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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.