Allied Cycle Works Relies on Autometrix Solutions to Consistently Produce High Quality, High Performance Bicycles
It’s no secret that manufacturing is cheaper in China. However, some companies who are committed to crafting innovative, high quality products believe that it’s worth it to keep the manufacturing process local. Allied Cycle Works is one of those companies. They design and build high performance road bikes in Little Rock, Arkansas. Not just any road bikes – these bikes are exquisitely crafted, and Allied produces fewer than 1500 bikes a year. Peloton Magazine calls Allied’s Alfa All Road bike “the most precise, aggressive, and lively ‘adventure’ bike they’ve ever ridden.”
Local Manufacturing Process is a Game Changer
Sam Pickman, Allied’s Director of Engineering, believes that manufacturing locally is a huge factor in the high quality of their bikes. “Controlling your own manufacturing process allows you to move through development processes really rapidly,” he said. “You think about your entire process, from design to manufacturing. An engineer who sits next to the manufacturing floor thinks very differently about how he designs a product.”
Consistency and Precision are Critical
This control over innovation and production is so important to Allied, their tagline is “MADE HERE MADE RIGHT”. Allied takes great care in their manufacturing process, and they rely on Autometrix cutting machines to produce a consistent, high quality product every time. In working with materials like carbon fiber, precision is critical. “If you change the angle of a ply by only a handful of degrees, you lose 30% of the performance of that ply,” said Pickman. “The precision with which you place the ply is really important. We get exactly the same performance out of every bike we make.”
The Freedom to Innovate
Allied is always looking for ways to innovate and make their bikes faster, stronger, or lighter. Manufacturing in the United States allows Allied to experiment with different types of materials that factories in China would not be willing to use. Autometrix PatternSmith software gives Allied the ability to try new things with the shapes of their components: “If you are trying to design a super lightweight bike, having the freedom to design and use whatever shapes and angles we want gives us a performance advantage,” said Pickman.
The True Cost of Manufacturing in the U.S.
Manufacturing in the U.S. is more expensive, partially because employee wages are much higher in this country versus Asia. Allied has a strong social conscience, and they are committed to paying a fair wage to all of its employees. They look for other ways to save money. Autometrix PatternSmith software helps Allied minimize waste of very expensive materials like carbon fiber. “The PatternSmith nesting tool can save us $20 per bike,” said Pickman. While $20 may seem small, these kinds of real dollar material savings can result in a cutting system paying for itself in the first year, with those savings continuing each year following.
Watch Allied in Action
Want to learn more about how Autometrix supports Allied’s manufacturing process? Watch this video for a behind the scenes glimpse of the manufacturing process for the best bikes and components in the world in Virtual Reality Mode. Partner with Autometrix and do it right!