Our chief developer makes recent trips to our production facilities to stay up to date with production processes and the natural evolution of our sails. Here are a few words from his recent trip:
As every year, I need to go to check the production of the new sails which will be in your hands after few months. The sails are already tested, and all the details are put the way they are wanted. Still before you start producing hundreds of sails from the same size, it’s good to have a last double check, and to do it with factory who will produce them.
This May, like every year I flew to Sri Lanka, and this is when you hear everyone telling you, ‘oh you are so lucky’. Well, after 10 years of going there, I have seen only the airport, the Eskimo villa where I stay, the 500m road to drive to the factory and the factory! So, no surfing, windsurfing, trekking, tourism, relaxing in a nice hotel beach front…no… nothing of this.
It’s more like 80 sails waiting for you, to be rigged more times in kind of hot and humid climate and setting around each sail at least 20 to 30 minutes. You could say easy 3-4 days work non-stop. A check list on your hand with all the details to check. From simply the graphics, the technical details to print on the sails, meaning the boom and mast settings. Of course, cam rotation, cam spacing, opening of the leach, profile, battens, and all the feedback of points clients have asked to have inserted in the product, and many other points. It’s another job where the focus is important, and at the end of the day you are pretty much tired. It takes a small distraction to forget to check on detail. Rigging so many sails without going windsurfing, can be frustrating for a windsurfer, and therefore the focus can be lost. Plus, while you rig the sail, you start dreaming of new visions for the product, so you need to revert your thought to what must be done in that moment for the production, including packaging, moulds, and all which goes around the product.
Going to the factory is also a time that you can open your mind to new ideas while talking to the different production department, as in the meanwhile they could have integrated new technology or new production standards which could allow new construction or new details, which were not possible the year before.
There are than the commercial sides of the visit, which are like fighting to keep the cost of the equipment low! It’s a tough one and we are not always winners on this!
It’s always a pleasant visit when visiting our suppliers as you really build up a team relationship where we all work for the same goal. We don’t like to feel like being clients for our suppliers, but we like to feel partners working together on the same mission, which is to have our clients enjoy the products we develop and produce. Making sure they have the best fun on the water with no other thought.