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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.   

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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.  

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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

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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