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A Message from WCP about the Kraken X60 Timeline

A Message from WCP about the Kraken X60 Timeline

Published by WCP on 18th Dec 2023

Hello All,

It’s always tough to provide an update like this, so I’m just going to jump to the TLDR:

We’ve been leaning pretty hard on our motor factory regarding quality, and they responded by slowing down their process and schedule to ensure they meet our expectations.

Now Kraken motor deliveries to CTR are 2 weeks beyond our “worst case” estimate. This delay when combined with the holidays will unfortunately push the initial shipments to customers into the New Year.

While we’re more enthusiastic than ever about the product itself, we’re very upset by the schedule slip because we didn’t meet our original promise to the community.

Krakens will begin shipping to teams starting January 8, 2024.We have only sold approximately 50% of our 2024 motor availability. Barring an unforeseen spike in demand we expect to have stock available throughout the build season.

Read on for more of the details and the background story.



Original Schedule:

-Motor production would ship from our factory in China in weekly batches. Shipments would begin to arrive at CTR in Macomb, MI the 2nd week in November.

-CTR manufacturing of the Talon FX brushless motor controllers would be completed before the first motor shipments arrived.

-CTR would begin the Final Integration as motor shipments arrived, and would begin rolling shipments to customers, potentially as early as the last week in November.

-As orders started to be shipped and we confirmed our production rate estimates, we would be better able to provide estimated delivery dates to customers based on the time of their orders.

-The “raw motors in, finished product out” flow of rolling shipments would continue until all raw motor shipments were completed, sometime before the 3rd week in January.

Communication:

Developing and releasing high-performance, high-quality, high-value products for this limited market can be difficult. Trying to do this while maintaining schedule commitments only amplifies the challenge. I know all FRC suppliers strive to have their products in-stock at the time of their launch, ideally in the late summer or fall. This obviously isn't always how things work out.

We've tried to be very transparent to customers while doing our best to avoid the trap of making promises we can't fulfill. This is why WCP and CTR decided to announce the shipping timelines the way we did.

“Shipments are estimated to begin Mid-December. Orders received now will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis (regardless of where they're placed) before February 1st, 2024. As shipments begin, updated delivery estimates will be provided based on the time of order.”

The last thing any of us want to do is mislead teams. We went out of our way to conservatively estimate our schedule with the goal being “under promise, over deliver”.

What Happened:

All of us at CTR and WCP are very aware of the quality and performance demands of FRC teams. Our two companies are full of FRC alumni and FRC team mentors. We’ve heard from the community loud and clear about what they expect from products like the Kraken X60. It turns out that the factory wasn’t expecting this high-level of scrutiny from us when they set their initial schedule.

In order to meet our demands, our factory has had to adjust their initial commitments several times. With this week’s update from the factory, the timeline has now pushed past the point where we won’t be able to meet our initial delivery promise.

Unfortunately while many aspects of this launch went according to plan, our factory shifting their delivery schedule of raw motors pushed everything back. While we still feel we made the right decision not to “buy time at the expense of quality” - we’re upset that the impact of this tradeoff is that it forced us to break our promise.

What Now:

We’ve just updated our websites to reflect the new schedule:

“Shipments are estimated to begin January 8, 2024.
Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis (regardless of where they're placed). Orders placed now will not ship until Late February 2024 at the earliest.

As rolling shipments begin, updated delivery estimates will be provided based on the time of order.”

Some Further Estimates:

-Orders placed before today (12/18) are estimated to ship before mid to late February.
-Orders placed during the first week of pre-orders (before COB 10/13) will ship before February 1, 2024.

If you have questions, concerns, or would like to make changes to your order - please contact the sales departments at CTR or WCP:

sales@ctr-electronics.com

support@wcproducts.com



The Good News:

The motor backcap has been approved; this was the last component needed to be confirmed and checked with the final assembly. All the parts are in production and starting to leave the factory (as of 12/18).

CTR is only waiting for their first shipments of raw motors. Everything else is ready to go.

The Talon FX assemblies are tucked in waiting for Santa to visit Macomb, and the robot assembly cell is prepped and standing-by.

  

  

Our testing of the early production samples continues to be positive. Some thoughts and notes below of continued testing.

  • WCP has around 50 hours of actual run-time on our internal durability test robot. This robotic arm is designed to shock and load test a motor. This assembly runs daily and the specs are:
    • 45.5 inch arm with a 20 lb arm
    • 210:1 gear ratio
    • Single Kraken X60
    • 50% duty cycle.
    • No failures or degradation of performance.

*Durability test robot features - SplineXL sprockets/tube, Kraken with PP Adapter, Stubbed CANEncoder and other products that we are testing through.

  • WCP has the student drivers from FRC1323 practicing for 3 hours daily using a robot which includes (8x) Kraken X60 motors. This same robot competed at the Madtown Throwdown MTTD off-season competition.
    • (4x) Krakens in the Drive, (4x) Krakens on the Mechanism.
    • The results were great and the robot was notably faster and snappier at max weight.
    • First comment from driver after flipping the robot in the first 10 seconds: “Too much torque”
    • Drive practice has consisted of drills and scoring objects repetitively with some defense.
    • 2020-2023 Driver thoughts
      • "I’ve been the driver for 1323 since 2020 and the robots, while really cool, have always been tanks and slower than the 2910/1678/254 bots. Using the Krakens this offseason has been a different experience. Giving quick acceleration on start and faster top speed. Maneuvering and changing direction were not only easier but smooth and quick as if it was gliding. It was quite fun to drive the robot at MTTD as my last event”
    • Overall WCP has been happy with the performance of these motors on the 1323 robot. We hope to continue testing throughout the next few weeks. We’ve learned so much and have been able to use the information in direct feedback to the production of these motors

Happy Holidays,

-RC.