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FLUID Named Top 10 Smart Metering Solution Provider 2018

We’re excited to share that FLUID was named one of Utilities Tech Outlook Magazine’s Top 10 Smart Water Metering Solutions Providers for 2018. You can find the Top 10 List here. They also did a nice write up on FLUID entitled Shaping the Smart Water Meter Market.

Take a look and let us know what you think.

The FLUID Team

 

We’ve Received Our First 50 Sets of Boards

We’ve received our first set of boards back from our most recent manufacturing run.

This week we’re going to bring all of these boards up so we can take stock on what our yield was with our new US based manufacturer. We’ll diagnose if there were any issues and rectify them for our next run of 50. Once we’ve established yield and addressed any problems that arise, then we’ll begin assembly with all the boards that checked out.

We’re slightly behind on the mechanical (enclosure/plastics) because we made the decision to do a small revision so that the clamping mechanism will be able to fit both a 3/4″ as well as a 1″ pipe. This way we don’t need two separate sets of steel injection moulding tools when we’re ready to release our next size. We hope to have this revision finalized by the end of the week and we’ll send the designs to the tool manufacturer. Our hope is that we’ll have “first-shots” from the tool manufacturer in approximately 4 weeks.

Feels good to be getting closer to fulfillment.

The FLUID Team

We’re Making Progress On 1st Batch of 50

In our last update we stated that we’d made the decision to manufacture smaller batches of 50 meters while implementing a series of manufacturing tests that can accompany each successive batch so that we can increase our yield.

At the time of our previous post, the off-shore manufacturer had given us an 8-week lead time. However, they hadn’t taken into consideration the lead-times for some of the parts they needed to source.

In the end we made the decision to shift manufacturing back to the USA and we are currently working with a highly reputable printed circuit board manufacturer that is ISO certified and veteran owned.

They have been able to source all the parts we need and are currently getting the PCBs finished. Once this is completed, they’ll populate the PCBs with all the parts. They’re estimating that they’ll have these first 50 sets of boards done by late August.

We’re also getting injection molding tools built. We’re trying to time everything so that we’ll have the boards and the “first-shots” from the injection molds in hand for assembly and distribution by September.

So, we’re still making progress and feel closer now than ever. Thanks for accompanying us on this journey.

The FLUID Team

INTRODUCING FLUID SERVICES, LTD

INTRODUCING FLUID SERVICES, LTD: A Joint Venture Focused on Advanced Water Technologies from Fluid Labs, Inc. and Daisymill Technologies

New Company Will Accelerate Market Adoption of a Series of Advanced Water Measurement, Analytics and Leak Technologies the World Has Never Seen.

Minneapolis, Minnesota. June 4, 2018 – FLUID Labs, Inc. is announcing the formation of FLUID Services, Ltd. (FLUID Services), a new partnership with Daisymill Technologies. FLUID Services will be responsible for the global commercialization of the entire portfolio of advanced water technologies being developed by both companies.

FLUID Labs core technology, the world’s first clamp-on smart water meter, is set for roll-out before the end of the year. Daisymill Technologies works extensively with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), and the British Government to fund PhD students to develop disruptive technologies and turn them into commercially viable products. MMU’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership initiative is impacting their supporting businesses by an average of £1 million per annum after 3 years.

“When it comes to engineering, MMU is the MIT of the UK. So, this partnership allows us to gain access to top-notch talent, pair FLUID with Daisymill’s advanced water technologies and leverage the experience and depth of the team that Daisymill brings to the table.” says, Josh Becerra, founder & CEO of FLUID Labs.

Daisymill Technologies is a consortium of UK water industry experts, who have been at the forefront of innovation in recent years. Daisymill’s leadership team has worked with all the major players in the UK water industry.  

“We were impressed with the worldwide potential of FLUID and saw a lot of synergies with the technologies we’re developing with MMU. Within a month of our first conversation we were fitting a prototype in the home of a senior manager in one of the largest UK water supply companies.” says, Richard Coffey, Director of Daisymill Technologies.

Water usage and conservation is becoming a major concern for water supply companies around the world. All of the advanced water technologies that FLUID Services will be responsible for commercializing globally will help water supply companies as well as consumers identify and prevent leaks, better understand their usage, conserve water and save money.

 

 

Adjusting Timeline to Roll-out

In our last update we had outlined a timeline for rolling out meters to all of you who have pre-ordered a FLUID meter. Unfortunately, this timeline is once again being extended.

We’re in the process of writing the code so we can make over-the-air (OTA) updates to our firmware. Before shipping 1,000 meters out to all of you, we need to be able to update our firmware OTA. Without this, we’d have to request that you send your device back to us anytime we’ve got a new software or firmware release. We don’t want to have to recall devices and you don’t want to deal with this headache either.

Another aspect of our roll-out that has changed is the size of the batches that we’ve got planned. The last batch of meters we received had a very bad “yield” (meaning many of the manufactured meters were flawed or inoperable). We’ve made the decision to manufacture smaller batches of 50 and then 100 meters while implementing a series of manufacturing tests that can accompany each successive batch so that we can increase our yield considerably. We’re in the process of developing these tests as we write this.

As we receive meters in these batches, test them to insure operability and ensure they’re properly calibrated we’ll be releasing them to our Kickstarter backers (in order of date of purchase) and then to those who have placed a pre-order. We’ll be placing the order for our first batch prior to May 1 and we have been given an eight week lead-time, which means we’ll receive our first batch in late June. We’ll test them and get them shipped to you, with successive batches coming after that.

With this batch approach our hope is that we’ll see improvements in yield and after a few smaller batches we’ll be in a position to place a large order to fulfill whats left of our pre-orders.

Once again, we apologize for the continued delays. We are still making progress toward getting a FLUID in your hands.

Thank you for your patience,

The FLUID Team 

Latest Product Roll-Out Timeline

Today we’re sharing a new timeline for when those of you who have pre-ordered or backed us on Kickstarter can anticipate receiving your FLUID meters. First, we’d like to state the obvious – we underestimated both the difficulty and time it takes to ship a product like FLUID. 

Let’s recap:
For our Kickstarter, we had working prototype that cost us +$900 to manufacture because it was made mostly of off the shelf parts. The process of re-engineering this into a product that can be produced for under $299 (our retail price) has plagued us since our Kickstarter ended. We tried using a threshold based time-to-digital converter (ASIC solution) that we were purchasing – but found we couldn’t achieve a good enough signal to noise ratio. We scrapped that plan and went to China to leverage existing clamp-on ultrasonic technology. After months of testing we found the Chinese meters were inconsistent and inaccurate. We scrapped the China partner plan and tried building our own again. Thankfully we had a number of break-throughs during this process and instead of using an ASIC we have achieved the proper noise to signal ration using our completely proprietary design.

Now we are testing this and while we’re happy with the flow sensor itself, it’s been taking longer than we hoped to iron out all the bugs. We’ve encountered bugs in the firmware with features like WiFi setup and we’ve noticed there are some issues around long-term accuracy that we’re rectifying. We’re crunching through these issues and are making progress.

We’ve given ourselves a couple of months to work these kinks out in the small pilot. Once we get to a point where we are satisfied with the performance we’ll be ready to get meters manufactured and begin shipping.

Please know that we are committed to this project and are working as fast as we can. The last thing we want to do is ship a product that doesn’t work properly or becomes inaccurate over-time. An inoperable meter and bad water usage data isn’t worth anything to you or to us.

Below you’ll find the new product roll-out timeline we’ve developed. Thank you for your continued patience. 

– The FLUID Team

FLUID Participating in ASPIRE Program

We’re proud to announce that FLUID was selected as one of the 10 companies to participate in Venturewell’s 2017 ASPIRE Program – Cleantech Cohort. The program takes place this week (Sept 11-15th) in Detroit. 

 

The program will help FLUID articulate our case for investment and prepare the documents and materials we’ll need to secure partners and investors. We’ll have a chance to meet with experienced mentors and facilitators who have expertise in early-stage financing and commercialization partnerships for cleantech innovators like FLUID. 

Our hope is to leverage this program to gain the necessary momentum to accelerate our business. Please know that we are working very hard and are fully committed to getting FLUID through to commercialization. 

Small run of meters to be deployed shortly

Just a quick update to let everyone know that we’re assembling a small run of 50 meters that will be deployed in the upcoming week. Here’s a few pics of them getting assembled:

A number of boards ready to go!
A number of boards ready to go!

 

Transducers mounted in enclosures. 
Transducers mounted in enclosures.

 

Boards in enclosures.
Boards in enclosures.

 

Finished units.
Finished units.

 

FLUID Live Demo @ Minnedemo 26

Here is a video of FLUID’s first live demo at Minnedemo 26 last night. Thanks to https://minnestar.org/ for putting on such an awesome event and to http://tech.mn for recording the demo!

Enjoy!

Minnedemo 26 | FLUID from TECHdotMN on Vimeo.

Video Update – Progress on FLUID

Video Update – Progress on FLUID