With recent discussions involving possible group buys and/or very large individual orders, I have found myself wondering more than once if any quantity discounts may be possible? If so, would they apply to the order as a whole or only to individual chips meeting a certain quantity?
Due to the handmade nature of our clay chips, and the fact they can only be pressed 15-25 at a time, there is no economy of scale unless we were making 10,000 and up of the same chip. All the prices in the table have been calculated based on the exact time we expect them to take to manufacture with the lowest margin possible just to recoup our investment over quite a few years.
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I've seen that you have updated the website prices for the new highest edgespot levels. I'm curious to see what would be a level 10 or level 11? I mean, if the 8A14 is a level 6, how do you do for the level 11? V12 with diamonds?
(i'm planning a custom set for a near future with every kind of fancy edgespot, if it's possible, so my mind is getting really wet with all those new options)
All the higher level edge spots are those where double or even triple punching is required, which in itself obviously creates a higher level of reject than a regular pattern.
I don't want to show these patterns until we have tried and tested them with samples (which we don't have time for right now) as some have not been done for many years or not at all.
However, the highest levels are not necessarily the fanciest. It is just a factor of the labor involved and potential wastage. Here are mock ups of 6 variations of 1/8 spot which would appear to be relatively simple. The red number is the spot level. Now in these examples the amount of extra work probably is not apparent without an explanation.
The punches can only create 3, or 3 pairs of 1/8 in one pass. 1/8 are notoriously difficult to work with at the best of times and cause a lot of rejects (hence the levels for regular 1/8). It is also difficult and much more time consuming to handle the tiny pieces when assembling them.
You should be able to understand therefore how hard it is to double punch just the 618 when you have to try and hand align the chip the second time round to get the spacing correct and then slowly punch one at a time.
Then, to jump to the 6QADS18 you add a whole load of other process differences. The gap between the two spots in a pair is small. If you punched and punched again with these, either the first holes close up or the small prongs break up or deform. Therefore you have to make a 3ADS and repress it to bind the first 6 spots into place before doing the repunching. Not only do you have to be very careful to insert the correct color spots in order both times round but there is an added factor which many probably don't appreciate about working with multiple color spots. For some chemical reason, the different dyes alter the melting temperature of the clay, even though they are only a tiny part of a formula which basically remains the same. The spots have to be warmed up very slightly so they can be pushed into the holes (all done 100% by hand). Just for the purpose of explanation, say that white clay softens slightly at 50 degrees and melts at 80 degrees, but black does not soften until 80 degrees, that means you have to do the two colors separately. That adds a good percentage to the labor. On larger size spots the temperature required is much closer to each other so you can get away with doing it at the same time.
While Ive only explained parts of the process hopefully people can see why there is a such a difference in spot levels.