'Increase your assembly capacity and profitability'

'Increase your assembly capacity and profitability'

The market for bikes and e-bikes in Europe is still experiencing strong growth as a result of the global pandemic. With continuous increase in demand and at the same time, challenges in the supply chain, bicycle and e-bike manufacturers need to secure their assembly capacity for quick changes in the market situation.

Swedish company, OCS Overhead Conveyor Systems, helps leading bicycle manufacturers improve their business and profitability through custom made kitting and assembly solutions. Either in a situation where they need to design a new assembly line or increase the capacity in an existing line.

The unique overhead conveyor solutions meet bicycle manufacturers' requirements for flexible and efficient assembly lines. The company’s friction-based patented technology enables them to offer modern industry solutions that are clean, quiet and oil-free and highly flexible for fast changes – a key factor in this booming industry.

Increase operator efficiency and production capacity

A challenge when designing assembly lines is how to optimise the production flow based on the mix of different bicycle types to be produced as well as the variation in assembly times.

In the end, it’s about maximising operator efficiency by reducing wastes such as waiting times and other non-value-added activities. In the production flow design, it is also important to consider how all necessary parts and components are made available for the operator. Should it be supplied to individual workstations, kitted in the warehouse or perhaps a combination? With extensive experience from designing assembly lines in various industries, in particular the automotive industry, OCS has become a true partner when it comes to creating the most optimal bicycle assembly solution and line design for the industry.

Optimise valuable floorspace

The transformation from traditional floor-based assembly to an automated hanging solution have a drastic effect on production capacity and output. The overhead conveyor frees up valuable floor space and allows the assembly team to work around the bikes in various angles. Operators can walk freely around the ergonomic workstations and the bike can be turned 360 degrees and height adjustable, which means ideal working conditions for the employees.

Overhead storage solutions

Wheels and frames are two components requiring significant storage space. For some customers, OCS has created overhead storage solutions where one pair of wheels is handled together hanging in a carrier and similar for frames. The wheels and frames are sent down to the right assembly station, in the right sequence and at the right time – yet another example of how the total productivity can be increased.

High-end bicycle and e-bike production

"In 2009 we installed our first assembly line within the bicycle industry and today a number of leading bicycle manufacturers around Europe have installed the OCS systems.  The line design is made in very close collaboration with the customer where their needs are thoroughly defined, e.g. requested line capacity, expected mix of bike types etc. Based on this, we then can, using our long experience and know-how, propose a line design which will give maximum productivity. Another factor is the customers production philosophy which is as important to adhere to in the design. A number of our customers have doubled their production capacity and some of them are already planning for extensions due to rapid growth," says Christer Lundgren Sales Director at OCS.

Heiko Müller, CEO at Riese and Müller, the German manufacturer of premium bicycles, says the following about the assembly solutions: "Our products stand for premium quality and sustainability, and this means high-end production and partners who help us achieve these goals. With OCS we have a premium quality system and a reliable partner by our side."

The bicycle market is highly dynamic and the mobility transformation the world is currently experiencing makes the shift to more efficient production necessary. The right line design with focus on operator efficiency and ergonomics will allow for substantial reduction in production costs.

'With OCS we have a premium quality system and a reliable partner by our side.'

The conveyor technology provides:

Overhead conveyor:

  • Friction-driven
  • Low noise, oil-free and clean
  • Modular and highly flexible to meet future demand
  • Allows full line accessibility for operators

Custom made carrier:

  • Gives full 360 degrees bicycle accessibility
  • Ergonomic and height adjustable
  • With box for components and hooks for the wheels
  • Connection to saddle hole or frame

This article is sponsored by OCS.