Exciting Manufacturing Update!
The success of our campaign has opened up manufacturing opportunities that would normally be cost prohibitive for a startup bicycle manufacturer.
We are excited to announce that we will be using robotic welding technology to weld Helix's titanium frame!
Now that we have the budget and projected volume to leverage the quality and efficiency that such a machine can offer, we are even more confident that we will have an incredible product to offer.
Once the realm of automotive, medical, aerospace and other high budget industries, robotic welding has recently reached more attainable prices. The North American bicycle industry is starting to see a wave of re-shoring that has in part been made possible by this technology.
The benefits of robotic welding are nothing less than amazing.
From a purely structural perspective a robot can achieve a consistently perfect weld. It is able to coordinate the position of the welding torch and the bicycle frame independently to within a thousandth of an inch. It can travel at higher speeds and uses an oscillating wire technique, both of which greatly reduce the heat affected zone which in turn increases the strength of the weld. Aesthetically, the welds are incredible.
It uses a database of welding parameters that sets the optimal amperage, wire feed rate, torch angle, gas flow rate, sine wave shape, arc length and shape for welding titanium at the varying thicknesses. This database was created using computational analysis of data gathered by high speed cameras observing the welding characteristics of thousands of hours of welding. It is welding at an extraordinary new level.
It is programmed to adhere to these exacting parameters for each and every weld contour it produces, making adjustments on the fly to conform to engineering weld specifications for each joint.
It does all of this perfectly and consistently. Every time. Simply put, it does things that are humanly not possible.
The photograph in this update is one of the robot cells we have tested. We’ll be moving ahead with the acquisition in the upcoming weeks as we set up our new manufacturing facility.
Thank you all for the tremendous support. Surprise #2 and #3 will be announced after our Kickstarter campaign ends, stay tuned!
Peter and The Helix Team