In 2015, when we transferred our hobby project Crypto Stick to the professional company Nitrokey, it was clear to us from the beginning that we would carry out the serial production of Nitrokeys in Germany. Of course we also buy components on the world market. But the final production of all Nitrokeys takes place in Germany. So we can ensure that the production meets our safety requirements. In addition, production remains flexible, so that we can produce customer-specific firmware and logos on request, even for relatively small quantities.
For us as a small company, it is a special challenge to produce manageable quantities in a high-priced country while keeping production costs competitive. We have successfully mastered this challenge through a high degree of automation. Instead of using high-priced or unsuitable industrial robots, we have developed tailor-made automation systems ourselves.
A self-developed three-axis automatic machine programs and tests up to 250 nitrokeys sequentially and fully automatically. Compared to manual work, only four minutes of working time are required instead of four hours. Thus we can produce up to 8000 Nitrokeys in one day.
Initializing the encrypted mass storage of the Nitrokey storage with random numbers is a lengthy process that takes up to 1.5 hours per Nitrokey. A sequential processing would take several weeks. Therefore we have developed a system that initializes 49 Nitrokeys in parallel and can be easily enlarged if necessary.
The Corona pandemic also affected our supply chain, so we had to wait months for an important component. However, the actual production of the Nitrokeys was not affected. In retrospect, we feel confirmed that we did not locate the production of the Nitrokeys far away, but locally on site. Thus, our production made in Germany, in addition to the open source software and hardware (open source), is today our guarantee that we can offer our customers a high level of security.
In this video we give a look behind the scenes: