Apologies for the perceived silence from the manufacturing arm of this program!!! I've spent a lot of time overseas on business and we're also neck-deep in new projects so I have neglected to keep this forum updated...
We now have live production and material availability to produce 40 tonnes of chess sets
- or about 40,000 sets, which equates to about 20% of the target output. Further material has been promised as soon as required.
For those of you interested in the recycling position of these sets two companies, May & Scofield and Harvey Water Softeners, are sending us their plastic products to be re-ground into pellets for use in the project. The rest of the materials currently allocated come from the plastics OEM processing scrap. This material would normally be either land-filled or incinerated as it fails to meet the tight engineering tolerances required of techncial plastics. However since a chess set wouldn't normally be expected to survice a burn test, collision or chemical spill it is more than suitable for our needs!?!
If anyone would like to visit us in Basingstoke and see some of the tools running we're hoping to have a mini-volume build in June... without packaging we don't want to produce a sea of chess pieces which will subsequently need to be hand-sorted into the correct allocation amounts.
Which is of course the bad news... we still have no packing media (RPC the orignal box sponsor has moved their production to Eastern Europe) and we still have no outer sleeve to put the 10 sets and 10 boards in.
I'll be blunt here by stating that some of the negativity associated with comments generated by these boards and similar "assumed" offical channels is damaging our ability to tie down long-term sponsorship. Some of the ructions within the ECF's own board have also been unhelpful...
Charles Wood is working tirelessly to try and confirm the distribution channels to get our production out to the UK - I would urge all those involved in the ECF side of this project to support him in this effort - most especially with your endorsement of his work in trying to pin down the whole delivery end of the program. That's finding sponsors for all the packaging media, arranging the collection of a minimum of 45 lorry loads of chess pieces from us, securing a distribution hub to store and break down bulk consignments into regional deliveries and then of course getting each carton of sets to every school!?!
If you'd like any more information or would like to make further suggestions please let me know - we are on the cusp of delivering an amazing program and I'm hopeful that the ECF and the chess community of England will be able to make the most of this opportunity.