Tag Archive: manufacturing

  1. Reducing car size: the quest for finer vehicles

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    Source: Riff Reporter, A. Reidl

    The increasing number of cars on our roads and the corresponding room that they are using has led a team of experts to promote the use of smaller vehicles in our city centres.

    Germany is largely considered as the most prolific country when it comes to car production, and one model has continually flourished. The VW Golf. Habitually at the top of popularity and sales rankings, the Golf has matched industry. One side-effect of this, however, is the size of the car. When the Golf was launched in 1974, it measured 1.61 metres wide. At 1.79 metres, the width of the 2022 model is the width of the largest Mercedes-Benz of the 1970s.

    New versions of nearly every car model follows suit with the Golf, and this causes a problem for urban spacing, as our streets don’t mimic the trend. Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, former Secretary General of the International Association of Cities for Sustainable Development, ICLEI, has joined forces with a team of experts from urban and town planning. Together, they have developed “fine mobility” concept at the University of Kassel, recognising the need for, “disarmament in traffic from coarse to finer vehicles.”

    The Research Association for Roads and Transport (FGSV) is retabulating car design and the corresponding parking space capacity that has become duly effected. Otto-Zimmermann was queried on this study: “In terms of craftsmanship, the FGSV’s approach is certainly clean. But the philosophy behind it, in my opinion, is wrong. The research company uses the vehicle stock to determine the dimensions of the average vehicle, which is not exceeded by 85 percent of all vehicles. Because the vehicles are getting bigger and bigger, the FGSV uncritically adopts this status and cements the car bloat for decades to come, instead of thinking normatively and providing incentives to save space. We should not let the market dictate the size of our parking spaces.”

    Commenting on how municipalities can implement countermeasures, Otto Zimmerman said: “Urban space is the most important factor for municipalities. They should be able to decide how much space to give to which types of vehicles. Do they allow a few huge cars to be parked in a section of road, or is it not more appropriate to have more small vehicles parked there instead? So far, the municipalities have lacked the tools to do so. Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel, the VCD and the SRL, we have developed the concept of “fine mobility”. This gives them a new vehicle classification according to size and weight. We used a unit of measurement that everyone knows: product size. We distinguish between seven G-Classes from XXS, XS and S to M to L, XL and XXL.”

    When questioned on the vehicle types used in his fine mobility concept, Otto-Zimmermann further commented, “We looked at the entire world of wheels, from roller skates to bicycles and light electric vehicles to off-road vehicles. Around 100 vehicles were systematically recorded. This also shows off all the vehicles above the bicycle and below the car with a meaningful category and a traffic area. The FGSV recognises only one design vehicle: passenger cars and design vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles.”

  2. Bafang Electric launches its first Bafang Dealer Day, attracting hundreds of industry professionals

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    The first Bafang Dealer Day took place on January 16 in Nijkerk, generating a great response and positive feedback. More than 450 dealers took up the LEVA-EU member’s invitation to register for the event and made their way to the distinctive venue Hart van Holland. Here, much discussion surrounding Bafang itself, the dealer direct service, new products, and partner opportunities took place.

    Confident presentations and interactive exchange

    The day’s presentations were specially designed with dealer-specific information in mind, ranging from an overview of Bafang’s history to technical insight regarding the latest drive systems. Confidently leading the day’s proceedings was moderator Rens Merckelbach. He was joined by members of Bafang’s Benelux branch Vince Weerden, Santosh Mankoe, and Leroy van Heeren, the branch’s Service Manager, Dealer Direct Service Executive, and Customer Service Specialist respectively. Each presented on their specialist subject, taking time to answer any dealers’ questions on the matters at hand.

    New products and the BESST Pro Tool

    After a refreshment break the event continued, moving into an adjacent hall where dealers were able to view Bafang’s latest technological offerings up-close while receiving tailored advice from knowledgeable staff members.

    Alongside the isolated drive systems, batteries, and HMIs on display, a range of test bikes were available for dealers’ use. Supporting Bafang’s own test bikes were branded bikes boasting a range of systems, provided by Jools, Brinckers, BSP, and Dolly Bikes. Based on the faces seen around the specially designed test track, Bafang’s motto, “Engineered to make you smile”, rings true!

    The afternoon was then characterized by presentations of the latest products from Bafang by Lennart van Houwelingen, the Sales Manager for Benelux. Following this, Leroy van Heeren returned to deliver a presentation regarding the BESST Pro tool, which is sure to be an exciting prospect for many dealers.

    Rens Merckelbach concluded the event with a light-hearted lottery, where Bafang team members presented a selection of gifts to lucky attendees. Concluding with a classic networking session, the event can only be described as an extremely successful and slick launch of Bafang’s Dealer Day. Full of informative content and exciting ideas, the event clearly outlines Bafang’s focus on development in the European market, and is the product of a great team effort by the staff of Bafang Electric Ltd.

  3. LEVA-EU member Pendix reports another record year

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    Source: RadMarkt, J. Beckendorff

    2022 “couldn’t have gone better” for the Zwickau-based manufacturer of retrofit electric bicycle drives

    In 2022, Pendix GmbH completed the purchase of its cooperation partner VSC Bike GmbH, a cargo bike box supplier; alongside this, Johnson Electric Group now holds a majority 80% stake in Pendix. With so much activity, it’s unsurprising that the business’ previous record year of 2021 has been overtaken by another record year.

    For Pendix Managing Director Thomas Herzog, the year 2022 could not have gone better: “After the two Corona years, it was great to finally meet colleagues from the industry again without restrictions at the trade fairs. And we are also completely satisfied internally. We have ten new colleagues, are now 63 people and are still looking for support. Even if we continue to grow, also in terms of personnel, we want to maintain our team spirit… We want to continue with this motivation in 2023. The cooperation with Johnson Electric gave us wings again.”

    The demand for retrofit systems continues to grow, with the brand’s largest market being the Netherlands, representing almost 10% of 2022’s turnover.

  4. Johnson Electric acquires a majority stake in Pendix GmbH, provider of electric drives and e-bikes

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    Source: Johnson Electric

    Johnson Electric announces the acquisition of an 80% stake in LEVA-EU member Pendix GmbH, a well-established technology-driven market player in the e-bike industry. Based in Zwickau, Germany, Pendix designs, manufactures, and brings complete electric cargo bikes and electric drives for bicycles to market. Pendix’s offering combines leading innovation with an extremely high level of product reliability.

    By welcoming Pendix as part of Johnson Electric Group, we are expanding our e-mobility offering and entering the e-bike market. With Johnson Electric’s industrial scale and global reach together with Pendix’s expertise in the e-bike sector, we are positioning ourselves into a fast-growing and innovative industry,” said Dr. Patrick Wang, Chairman and CEO of Johnson Electric.

    Our engineering center in Dresden, Germany, is in close proximity to Zwickau. This will enable close collaboration with the highly skilled Pendix team. We’re excited about expanding into the e-bike sector, and by doing so we hope to create a more sustainable future for personal mobility,” added Austin Wang, Senior Vice President of Johnson Electric.

    All Pendix founders, who started the company in 2013, will remain shareholders of Pendix and continue in their active management roles to lead the business growth plans.

    We are extremely pleased to join such a reputable company as Johnson Electric and are convinced that our common passions for innovation and engineering perfection together with a strong cultural fit are a great foundation for reaching the next level of success,” commented Thomas Herzog, co-founder and CEO of Pendix GmbH.

  5. NieuwsFiets.nu DealerTrip 2023: destination Portugal

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    Source: NieuwsFiets.nu

    The NieuwsFiets DealerTrip is back on the agenda and will travel to Bike Value in Portugal from 8 to 15 January 2023. As the registration period is much shorter than usual, this is a trip for quick decision-makers!

    As travel restrictions have been considerably relaxed again, the new NieuwsFiets.nu ‘DealerReis’ will travel to Portugal next year. This trip will take place in January, and due to the rapid approach of the date, interested entrepreneurs will have to decide quickly. It is certain that it will again be an exciting professional trip, heading to the beating heart of the Portuguese bicycle industry. The program of factory visits is currently being finalized, but visits to companies such as SRAM, Polisport/Bobike, Miranda, and Fritz Jou (producer of QWIC, among others) have been confirmed.

    DealerTravel to Vietnam is too risky due to corona

    The last NieuwsFiets.nu DealerReis took place in 2019 when travel to China was still possible. A trip to Vietnam was originally planned for 2020, but disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed this visit. “That trip has been postponed twice and was in principle planned for November this year. And although it is currently possible to travel to Vietnam, I think it is too risky,” says organizer Arnauld Hackmann. “Suppose COVID-19 flares up again and Vietnam starts re-instituting quarantine rules, then we have a big problem. I first want to see how things are going there in the coming months, but Vietnam will definitely remain on the wish list for the near future.”

    Portugal: The main production location in the EU bicycle market

    In addition to NieuwsFiets.nu, Hackmann also organizes dealer trips for the German trade magazine Velobiz.de. Editor-in-chief Markus Fritsch proposed the idea of ​​visiting Portugal as an alternative to Vietnam, which has Bike Value in Agueda, where a lot of the bicycle industry is located. “The first discussions were held during Eurobike. November, the month in which the trips normally take place, was not feasible, so we opted for the beginning of January,” explains Hackmann. “An additional advantage is that this trip is a lot cheaper than the Asia trips of the past.

    The northern Portuguese metropolis of Porto is one of the most beautiful cities on the Iberian Peninsula. In addition, the port city is now an important center of the European bicycle industry; more than one-fifth of bicycles produced in Europe roll off the assembly line in Portugal. The country on the Iberian Atlantic coast has thus developed into the most important production location in the EU bicycle market. In addition, Portugal is an important location for the production of bicycle frames and other parts.

    With the NieuwsFiets.nu DealerTrip 2023, travelers take a look behind the factory gates of eight companies that produce in Portugal from 8 to 15 January. Of course, getting to know the destination’s culture and people is not neglected during this time. During the 8-day trip, there is extensive of opportunity for dealers to network and exchange experiences.

    Registration is open until 1 November 2022

    Find more information on the NieuwsFiets.nu DealerTravel 2023, here.

  6. Bafang Direct-to-dealer Services see primary launch with select brands

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    In the past, to meet the individualized needs of different e-bike brands, LEVA-EU member Bafang Electric (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (hereafter referred to as Bafang) developed a variety of products and provided after-sales services to brands in a flexible and efficient way. With the maturity of products and development of consumers’ service requirements, some brands took the initiative to ask Bafang to extend its services further to include dealers. To meet the evolving market demand, over the past two years Bafang has developed a direct-to-dealer service (DDS) mode for select bicycle brands and dealers in response to their service requirements, creating a comprehensive, closed-loop system.

    This concept was first put into practice in February 2021; in this preliminary stage, the service was available only to a few selected dealers. Following with an excellent response, Bafang’s dealer services network has further expanded and now serves dealers of multiple brands.

    As one of the world’s leading electric bike drive systems and electronic components manufacturers, Bafang knows its responsibility for the continuous flow and exchange of information between brands and their dealers. Therefore, Bafang has refined and strengthened its DDS, heavily investing in the project to provide applicable training programs for the existing products each year.

    In February 2021, Bafang launched the DDS with a Dutch brand, Gazelle. In the first interactive training stage, the brand invited a few dealers to thoroughly trial the dealer services system and assess any problems that arose. By the end of 2021, all of Gazelle’s dealers had been connected to the Bafang DDS system. For the Gazelle brand alone, Bafang will continue to provide more than 700 dealers with services including product training, customer service, and spare parts sales.

    Currently, 5 brands have joined Bafang’s DDS, and the Bafang dealers’ service team has established contact with more than 1,200 dealers to provide relevant services.

    The Bafang DDS service team boasts established technicians with years of industry experience who will train dealers and workshop employees to ensure that they can provide high-quality services to their customers. The scope of services provided by Bafang DDS includes:

    – Free replacement and maintenance of parts (within the warranty period)

    – Stable diagnostic systems

    – Training courses for new products

    – Technical documents in various languages for download (e.g., manuals, e-learning videos,

       assembly/disassembly demonstrations)

    – Quick response and follow-up on any technical issues

    – Sharing of the dealers’ experiences

    At present, the Bafang DDS system remains in its initial development stage, including the logistics system, service platform, training activities, etc., which are being continuously improved upon. In the future, Bafang plans continued expansion of the system to quickly meet dealers’ demands with real-world data and support. Dealers will have the advantage of using the full range of services provided by Bafang and purchasing parts directly through the system, while Bafang Dealer Services itself will continue to expand service outlets and increase service personnel. In April of this year, Bafang held a professional, innovative, and successful online training event with Fischer Bicycle and its international dealers, and is preparing for the provision of a professional service system for more brands and dealers in the future.

    Although the Bafang DDS is a relatively new offering, many dealers have shown great enthusiasm and encouragement for the program, providing valuable suggestions for Bafang to improve the subsequent service work.

    Bafang dealer service process

    How does the Bafang DDS function? Following the signing of a dealer service agreement by a bike brand, the brand’s list of dealers and their relevant details is shared with Bafang. Bafang then prepares all goods and content for the dealers, who can submit product queries through the dedicated DDS web portal. Bafang’s service engineers handle all incoming queries promptly, liaising remotely with the dealer through the most appropriate channels to reach a resolution.

  7. Bafang M620, designed for the heavy-duty cargo bike market

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    Source: Nieuwsfiets

    The latest market studies by major electric bicycle associations clearly show steady growth in the e-cargo bike sector, which will continue to increase in the coming years. LEVA-EU member Bafang is responding to this with the launch of the M620 mid-engine.

    In particular, the segment of heavy, commercially used e-cargo bikes (payload between 500 kg and 1 tonne) give many engineers a headache when choosing the most suitable and sustainable drive concept. Bafang is working intensively to develop solutions to meet the demands placed on these last-mile transport vehicles, which in turn help to meet global requirements for reducing CO2 emissions. Through exchange between the R&D department, users and manufacturers, Bafang has gained knowledge and insights for the effective research and development of its new technical milestone.

    Integrated differential, smooth reverse drive function

    Bafang has opted for a solution that is specifically aimed at use on chain- or belt-driven heavy-duty tricycles. Bafang creates entire systems that work in synergy for this application, for example, the powerful mid-engine M620, with a new 3-speed automatic gear hub, plus an integrated differential grid, and reverse gear. According to the Chinese manufacturer, these form the ideal system solution in combination with a powerful and reliable mid-mounted motor.

    WWW.BAFANG-E.COM

  8. Greenway expand their Danish joint venture, Viridus Manufacturing A/S, for battery production

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    In 2019, LEVA-EU member Greenway invested in a new battery pack manufacturing facility, Viridus Manufacturing A/S in Aarhus, Denmark. After 3 years of growth, the site was ready for expansion and doubled production capacity.

    From the very start, the manufacturing factory had a focus on sustainability, running with zero net emissions. In order to improve zero-emission measurements, a completely new building was planned and constructed by the Danish Viridus team. The factory’s battery equipment, automation, and production know-how came from the Chinese Greenway team.

    In August 2022 the Viridus team moved into the new site and started production. The building is carbon-neutral and packed with sustainable features like a wastewater recycling system, biodiversity gardens, CO2-neutral heat pump, reusable building materials, waste sorting, solar panels, bike charging stations, and a healthy indoor climate.

    The Danish battery production is supplied by 100% renewable energy, and electric cars are used for internal transportation. Furthermore, all employees have access to training facilities, healthcare, and a healthy canteen environment.

    The new site in Aarhus, Denmark, received a Gold DGNB German Sustainable Building Council certificate for the focus on sustainability and recyclability. Congratulations, Viridus team on fantastic work!

  9. Takeover of Klaassen Parts by Van Raam

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    As of September 1, 2022, LEVA-EU member Van Raam will take over Klaassen Parts. The company continues under the name Your CNC Solutions. Your CNC Solutions will focus on both serial and single-piece turning and milling work.

    Personnel and machines will move to Euroweg 12 in Varsseveld before the end of this year. With this acquisition, Van Raam has taken a great step in expanding its sister companies.

    In addition to Klaassen’s current machinery, Your CNC Solutions will utilize Van Raam’s existing machines and professionals. Your CNC Solutions will continue to supply Klaassen’s current customers.

    Dominik Tempels is the new point of contact in the form of company manager. Guido Klaassen will focus on innovation and new technical possibilities.

    Left: Guido Klaassen; right: Jan-Willem Boezel (Technical Director, Van Raam)
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