Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
AAD Market / Competition

 

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Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Feb 2, 2013, 10:12 AM
Post #51 of 60 (673 views)
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Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In the meantime:

http://www.m2aad.com/m2-aad

http://www.m2aad.com/.../new-upt-declaration


df8m1  (C 29633)

Feb 2, 2013, 1:03 PM
Post #52 of 60 (632 views)
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Re: [skydiverek] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

This thread is open to all manufacturers to post information in, however, I do respectfully request that posters identify themselves and the manufacturer they represent or are promoting.

____________________

I had an interesting conversation with a friend last night about how to decide if it is worth the investment to introduce another widget to a market where there are already competing widgets.

He fancies himself as a business guy and was all for me making the investment to compete the AAD market, (he is not a jumper, but does invest in other markets). Even after the liability aspect, small market, yada yada, he was still insistent that it was the right move, no risk, no gain, he said. Well that was until I said that he would obviously be interested in covering the majority of the investment, as, this was a "no brainier".

Needless to say he quickly had an excuse why he couldnt invest at this stage, and excused him self from the table. It is interesting to see the different attitudes regarding reoccurring maintance requirements, price point, etc, depending on a consumers perspective, or from an investment / manufacturer qualty control side.

Also, like a previous poster said, the market always has an eye out for a bus to through you under.

Regardless of weather or not I decide to produce an AAD for the Sport Market, I can always license the cutter to another manufacture if the design efforts show worth while results. I know of at least one off hand that needs a cutter..


IanHarrop  (C 1152)

Feb 2, 2013, 1:22 PM
Post #53 of 60 (626 views)
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Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

With the latest AAD issue putting Cypres under the microscope it makes me wonder why someone would voluntarily subject themselves to the rants of skydivers complaining about an AAD not being perfect, service not being immediate, and since they paid for the device it should be perform perfectly and without flaw always and forever.

Sure you want this pain? Tongue


df8m1  (C 29633)

Feb 2, 2013, 1:36 PM
Post #54 of 60 (616 views)
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Re: [IanHarrop] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
With the latest AAD issue putting Cypres under the microscope it makes me wonder why someone would voluntarily subject themselves to the rants of skydivers complaining about an AAD not being perfect, service not being immediate, and since they paid for the device it should be perform perfectly and without flaw always and forever.

Sure you want this pain? Tongue

Why?? MONEY... If the market can support the return requirement, then all the drawbacks with dealing with the public are compensated for.

It does however look like a licensing deal with another manufacturer would be a better business decision. There is another thread with a pole for the best AAD and that also supports my interpretation of the posts in this thread.

So to answer your second question; No, I dont think there is enough gain to for the pain. Wink


Pacific

Feb 2, 2013, 11:33 PM
Post #55 of 60 (558 views)
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Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am asking, "what if you had the option of an AAD, (comparable in performance and options to current AADs), that was made in the USA?" Would you be more inclined to "buy American"?.

Yes, I would. My rig & canopies were made in the USA by USA companies...giving me a good/proud feeling. But that's not entirely why I bought them. They had good products/reputations and I need these items to skydive. Price was also a factor.

I don't have an AAD, don't need one to skydive [in USA], and I feel that they are all overpriced. But if you design a good AAD, have the Chinese make it, charge $500.......I'll buy it.


Divalent  (C 40494)

Feb 4, 2013, 7:35 PM
Post #56 of 60 (475 views)
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Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

The complexity of an AAD seems to be mostly in the control electonics. I'd worry that a new player coming out of nowhere with a new AAD might not have the experience to insure reliability in that part of the system. If you think you have a better cutter design (cheaper, more reliable, etc), you might try seeing if a company that has experience with the control electronics side would be interested.

For example, Argus: they went of of business mostly because their cutter suffered from enough catastrophic (or near catastrophic) failures that they lost the confidence of the container mfgs and the buying public. Their electronics were (IIRC) otherwise as reasonably good as the competition (more or less). Maybe a better cutter would induce them to reenter the market. They at least have an established name (albeit tarnished at bit, but I'd think more valuable than say, "df8m1" in the AAD marketplace), and had enough units in service for long enough time that there would be some confidence that their control electronics won't quickly reveal themselves to be problematic.


nigel99  (D 1)

Feb 4, 2013, 9:30 PM
Post #57 of 60 (464 views)
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Re: [Divalent] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The complexity of an AAD seems to be mostly in the control electonics. I'd worry that a new player coming out of nowhere with a new AAD might not have the experience to insure reliability in that part of the system. If you think you have a better cutter design (cheaper, more reliable, etc), you might try seeing if a company that has experience with the control electronics side would be interested.

For example, Argus: they went of of business mostly because their cutter suffered from enough catastrophic (or near catastrophic) failures that they lost the confidence of the container mfgs and the buying public. Their electronics were (IIRC) otherwise as reasonably good as the competition (more or less). Maybe a better cutter would induce them to reenter the market. They at least have an established name (albeit tarnished at bit, but I'd think more valuable than say, "df8m1" in the AAD marketplace), and had enough units in service for long enough time that there would be some confidence that their control electronics won't quickly reveal themselves to be problematic.

Peter, I agree that it is the software and electronics that are most likely to fail.

That said, if someone came into the market with a Class 3 medical device background, or specific areas of safety critical design in a mainstream regulated industry, or specific aspects of military design (not all military design is hi-reliability).

Personal experience is that everyone is an expert UNTIL they have to actually do it. Then they discover all the tradeoffs and just how difficult it actually is.


df8m1  (C 29633)

Feb 5, 2013, 10:11 AM
Post #58 of 60 (395 views)
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Re: [nigel99] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
The complexity of an AAD seems to be mostly in the control electonics. I'd worry that a new player coming out of nowhere with a new AAD might not have the experience to insure reliability in that part of the system. If you think you have a better cutter design (cheaper, more reliable, etc), you might try seeing if a company that has experience with the control electronics side would be interested.

For example, Argus: they went of of business mostly because their cutter suffered from enough catastrophic (or near catastrophic) failures that they lost the confidence of the container mfgs and the buying public. Their electronics were (IIRC) otherwise as reasonably good as the competition (more or less). Maybe a better cutter would induce them to reenter the market. They at least have an established name (albeit tarnished at bit, but I'd think more valuable than say, "df8m1" in the AAD marketplace), and had enough units in service for long enough time that there would be some confidence that their control electronics won't quickly reveal themselves to be problematic.

Peter, I agree that it is the software and electronics that are most likely to fail.

That said, if someone came into the market with a Class 3 medical device background, or specific areas of safety critical design in a mainstream regulated industry, or specific aspects of military design (not all military design is hi-reliability).

Personal experience is that everyone is an expert UNTIL they have to actually do it. Then they discover all the tradeoffs and just how difficult it actually is.

Both of the above posts make good points, and the quality systems that address those concerns, account for a large portion of the cost to produce an AAD. The best designed board can fall victim to a poor production process, and if the quality control and validation process is not up to the challenge, some of those low quality boards could make it to theater.

There are advantages for designing an AAD now as apposed to 20 years ago, as, circuit board design is not as new as it was then, and, with the introduction of safety systems like airbag systems in cars, that level of hardware safety feature design, as well as the approach to safety system software design, are standard concepts that are used on all the time, and the production houses that are capable of that high level quality production and validation are plentiful. However, that level of quality and the extensive validation systems that each AAD has to, (should), go through is very time consuming, and that equates into cost, but that is the cost for a quality product.

It would take at least 40 hours of validation testing for each unit prior to it being shipped, (that includes climate controlled vacuum chambers, vibratory cycles at different temperatures with altitude cycles, static discharge, RF, etc.), and that requires specialized test equipment and techs to over see the process, and that = cost that has to be carried by the product.

If the new AAD can only capture 10% or less of the market, then that results in each AAD costing more to cover the costs of development and production. This is where I see, from a business stand point, there is not enough market potential to justify introducing an AAD to the Sport Market.

Also, any military unit that involves a service member, either directly or indirectly, is required to be of the highest quality and reliability. If it is thought that making an AAD for the Sport Market is tuff, can you imagine designing one for the USA Military!? That has been our primary focus, only looking at if it would be profitable to reconfigure one of our military units for the Sport Market. Airtec has the majority of the Sport market solidly locked up to the point where it does not make sense to try to brake in.

As for any cutter designs that we have for our military units, we would be open to talk with other AAD manufactures about a licensing deal, however I am not expecting to get any interest.


df8m1  (C 29633)

Feb 6, 2013, 11:59 AM
Post #59 of 60 (330 views)
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Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

To my genuine surprise, I have been contacted by a couple of people asking if we had any cutters, or will be producing and selling cutters.

We will be building and testing cutters in house during the R&D phase, and the production process will include X-Ray inspection, as Airtec, and our own manufacturer for our military cutters use, as part of their quality control process.

We will be building cutters in house continually for internal use and continued testing of our AAD systems, so once we are happy with a cutter design, it is not out of the question that we could produce cutters for an end user if the numbers made sense. 100% reliability is a must first.

Once we are happy with a cutter design, we will consider putting the cutter through the TS-112 v1.0 test protocol in cooperation with container manufacturers, to obtain approval for our cutter with their container configuration. However, we will have to balance the cost of such a process against the potential return, as with out an AAD to market, it will be difficult to justify the cost for each container test.

We welcome requests and are open to talk about any potential applications that an approved cutter can benefit. I would like to have something to show at PIA, however we have a lot going on at the present, and the paperwork needs to be in place prior to any showing or demonstration.

I am open to questions from everyone, however, again, I respectfully request that anyone associated with a manufacturer of any kind identify themselves accordingly.


df8m1  (C 29633)

Feb 11, 2013, 11:53 AM
Post #60 of 60 (253 views)
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Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

I have received a good amount of positive response privately about designing a cutter and having it approved by the container manufacturers.

The good thing is that the pinched loop failure with a cylindrical cutter can be induced pretty consistently, so the new cutters can be put in the same configuration to see if the new design allows a clean separation of the loop every time.

I think this is a worth while direction, I think there is something to he said for a part that is designed by someone who not only understands the significance of its operation, but will be putting it on their own back as well.


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