February 01, 2021 4 min read 25 Comments

V2 Campers Built per Week 1/17-1/31: 5

Remember when we announced that lead times were shortening and we gave you updated timelines? If you happened to be keeping track you might have noticed that we were building a lot more than 5 units a week before the v2 launch. So are we screwed? Well, I sure hope not.

The truth is that things are going great, with expected levels of difficulty to be sure.

A little background. There are over 600 components in every V2 GFC camper, and only 21 of them are carried over from the V1 camper. That means that 579 of these parts are brand new and involve all-new manufacturing/procuring, communication, and assembly systems to result in a complete camper.

But building more campers is primarily a function of… well… building more campers. Right? So what makes building it more harder?

You’d be right at the most basic level. But that doesn’t do service to everything around the assembly process. We need tools to make sure that time in our machine and sew shops are being properly utilized. We need to make sure that parts are getting QC’d in process, and that everyone at every level has the directive and tools they need in order to hit the numbers we are shooting for. Not just for targets in the coming week, but building systems strong enough to not break when we quadruple output in Q2 2021. And then to hit those same numbers and peak quality week after week after week.

We could go into the weeds here on how these best practices are developed, but you have a weekend to get back to.

An area where implementation of TPS is most readily obvious is in the final assembly department. In TPS, the term “Jidoka” means to make the equipment or operation stop whenever an abnormal or defective condition arises. The intentional rate of 5 units per week allows us to stop for every possible Jidoka and step back to resolve problems at the level they arise. Because these processes are all new at this scale, we are able to determine what might even constitute a defective or abnormal condition, and work to solve it at the base level.



Layout carts encase all of the small components, each camper is only allotted the exact amount of components required to be built. If anything atypical arises, replacement components can be requested from the parts department, but not without documentation of what happened to cause Jidoka.


In most assembly facilities, you might see folks using hand tools to massage their products into submission to get parts to fit correctly. Because we are using precision manufacturing tools at every level, there is no close. It is only right or wrong. And assembly has been instructed to fail any part that needs physical modification by way of material adjustment or removal.

This might seem unnecessary for getting campers out the door at current rates, or even at a pretty decent manufacturing clip. But when those numbers get big and we take steps to quadruple output, that twenty minutes filing one of the machined tubes here and there becomes untenable, and production is limited before it even had the chance to scale.

 



Each extrusion cart has slots cut out of exact shapes and extrusion profiles for each camper. This allows for immediate visual QC and task management without needing to cross-reference other materials


This constant striving for consistency also pushes the long term goal of the pursuit of perfection. There is now no questioning as to whether or not you had the “good” assembly employee be the one to modify the faulty part. There is no faulty part, and the variability of human error is decreased significantly. We are also able to have better employee utilization long term, and continue to improve the pay of everyone on the team here at the shop because we are able to become extremely efficient in a camper output/employee ratio.  

 



An extrusion cart that gets passed from machine town to assembly. Each employee at the company is directlyresponsible for the success of their own process as well as the larger picture. Giving individual responsibility allows for theelimination of inefficient middle management and rapid feedback for process improvement


Superlite- Made in USA more than you think!

In an effort to maintain transparency about our internationally sourced components on the superlite, we think we have downplayed just how much of it is made in the USA.

A lot of folks lately have had questions about the manufacturing process behind this new tent, and we think you guys are going to be stoked on just how much of this is not only domestically sourced, but manufactured on our CNC machines right here in Montana.

Because this is a pretty extensive topic to cover, we will be releasing a video next Monday the 8th of February. Sign up for our newsletter here in order to be kept up to speed with continued manufacturing updates as well as other projects we are working on out here.

Have a great week, and as always hit us up with any questions at support@gfcengineering.com

 

 

Team GFC
Team GFC


25 Responses

Shaun Wicks
Shaun Wicks

March 10, 2021

Just ordered my superlite, can’t wait to start using, and stoked to make the drive to come and get it.

Chad Bone
Chad Bone

February 10, 2021

Thanks for the updates! Stoked to see my future camper, later this year!

Charles R Sizemore
Charles R Sizemore

February 10, 2021

I would love to hear more. I definitely want to buy a GFC Camper within the next 4 months if they are available.

william robinson
william robinson

February 12, 2021

I am curious the V2 campers are the same as the XL options under shop on your site, or do the V2 have a separate release date?

Scott Lovrien
Scott Lovrien

February 12, 2021

I am excited (sorry, not stoked – it’s an age thing!!) :)

I priced most other tents at $3300 and up – but your superlite doesn’t crush my retiree’s budget like they do. (Soc Sec and Military don’t amount to much) I will be ordering as soon as I get a rack on my old H2. Who knows, maybe I can even muscle it up there too!!

Can’t wait to start roaming the western US and camping without campgrounds and feeling the freedom that we used to enjoy.

Brett Mierendorf
Brett Mierendorf

February 12, 2021

Very excited for our GoFast camper! Thanks for the updates. As wildfire season approaches, I’m ready to have my personal camp all set up.

Morgan
Morgan

March 11, 2021

Thanks GFC for your continued attention to detail. If I wanted a product in the week or month after ordering (albeit at the potential sacrifice of an inferior product) I would’ve shopped elsewhere. I didn’t. I choose GFC for a number of reasons, however the most important were attention to detail and “quality beats quantity” attitude. Appreciate all that GFC is doing. Keep up the great work and I look forward to my new V2 whenever its good and ready – Morgan

Chuck Chavez
Chuck Chavez

February 10, 2021

You guys are doing an amazing job. When the country is being torn apart, you guys are re-inventing the wheel with proper job placement, American manufacturing and a really good wage. Not an easy task. kudos to you Gofast peeps.

Dan Hunneyman
Dan Hunneyman

February 10, 2021

Nice to see LEAN/5S strategies in action! Weird to see overlap between Pharma manufacturing (my world) and what you guys are doing. Well done!

Frank HAhola
Frank HAhola

February 10, 2021

Great to hear. Can’t wait to enjoy your newsletters.

George Cox
George Cox

February 10, 2021

I am a big fan. I purchased a GFC in 2019 and was scheduled for build in 2020. Life changes led me to sell my GFC before I received it. GFC helped me in that sale. I still receive e-mail updates on GFC and thoroughly enjoy watching this company grow. Good luck going forward. If I wasn’t retired I would throw my name in the hat for a position working for GFC.

David Lowrie
David Lowrie

February 10, 2021

You guys are killing it and i’m super stoked to rep and promote your products! Keep on improving and bringing that A game!

Mason Needham
Mason Needham

February 10, 2021

We love the transparency and the organization! Looking forward to joining the gfc family!

TJ Kastning
TJ Kastning

February 10, 2021

Great job, GFC. These are great steps that show inspired long-term thinking. It costs and hurts upfront but the later rewards to you and customers will be worth it. This is why I am buying with confidence. Companies don’t setup these precise systems if they are in it for a quick buck.

Failures will happen. They are opportunities.

KEEP IT UP!

Garrett Wilbur
Garrett Wilbur

February 10, 2021

Just saved my spot in line for a new V2 XL camper! Super stoked to get one! I am from Washington and commercial crab in Washington St…I have grown up snowboarding the great Mt. Baker, and have done some surfing in Hawaii. Knowing that a lot of these campers are used by surfers is giving me the itch to get back into boarding weather it be surfing or surfing the mountain…just really stoked to get out a explore more!

Daniel Albert
Daniel Albert

February 10, 2021

As always, I’m very impressed with the communication level to the future owners of your product. Have a safe and prosperous year!

Shane Asbridge
Shane Asbridge

February 10, 2021

Can’t wait to rock the super light!!!!

Mike Hart
Mike Hart

February 10, 2021

Thanks for the update. I just placed my order and was expecting and Oct deadline based on prior visits and was pleased to see it was July. I figured you must have hired up or undergone some process improvements. Any way, after reading your update, I couldn’t help but notice your systems for putting parts in organized bins prior to assembly is also done at the Kodiak aircraft factory in Sandpoint, ID. If you haven’t done it, a quick tour of their facility might spawn some additional process and QC steps. You aren’t building aircraft, but manufacturing built components with machined parts is totally parallel. Just an idea. BTW, nice marketing writing. You had me long ago, with good writing and good photography. Nice to know you do manufacturing well too though. Mike Hart, Salmon, ID

DARREN LAVERSA
DARREN LAVERSA

February 10, 2021

Love what you are doing. In six months relook everything and apply Lean 6 principles along the way. Question why you need 600 parts a Glock as 25 or less.

dan boyd
dan boyd

February 10, 2021

Appreciate your transparency. Keep up the good work and QC early and often.

Chad Nessi
Chad Nessi

February 10, 2021

Thanks for the snapshot into the inner workings of your operation! As a small business owner, I think it’s pretty amazing to share. Keep
It coming… Can’t wait to get our Super-Light!!! ( but, we can wait… )

Jason
Jason

February 10, 2021

Thank you for letting me take a peek inside your process. I find it both fascinating and reassuring. Keep kicking ass over there!

Ralph Jeffery
Ralph Jeffery

February 10, 2021

Watched your vidoe on the new camper. I must say that I am very impressed with your ethics and treatment of your employees to say the least thatit is made in the USA. Makes me very happy to have spnet my money with you guys. Ride on!

Jacob Robbins
Jacob Robbins

February 10, 2021

Excellent article. For those of you who took the time to read go ahead and re-read. Did you pick up any thing? Waste. It’s a killer. There are a total of 8 wastes. 1 of the 8 Wastes is the waste of defects. What happens when parts are wrong and need to be re worked? Employees have to re work or re make all at the expense of a customer. So what did they do? They implement Jidoka. Don’t let a wasteful process compound on itself. Stop. Find a solution. Implement it. Find out what bugs you and fix it!

Another good resource that feeds off of TPS is 2 second lean by Paul Akers. I highly recommend reading it.

Juan Meyer
Juan Meyer

February 10, 2021

Yoooo.. I’m yalls biggest fan! Superlite!!

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