BC-Made Carbon Fibre Bike Cranks
Optimization of the Manufacturing Process
A Vancouver based bicycle parts manufacturer is able to competitively produce CFRP bike parts locally due to their proprietary process – Many similar parts are produced overseas. To be even more competitive, they needed to increase their production rate without any detrimental effects.
With support from the CKN and using CRN’s expertise in process modelling, the company was able to optimize the process and increase production rate at minimal cost. This approach took the highly sophisticated and expensive physics-based process models developed for aerospace applications, and “right -sized” them for this problem.
More than 2-fold increase in the production rate- a greater than 50% reduction in processing time
“Working with CRN helped us to better understand our manufacturing process, and dramatically increase our production capacity. Prior to contacting CRN, we were heavily limited by our press capacity and high tooling costs. With our optimized process we have the potential to double our capacity, at virtually no cost, and with no loss of performance to the product. The Race Face Manufacturing/Engineering Team was challenged to better understand our curing cycle, and CRN provided us the resources, advanced laboratory equipment and knowledge to accomplish
what we set out as a brand to solve.”
Rob Moore, Director of Engineering, Race Face
Details of Approach
Assess Current Manufacturing Processes
Characterize Material and Optimize Cure Kinetics
Propose Revised Process and Validate with Testing
The company achieved a >50% reduction in processing time –Processing time reduced from 12 min to <6 min. Additionally, a the company was looking to hire a manufacturing engineer, CRN recommended a former engineering co-op student, who is now a full time employee. Facilities have since been expanded.