BMC Lifts Secrets on Carbon Frame Production
BMC has unveiled the secret around its mysterious ‘Black Box’ at the company’s HQ in Grenchen, Switzerland. It holds the worlds first fully automated
GRENCHEN, Switzerland – BMC has unveiled the secret around its mysterious ‘Black Box’ at the company’s HQ in Grenchen, Switzerland. It holds the worlds first fully automated carbon frame production facility. It started operations last week.
Impec is the name of the BMC carbon bikes. It comes from ‘impeccable’. Brand manager Markus Eggimann says: “Whereas most carbon frames are manufactured in the Far East through complex manual labour and with that quality fluctuations; with our robot-steered production such human tolerances are excluded which provides unequalled precision.”
Production takes place in seven steps: it starts at a huge, three meter high wheel, on which the carbon fibers are sewed into a hose, always according to specific individual requirements. Also new are carbon half shells that connect the frame tubes. More carbon fibers used here provide the needed extra strength to withstand the highest loads. Next to that they provide the Impec frames a very distinct look.
The fully automated Impec carbon frame production technology makes it possible to bring back such production to Europe. Only 8 employees per shift are needed for making 25,000 frames a year. It makes Swiss production very competitive again.
The BMC Impec carbon bikes already fulfilled all expectations as Cadel Evans and George Hincapie are racing them successfully now at the Tour de France. It will undoubtedly help to find sufficient buyers who are ready to pay 6,500 – 10,000 euro for these prestigious bikes.
Photo’s: Peter Hummel