Rodi Launches Portugal Made Carbon Wheelsets
AVEIRO, Portugal – Rodi’s presentation of its first Portugal made carbon Black Jack wheelsets was the latest highlight of the company’s successful transition in the past five years. “Substantial investments in know-how and equipment have resulted in a higher added value and a stronger position in the mid to high-end price category,” explained Rodi sales and marketing manager Duarte Bernardo.
The production shift at Rodi is more than obvious in the facility based at the heart of Portugal’s bicycle industry. The number of new machineries, technologies and production lines is noteworthy. “We have invested 2.5 million euro in 2018 only in new machinery,” said Duarte Bernardo.
“All investments are aimed at improving flexibility and reducing lead-times. We can now offer our OEM customers their own designed rims and wheelsets in any quantity their prefer. As part of our transition we have seen a reduction in production volumes in the past 5 years of 30 percent. Our annual output was 5 million rims and we are now back to 3.5m units while we increased our revenues.”
In 2017 Rodi S.A. was honoured with the 2017 PME Excellence award in the category Productivity. This tribute from IAPMEI and Turismo de Portugal, highlighted the merit of the country’s best small-medium enterprises, based on indicators like financial stability and excellent economic and financial performance.
Carbon wheel set production
Only last year Rodi decided to pull out the market for carbon rims and carbon wheel sets which the company sourced in Taiwan. At last month’s Eurobike Rodi was back again in this product category with in-house made Black Jack carbon rims. The company invested in an all new carbon rim facility in the existing Aveiro factory. “It took us several years to develop the technique for producing carbon rims but now we have everything in our own hands,” said Duarte Bernardo. “The R&D is done by our own technicians, while we could reduce the lead times considerably. Above all the price of the final product is the same compared with the old situation when we sourced them in Asia.”
Portugal Bike Value
Rodi participated together with partners Miranda and Ciclo Fapril in the well-known fully automated and robotised aluminium frame factory Triangles which is now fully operational. The total output of Portugal based facility will be 120,000 frames this year and grow to the total capacity of 500,000 units by 2020. Duarte Bernardo applauds the success of the Portugal Bike Value project.
“Portugal as major production location in Europe is top of mind among industry leaders. Especially for Taiwanese parts and component manufacturers Portugal is an attractive location due to the close proximity of many of their customers and the high level technological know-how. The door is wide open now for them and if they don’t take the opportunity I expect that other investors from outside the bicycle industry might step in.”