calibration (per your specific oil needs), and any support needs as if they were physically by your side. That means no matter where your operation is located, our expert team of in-house engineers can diagnose and troubleshoot machine errors and misconfigurations.  

A look at the Vape-Jet product support team at work using remote access to help customers through needle calibration and support.

Proactive Maintenance 

When it comes to automation, you want to partner with a business that cares about constantly improving their machines in the field. With advanced platforms like our Vape-Jet fully-automatic and Jet Fueler semi-automatic cartridge-filler, our technical team can actively manage and support our entire fleet of machines from HQ. This means we are constantly reviewing data reports, analyzing equipment configurations, looking out for repeat errors, and guiding businesses on how they can optimize the performance of their machine. In short, with proactive guidance, our team saves your operators from wasting time and product. 

The Vape-Jet support dashboard showing an overview of all active machines in the field, which allows our product support technicians to proactively monitor the fleet.
What is Active Deployment?

Active deployment means we are constantly working to improve our software based on customer feedback. As a partnership focused on quality vape cartridge production, we listen to our customers, regularly adding new features, custom modifications, and software updates to ensure your vape cartridge-filling machine runs as efficiently and smoothly as possible.  

Vape-Jet Service Warranty & Response Times

We know how important it is to keep your machines running at their best so you can continue offering optimal solutions for your customers. That’s why all Vape-Jet filling and capping machines include a renewable one-year warranty with a service level agreement. This agreement includes access to our dedicated support team, free troubleshooting and how-to articles, self-guided repair and maintenance documentation (including manuals for our Vape-Jet, Jet Fueler, and Squish-o-Matic), and so much more. 

Need urgent support? Our support response times are as quick as 15 minutes and always the same business day. As Joey Stutz from True North Collective MI explains, “Anytime we have an issue, I go online or send a support message, and they’re on it within a day. If it’s super time-sensitive. Just the other day, we had an issue with the needle, and they got on within 30-45 minutes. Customer service is great.” 

We will also provide free overnight shipping for any materials or parts you need to get your operation back online as swiftly as possible. “You guys are very responsive and get parts overnighted,” Kimberly Long from Terrapin Care Station says. “I come in and fix [the Vape-Jet], and we get things going.” 

Customer Feedback Integration

We recognize that our customers are the best resource we have for improving our machines. In fact, several features of our vape cartridge-filling machines are the result of customer feedback, including: 

  • Automated workflow improvements 
  • Multi-shot dispensing options for tinctures 
  • Non-standard fill pattern optimization for irregular trays 

Want to read more about our customers’ experiences and interactions with the Vape-Jet crew? Check out our customer features: Terrapin Care Station, True North Collective-MI, C3 Industries.   

See How Six Star Service and Support Benefits You

“Best filling machine out there, not just because of the technology and efficiency of the machines, but because of the people in this company and the support they continuously provide. You can’t put a price on what you get with Vape-Jet.” – Vertical Supply Company  

If you’re looking for an automated vape cartridge-filling solution provider that embraces achieving more together, then you should see how we can optimize your operation for the long haul and contact our sales team today

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.  

Interested in our new partner program? Learn more here. 

Categories
Jet Fueler Jet-Fueler Uncategorized Vape-Jet

True North Collective MI: Customer Feature

A Shared Dedication to Quality

When it comes to offering transformative solutions for your customers, you have to embrace a growth mindset that challenges the status quo. Every day, our team at Vape-Jet has lived by this ethos, and we love when others do too. That’s why it should be no surprise that today, we’re focusing on True North Collective—an unapologetically authentic purveyor of craft cannabis products.  

As one of Michigan’s premier cannabis brands, you can bet that the True North Collective (TNC) team doesn’t take any shortcuts. Since 2019, they’ve emphasized the healing potential of cannabis and have cultivated multi-award-winning products for medical and recreational users alike. 

True North Collective - From Michigan, For Michigan | Click to Learn More

With three brands in the TNC family, it didn’t take long before their vape cartridge-filling production needed a boost. Most importantly, this wasn’t a time to take shortcuts with their operation. Recognizing the innovation and quality behind Vape-Jet products reflected their own high standards, Vape-Jet automation and True North Collective were a perfect match. TNC decided to invest in our Vape-Jet 3.0 fully automatic and a Jet Fueler 2.0 semi-automatic filler, and that’s where our story begins.  

This week, we sat down with TNC-Michigan’s Distillation Director, Joey Stutz to see how their operation had changed since acquiring our cartridge-filling machines: 

Vape-Jet in action at True North Collective’s Michigan facility.

Before and After 

Before investing in their first Vape-Jet, TNC was filling cartridges by hand with a generic cartridge-filling gun. Since there were no heating elements in the filling gun, fill techs had to heat the oil separately. With this heating variable added to an already physically intensive filling process, TNC had to dedicate up to six employees at a time for filling and capping, which limited them to filling 50-100 cartridges at a time and up to 1,000-2,000 a day. 

And after they bought a Vape-Jet? 

With the Vape-Jet they can fill about 4,000 distillate cartridges per day—and that’s with one person for filling and capping. Needless to say, that was a huge improvement over hand-filling! 

With the speed and precision of a Vape-Jet in their facility, TNC saw an opportunity to use our semi-automatic Jet Fueler to generate new products, like a line of premium sauce cartridges coming to market soon. For businesses looking to accelerate their growth by adding product lines—or rapidly boosting their throughput to meet demand and enter new markets—the flexibility of a Vape-Jet and Jet Fueler tandem is highly effective

With their move to Vape-Jet automation, TNC also switched to AVD EazyPress cartridges (one of Vape-Jet’s most filled hardware suppliers) for a seamless production workflow. “We did R&D on a bunch of different disposables, pods, and other carts that aren’t EasyPress, but ultimately the best flavor came from the EasyPress AVD [cartridges],” Joey says. 

Labor Cost 

By switching to Vape-Jet, True North Collective reduced its labor needs by 83% while doubling its production output.  

“The Vape-Jet is automated, so you need someone in the room watching it, but they can also be doing something else while the machine is running itself. It’s not like that person is just dedicated to filling the entire time or just dedicated to one other process. The machine makes it so that one person can get carts ready, they can get the oil ready for the carts and mix the terpenes into it, they can watch the machine and cap at the same time. [The Vape-Jet] makes it very easy for us to reduce the amount of labor overall,” Joey says. “We don’t even have to use the VJ every day right now because it can fill so many, and it’s so efficient.”  

What about fill accuracy? Any improvement there?  

Although their hand-filling operator was very skilled and experienced, it would have been difficult if they had to train someone new. “Whereas the Vape-Jet comes in, and you just work a computer a little bit, and you’re good to go,” Joey says. “There’s not a lot of skill required to operate this machine, just knowledge.”  

How easy is it to operate a Vape-Jet? Contact our crew to request a live demo and see for yourself.

Vape-Jet Product Support 

Creating an extensive, easily accessed online product support library has been, and remains, a main focus for the Vape-Jet team. With an abundance of resources for new Vape-Jet users and veterans alike, folks can easily find: 

Joey emphasizes this comprehensive approach to product support as a key component of the success TNC has had with their machines. “Anytime we have an issue, I go online or send a support message, and they’re on it within a day. If it’s super time-sensitive,” Joey continues, “[Vape-Jet support] is right on it. Just the other day, we had an issue with the needle, and they got on within 30-45 minutes. Customer service is great.”   

Operator Tips from Joey 

  • For faster changeover between batches, make sure to purchase an extra reservoir for oil so you can have it ready as soon as your cleaning cycle ends. You can also get a DropTank Oil Preheater to perform hot swaps and save more time. 
  • Try to run the same cannabis strain back-to-back so you don’t have to wait for the cleaning process. 
  • Always be aware if the nitrogen is connected or disconnected to the oil reservoir (depending on the task at hand) because it can make a huge mess.  
Vape-Jet 4.0 | The Most Advanced Fully-Automatic Vape Cartridge Filling Machine - Click to Learn More

Why Vape-Jet? 

Ease of use 

I really like the efficiency of your machine. You literally just put the brick in there, it fills the brick, and then you take the brick out. It’s that easy,” Joey explains. “Every other machine that we saw was a little bit more manual or had some other things that you had to do to them.”  

Operation Consistency 

“I also liked that the Vape-Jet was a single fill vs. filling 100 cartridges at one time because I’ve never seen that work correctly.”   

Pricing 

“The price is excellent. It’s probably 50-66% the cost of the machines that claim they can do a similar amount.” And that’s without getting into fill repeatability, where the Vape–Jet outpaces all competitors with a fill variability of ±0.25%. That’s more precise than a single drop of oil! 

Look 

And,” Joey emphasizes, “it looks cool! It’s something that when someone is touring the facility, they look at it and they’re like ‘That looks pretty cool!’ instead of a big clunky machine just sitting there that we have to explain what it does.” 

10/10 Would Recommend” 

Before we said goodbye, we asked Joey how likely he was to recommend our vape cartridge-filling machines to others: “10/10—would recommend,” Joey said. We can’t ask for a better score than that! 

As they look to ramp up production soon (and possibly bring another Vape-Jet on board), we wish True North Collective the very best moving forward. We couldn’t be happier to watch their customer-centered focus on quality pay off. We also want to thank Joey Stutz for taking the time to speak with us and share his unique insights. It’s always a pleasure speaking with other folks who are passionate about cannabis and process development. 

If you want to experience freedom from workflow, labor, and product quality constraints that Joey describes, contact our sales team and join the Vape-Jet Revolution! 

Interested in learning more? Browse one of our other informational blogs:  

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
Vape Hardware Vape-Jet

What Vape Hardware Do We Fill Most?

One of the most common questions we receive is: 

So, what carts can I fill with a Vape-Jet?” 

Although the simple answer—‘most of them!’—is not unacceptable, we realize it is important that consumers and cartridge-filling companies understand how Vape-Jet technology is contributing to our customers’ success in the field. While these stories of collaborative growth and 2x production boosts have been shared before, we know that compatible hardware information is crucial when making an investment decision. 

So, without further ado, here are the five vape cartridge manufacturers that Vape-Jet and Jet Fueler operators are most commonly filling: 

Cilicon vape hardware lineup.

Headquarters: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China 

Who is Cilicon? 

Cilicon provides OBM/OEM/ODM hardware directly to cannabis companies or through its network of US-based partners. One of Cilicon’s core strengths is the comprehensive approach they take to industry chain management. From R&D and manufacturing to sales, Cilcon’s hardware quality is the result of precise control over their products. 

Cilicon vape cartridges and disposables are some of our most frequently filled products.  

Cilicon Product Categories

Cilicon offers a variety of competitive product solutions, including, but not limited to: 

Review Cilicon’s complete product page for more information. 

What Makes Cilicon Unique?

Cilicon is deeply invested in research and development, providing innovative products with unique design capabilities to a vast, diverse customer base. With 4 patented ceramic technologies and 40+ vape products on the market, Cilicon continues to craft solutions that drive industry trends.  

Customized Options

Along with custom hardware styles, colors, and other options for end-users, Cilicon also develops tailored ODM products with fully-custom external aesthetics and innovative technologies (like, BioBaleen™ modules and Duair™ technology) for brands including Vessel, Kalibloom, and Bloom.  

AVD vape hardware

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, USA 

Who is AVD? 

AVD prides themselves on reliability and flavor technology. Before starting AVD, they were growers, extractors, and processors, with decades of cannabis experience. AVD excels at manufacturing vape hardware grounded on engineered principles specifically tailored to cannabis and the nuanced interplay between absorption, heating, and vaporization. AVD’s Eazy-Press Glass and Eazy-Press Polyresin Cartridges represent some of the highest total quantity of cartridges filled by Vape-Jet because of their ease of filling and capping with one of, if not the lowest failure rate in the industry.   

AVD Product Categories 

AVD offers a variety of competitive product solutions, renowned for retaining true-to-strain flavors, based on their pioneering No-Burn Technology™, including:  

You can review AVD’s complete product listing here for more information.   

What Makes AVD Unique? 

With budget and premium options, AVD is a go-to source for oil brands and processors. Manufacturing out of their own state-of-the-art factory with control over their raw material supply and in-country inventory, AVD quickly ships high-quality stock inventory in 1-3 days.  

Customized Options 

AVD’s Design House collaborates with their client partners to achieve standout customizations. From classic (custom Pantone colors, finishes printing, and compliancy engraving) to premium customizations (including one-of-a-kind unique mouthpiece covers and unique form factors). 

Jupiter vape hardware

Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona, USA 

Who is Jupiter Research? 

Jupiter Research is the distributor of CCELL® cartridges, a specialty heating technology for natural plant-based extracts. Jupiter half and full gram carts are some of our most frequently filled products. 

Jupiter Research Product Categories 

Jupiter Research offers a variety of competitive product solutions, including, but not limited to: 

Review Jupiter Research’s complete product listing for more information. 

What Makes Jupiter Research Unique? 

As one of four US-based distributors of CCELL® cartridges, Jupiter Research represents one of the original providers who sparked the mass production of vape cartridges nationwide. 

Customized Options 

Jupiter Research offers custom branding options for all their products, from colors and printing to customized vape specifications. 

BBTank vape hardware

Headquarters: Dongguan, Guangdong, China  

Who is BBTank? 

BBTank provides vape hardware directly to cannabis companies, supporting its high-volume manufacturing facilities with a robust R&D department. 

BBTank Product Categories 

BBTank offers a variety of competitive product solutions, including, but not limited to: 

Review BBTank’s complete product listing for more information. 

What Makes BBTank Unique?  

By fostering direct relationships with cannabis companies, BBTank has shorter development times on new products. Also, with more than 2,500 workers, 20 workshops, and 100 production lines, BBTank can quickly scale to meet demand while investing resources in following the latest trends in the cannabis market. 

Customized Options 

BBTank supports many customized options from small-scale color finishes and mouthpieces to fully custom ODM hardware and custom packaging. 

Greentank vape hardware

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario, Canada  

Who is Greentank? 

Working directly with cannabis companies, Greentank has successfully launched over 200 vape brands across the US and Canada. 

Greentank Product Categories 

Greentank offers a variety of competitive product solutions, including, but not limited to: 

Review GreenTank’s complete product listing for more information. 

What Makes Greentank Unique?  

With locations in the US and Canada, Greentank’s products have a broad reach. Along with a plethora of customized options (which we will get to shortly), Greentank focuses on finding innovative solutions for its customers. 

Customized Options 

Stressing the importance of ‘bringing brands to life,’ Greentank supports a comprehensive library of finishes, mouthpieces, chargers, and packaging. 

Other Brands 

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include these fantastic companies below, who are not only developing exceptional products but using Vape-Jet technology to ensure quality cartridge control: 

Learn More About Vape-Jet    

As this list of vape cartridge manufacturers indicates, Vape-Jet and Jet Fueler cartridge-filling machines are at the center of a rapidly growing industry. With precision and quality being the most important similarity between these successful manufacturers, it has never been more essential to manage filling variables and handle your cartridges with consistency. 

If you’re interested in learning more, browse one of our other informational blogs: 

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
Uncategorized Vape-Jet

C3 Industries: Customer Feature

How will you grow with a Vape-Jet?

In the cannabis industry, starting your business with a solid, growth-oriented foundation is critical to your success. With increasing competition and demand, you might only get one shot to impress consumers—that’s why we say every cartridge counts.   

In our last customer feature, we saw how Vape-Jet automation is crucial to scalability, even ramping up to produce 5,000-6,000 vape cartridges in a single eight-hour shift. But there’s no point in going fast if you can’t ensure product quality and safety; that’s why our industry-leading fill repeatability (±0.25%) is vital, ensuring every cartridge is uniform while meeting the highest possible standards.   

Sounds too good to be true, right? Luckily, our friends C3 Industries are here to back us up. We love C3 because they respect cannabis consumers—no shortcuts, no filler, just premium quality products. Before they became a multi-state business (with locations in Michigan, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Missouri), C3 Industries launched in 2018 in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. Within six months their flower, concentrates and vape cartridge brand, Cloud Cover, became one of the top five indoor flower brands in Oregon. As fellow Oregonians, we were stoked!   

Clearly, C3 was something special, so it wasn’t long before they opened a cultivation and manufacturing center in Webberville, Michigan (followed by several High Profile retail stores). With four Vape-Jets in service and a new production facility in Massachusetts on the way, we decided to check in on how things were going.  

Enter: the heroes behind C3’s vape cartridge production, Senior Operations Manager Kevin Duplissis, and Inventory & Packaging Technician Jeremy Torrez.   

Before & After 

Although they’ve used Vape-Jet equipment for a long time (since the Vape-Jet 1.0 days), there was a period when hand-filling was the name of the game.   

How was that experience?’ we asked. “Painful,” Jeremy responds. As a premier, vertically-integrated cannabis cultivator, processor, and retailer, C3 wanted to reduce variability in their workflow from start to finish. This obviously included hand-filling cartridges, so switching to a state-of-the-art vape cartridge-filling machine was the only way forward. Now, “we’re heavily invested in the Vape-Jet ecosystem,” Kevin says. “We have one here [in Michigan], one on its way to Missouri, one in Massachusetts, and one in Oregon.”   

As you’d expect, C3 Industries was (and continues to be) a huge influence on our equipment. In fact, C3’s experiences with older Vape-Jet models informed several of the upgrades and changes in the 3.0 they’re running now. As both a witness to—and an integral part of—our evolution as a company, C3’s loyalty to our products is the best endorsement we could receive, showing how a focus on quality cannabis is always a worthwhile endeavor.  

Let’s Talk Details 

Previously filling 1,000 to 1,500 cartridges across two production days, Kevin says, C3 now targets 4,000 cartridges a week. Usually filling over three days, they mostly focus on 1 gram sauce cartridges with the occasional terpene and dab cartridge run.   

As demand grew, production increased; luckily, C3’s Vape-Jets were up to the task. With C3’s highest single shift output reaching 1,976 cartridges, Kevin and Jeremy know they can ramp up production at a moment’s notice. However, simply ripping through vape cartridges is not C3’s goal. Instead, they take a craft approach to producing cannabis products by fitting production to demand. Often producing small batches rather than ramping up, C3 seeks to perfect their craft, process, and calibration, so consumers only get the very best.  

Vape-Jet | The Most Advanced Fully-Automatic Vape Cartridge Filling Machine | Click to Learn More

The Pain of Hand-Filling 

The agony of hand filling is well-documented, but it’s worth emphasizing how much of a relief it is to introduce automated filling equipment. Believe us, the physical and mental demands of filling by hand prevent technicians from achieving the same quality control and throughput possible with vape cartridge automation.   

But don’t take our word for it.   

“Hand filling is a painful process,” Kevin says. “I have been around the team and seen them hand-filling. It is arduous, it is not fun on your fingers, it’s not hyper repeatable, and it’s not temperature controlled, so you’re going to have variability from cart to cart. [There are] too many variables out of your control, which we want to avoid at all costs. We want to make sure our product has a consistent flavor and fill level. Definitely not something you can do with hand filling.”  

Moving from a process of hand-filing and manual weight checking with a scale, the workflow with Vape-Jet automation leaves the C3 team much happier. “We save three profiles: a sauce cartridge profile, a terpene profile, and a dab profile,” Kevin says. “If the formulation is a little bit thicker or thinner, we can always adjust minor settings, but for the most part, we don’t have to do too much dialing.”  

Don’t worry, we didn’t make Jeremy or Kevin dwell in the negativity of hand-filling too long. “Don’t get me wrong, our team crushed it and flew through hand-filling,” Kevin says. “But again, not something I would want to subject anyone to on a week-to-week basis. I don’t think anyone would want to do that on a week-to-week basis.”  

Product Support: Internal & External 

Everyone has had a bad experience investing in technology.   

For some of us, it was entrusting a big box store with our first major desktop purchase. For others, a revolutionary new coffee maker dispensing something akin to mud. We’ve learned from these experiences and seek trusting relationships with businesses that take pride in their equipment and prioritize technical support.  

At Vape-Jet, we take pride in our industry-leading product support. Whether we are reviewing customer data to optimize machine performance or developing our active HelpDesk Support Ticketing System (averaging a 15-minute response time during business hours), we are your partners for the long haul.   

Even though they haven’t had any issues with their Vape-Jet 3.0 since installation, having an accessible support service has boosted the C3 team’s confidence. “The support is great,” Jeremy says. “The one time we had a problem [at installation], we got right on a call within fifteen minutes and got it sorted out.”   

Imagine waiting days (or even longer) for the necessary support to get things going! The Vape-Jet team realizes that any production disruption has broad implications for your workflow, so we take an all-hands-on-deck approach to addressing technical problems. We even set up product support calls for hardware calibration so you can save optimized filling profiles for increased efficiency. We win when you win.  

Uniformity Across Locations 

Having the same Vape-Jet model across all locations allowed C3 Industries to build institutional knowledge of our machine. With easier internal training and SOP familiarity, communication and workflow efficiency are much better than in the old hand-filling days. “It’s much easier training our employees across the entire network,” Kevin assures us. “We send out all our profile information. We give everyone the settings that we run on our Vape-Jet 3.0, so they can run the same cartridge profiles.”  

With this uniformity in process, training, and filling, Vape-Jet ensures that C3’s quality product isn’t ruined by inferior filling equipment. The C3 cartridge you purchase in Michigan is filled with the same ideal settings as a cartridge in Oregon. In other words, together, we make every vape cartridge count.   

A look at the Vape-Jet 3.0 in action from C3 Industries’ Michigan production facility.

Growing Together  

As we mentioned earlier, C3 has been a huge part of our growth as a company. The same goes for the other side. During our chat, Kevin and Jeremy mentioned several upgrades that played a vital role in their production (like the stand-alone Drop-Tank reservoir heater that optimizes batch changeovers). C3 knows they can depend on us to innovate for the future while meeting the demands of today. Just knowing they can scale their production at any time is a major reason they continue to invest in Vape-Jet.  

“In this facility alone we’ve gone from 1,500-1,600 cartridges a week up to 4,000 a week,” Kevin reflects. “Obviously, we could blow that number out of the water if we went five days and wanted to run it full bore. Not really part of our business model right now, but you know, we have a 70,000 square foot greenhouse coming online this summer, and you can pretty much guarantee that we’re going to scale our operations to account for the increased biomass. We are definitely going to really pump our cartridge numbers towards the tail end of 2022, I can tell you that.” Understanding that their Vape-Jet could fill about 40,000 cartridges per week with a single operator, C3 Industries can look to the future confidently, knowing their filling machine will scale with business needs moving forward. 

Don’t you love happy (blog) endings? Anyway, after a sincere apology for bringing up hand-filling, we had to let Kevin and Jeremy get back to production. Currently, they are filling five days a week to prepare for the 2022 Michigan High Times Cannabis Cup. More evidence that there are always cartridges to fill.  

Learn More About Vape-Jet   

A huge thanks to Jeremy, Kevin, and C3 Industries for their time and for building such a quality business model. Growing with teams like this makes all the hard work worth it, and we look forward to celebrating more wins together in the future.  

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