Light and strong carbon fibre composites, known from Formula 1 and race bikes, face sudden, brittle and dramatic fracture behaviour. In order to tackle this problem, REIN4CED has developed and patented a brand new more impact resistant composite material than carbon.
This Belgian SME was nominated as a Finalist in the JEC Innovation Awards 2020, and took part in the ADMA short-term pilot. To learn more about them and their experience in the ADMA Initiative, we have spoken with its CEO and Co-founder, Michaël Callens, who has explained us that REIN4CED is a young manufacturing company developing in an automated way a new impact resistant material to build bike frames with just six operators per shift.
After completing both ADMA quick and long scans, at REIN4CED they started to think about where they want to be in the future, which strategy they want to implement to grow their company and which challenges they have to face to achieve their goals.
The scan feedback session was very relevant for the team, since it was useful for them to clarify where they want to put the focus of their business and to identify their priorities, also internally within the team. Since five employees filled the scan (two from the management team, one from operations, and two engineers), they found out that some of their answers were aligned, but some others weren’t, so this was very interesting for them in order to agree on their future plans.
Callens confirms that in this sense, ADMA advisors helped them to identify what is important now and what will be important in the future, as well as to align the team in the growth and future of their SME.
At REIN4CED they were already working in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies and Digital Factory during the past year, and thanks to the ADMA Support Centre, they have also focused on becoming a human-centred organisation that prioritises working with an open communication policy.
When being asked about what a ‘Factory of the Future’ (FoF) means to Callens, he highlights that it should be a “company that focuses on production facility making use of equipment and machines connected digitally and that is organised focusing on open communication both internally and with clients”. He adds that FoFs should be sustainable and eco, too.
The CEO is aware that they still need to take some more steps before saying REIN4CED can be considered a Factory of the Future, and even if it is not their priority at the moment, they still want to go towards that path to be more efficient and competitive.
More about REIN4CED: “The next generation of carbon”
The Belgian innovative SME is ready for the “next generation of carbon”, because they:
- Went from engineering to production: REIN4CED started to explore the markets of ductile and damage-resistant composites as an engineering firm. Now, four years later, REIN4CED is about to start the automated production of unbreakable bicycle frames using its new composite material.
- Produce a material more durable than carbon: Traditional carbon is light, strong and stiff, but highly impact sensitive. REIN4CED resolves brittle fracture issues by adding small amounts of dedicatedly developed steel fibres applied on specific locations inside the material.
- Disrupt markets: The new composite material of REIN4CED behaves almost like a metal but with the weight of carbon. An impact leads to a compact visible dent that barely reduces the frame strength.
- Bring production back to Europe: REIN4CED challenges the existing manual labor-intensive process with a new fully automated production process that handles the material in an accurate, precise manner.
- Focus on 1. Cycling, 2. Automotive, and 3. Aerospace: REIN4CED’s main focus is currently on the bicycle world. However, once the first bicycle projects are up and running, other markets will be explored as well, such as automotive and aerospace.
- Are an OEM frame manufacturer: The bicycles, manufactured in the production facility of REIN4CED, are the result of a collaboration with leading cycling brands worldwide.