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Bicycle frames manufacturing through filament winding technique Feasibility study, improvements and process automation

Marco Rinaldi

Bicycle frames manufacturing through filament winding technique Feasibility study, improvements and process automation.

Rel. Cristiana Delprete, Paolo Baldissera, Enrique Romero Pineda. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Meccanica, 2020


Cycling has originally been considered a sport for working-class people, mainly because it was practised by people belonging to the lower classes; even so, bicycles, at that time, were an extremely expensive and rare good if related to the general wealth people experienced. Although, nowadays those premature examples seem to be fairly basic and primitive if compared to the standards that the market has reached. Indeed, modern bicycles are becoming more and more refined and complex products, especially in recent years. Bikes underwent an incredible development in geometries, technical solutions and materials, and so did components in general. Historically, steel was the material of choice for frames production, and so it remained for almost one entire century, until aluminum alloys frames started to show up in later 90s and beginning of the new millennium. Only introduction of carbon composite frames later in the past decade changed unquestionably the cycling industry. Carbon frames are not only stiffer compared to previous traditional frames, but significantly lighter as well. In addition, carbon allows to design and build a great variety of shapes in the pursuit of better aerodynamic performance. As a downside, however, carbon fibers manufacturing processes are highly manual and to keep costs low in an ever-growing and highly competitive market, brands are often forced to move their production in East Asia countries, like Taiwan, Vietnam and China, taking advantage of the widely inferior men-working cost. Starting from this foreword, this paper will prove that it is possible to find alternative methods to those commonly used in the cycling industry with the final goal of crafting bicycle frames and components with extremely low cost, low men-working necessity, high productivity and paramount overall quality. We will point out how adoption of new production processes, based on new technologies and on wide-spread process automation, according to modern 4.0 industry concept, will be the key for success in this field and how they may allow, ultimately, to bring back mass production to Europe, overcoming logistic issues that are a major concern for companies and reducing costs for the final customer. In the following chapters the work I carried out at Composite Jazz concerning this topic will be presented with abundance of details. In particular, we will be discussing the differences between different carbon frames manufacturing solutions and we will focus later on the improving of the filament winding process the company is currently developing; starting from a standard machine, throughout the steps that led to the final fixture, such as, for instance, the introduction of a new binder dispenser system. Since automation is key in reducing production cost and in increasing productivity, a large part of this paper will describe how process automation is performed with help of a PLC unit and of a linear motion axis. Finally, further development perspectives are given to highlights the relevance of this project and its importance for the future growth of the company's business.

Relators: Cristiana Delprete, Paolo Baldissera, Enrique Romero Pineda
Academic year: 2019/20
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 119
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Fulltext non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Meccanica
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-33 - MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: COMPOSITE JAZZ SRL
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/15423
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