As we are deep into testing and creating 'real' components, more tweaks are apparent and more options are becoming available.
Just this week we have had the opportunity to change or core to a new material which is very cool but considerably quicker to manufacture but triple the cost. The ultimate question ahead of all else is strength / delamination etc. With this new core the answer is absolutely yes as it is a one-piece fabrication with no bonding of dissimilar materials required.
Now we have the opportunity to change our resin system to a German company of which the product we are looking at is supplied to the auto and aerospace industry. The specs are fantastic, but most importantly the time is quick to cure and the Tg (point where it begins to loose solid form) is extremely high.
Now, we have already dealt with the issue of heat and are more than comfortable with what we have done. But why not be much better than OK?
Once again the issue is price. The German resin is around 4 x the cost!!! Ouch... Production costs will be slightly lower, but only marginally. For sandwich panels in houses we are talking about a considerable amount of m2. So the x 4 cost is really sensitive.
So these adjustments are popping up and we are getting to the point of having to decide whether we are going to incorporate all these kick-ass aerospace driven products in a building industry where the base line comparison is not even in the same ball-park.
I feel we will go an inject all these (expensive) products and make this remarkable housing system that perhaps others will not appreciate. So what is the point???...
This is on top of Atomic 6 deciding we will add VRFB mass energy storage, 100% solar roof tiles all generally at cost (reduced profit and relying on govt incentives). So at what point do we stop trying to impress ourselves / others with a system that is still affordable but considerably better than it needs to be.
Would the market pay extra for these things? Or are we simply looking to reduce our profit levels to keep same demand from a careless developer / builder; ultimately doing the right thing by the market / community but not a commercially smart move in terms of pure profit.
This system is becoming almost a pure challenge into how good we can possibly make it regardless of the cost. At some point this needs to stop. My main question is whether we need to back-track a little, or are we doing the right thing?... The system as a whole is now around 30% more expensive at cost then where we were at 9 months ago. But the outcome currently is awesome and we will be able to sleep well at night knowing the product excels in all areas (dont want to be on the NEWS for fire or things like that).
Pro - with a true auto / aerospace quality product we are more likely to get high level support from govt, industry etc which will drive the product both locally and internationally with less emphasis on cost (in lieu of little support for a cheap and uncaring product).
Con - higher cost equates to less demand from the 'high turn-over' market such as builders and developers where cost is the #1, #2, and #3 consideration which is a shame.
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