Relocating production with POD to cope with shortages

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Relocating production with POD to cope with shortages

At the beginning of December 2021, we were contacted for a POD project by a local company specialising in urban bicycle equipment: Abordage. Like many companies at the moment, they are facing a shortage of raw materials. As a result, one of their German suppliers announces a production delay of 6 to 9 months! Panic on board, they can't afford such long delays. This supply problem confirms an idea that the company already wanted to put in place: relocate its production to France. 

This is where we come in! The founders of the start-up contacted us for a design project with a short production time. This is a perfect project for DAGOMA PRO!

The project

The project we are working on concerns one of their flagship products, the Sacadoche. This is a bag that can be attached to a bicycle and which transforms into a backpack when you pass as a pedestrian. Initially, Abordage wanted to design a fixing system for the bag. Therefore, our team of product designers started working on the project of attachment clips.

In a second phase, they also want to offer a locking system to ensure better security of the bag. So we are thinking about security clips to prevent snatching. 

To launch the project, Abordage visits us with different models of bags and existing hanging systems. This allowed us to get to grips with the product and to better understand the technical points. The main task in designing the product is to take into account all the technical constraints of the specifications and to produce an optimised product. The designer therefore proposes numerous iterations in order to design the ideal parts for the project.

3D model of the hanging clips.

3D design at the service of the product

The most important point of the project is to create a design that combines both :

  • The solidity of the clip against the shocks and impacts of a bike in full race
  • A form of softness and flexibility to easily clip and unclip the bag onto the luggage rack

All this, plus the ability of the clips to support the weight of the bag and its contents during the journey.

Firstly, we draw up hooking models which we then model in 3D. Each iteration is then printed in 3D, which allows us to have a first tangible and concrete rendering. We make dozens of prototypes and tests, which we send back to the Abordage workshop. Thanks to this rapid prototyping, the creation process is accelerated. This allows us to check the reliability of the design directly. 3D design greatly facilitates speed of execution and iterations. It allows companies to test their products with prototypes in order to define the optimised product. 

Abordage made a video in our offices, with Tristan, product designer who took care of their project! It's here.

Production challenges

The second challenge is to define the material used for production. Initially, we were thinking of using PLA (polyactic acid) filament, a high quality, easy to print filament. After our numerous product tests in real-life conditions (bike rides with the Sacadoche on the luggage rack), we finally decided to choose a PA Nylon Carbon filament. Indeed, it has a better solidity, and thus a better resistance to the stresses present during a bike ride. 

Our challenge, following this choice, was to increase our production capacity for PA Nylon Carbon. This technical filament requires a specific process and boxes capable of keeping the material dry so as not to alter its physical capacities. To meet our customer's needs, we adapted our machinery and increased the number of machines capable of printing this filament .

3D printing for fast production

We validated the project at the beginning of December 2021, when the founders of the start-up were actively looking for a quick and efficient solution to cope with the shortage of raw materials and relocate its production. The design work lasted about 1 month, with several dozen prototypes made to design an ideal product according to their specifications. The production of the parts was launched in just one and a half months! A great performance for the company, which was afraid of 3 to 6 months of delays from their supplier.

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Hanging clips
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Locking system

A total of 4000 clips made of PA Nylon Carbon and 4000 parts for the locking system (2000 fixed parts made of yellow PLA and 2000 removable hooks made of PA Nylon Carbon) were produced and delivered.

An alternative to industrial production

In this project, 3D printing and our on-demand production service enabled a company to source parts quickly, and to relocate their production to France, to facilitate short-run production. Abordage used our 3D design service and we worked hand in hand with their teams to design their products. Our farm of over 300 3D printers enabled us to produce their parts much faster than conventional industrial production would have allowed .

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The client
Boarding Abordage is a neighbouring company specialising in equipment for urban bikes. Its mission is to help cyclists get around safely, comfortably and above all ... in style!