U.S. electric bike market up

Electric bike market advisers eCycleElectric have concluded that the U.S. market for pedal assisted bikes could have grown year-on-year by as much as 70% in 2016.

The consultancy run by Patrick and Ed Benjamin has crunched the numbers and believes that the U.S. imported a minimum of 196,000 and likely as many as 251,000 units in 2016. A further 15,000 are believed to have been built domestically by assemblers, putting the firm’s low estimate at 211,000 units.

Ed Benjamin told CyclingIndustry.News: “Due to complexities in tracking these numbers, we suspect that the actual number may 20% higher, thus giving us our upper-limit figure of 251,000 units. That would represent a 70% increase.”

Speaking on the difficulties of tracking the market’s exact figures, Benjamin said that without a specific HS code, something which pedal assist bikes lack at present, records are harder to define.
“This leads to a tedious process of evaluating thousands of individual records, one at a time, by hand. Such a process is subject to both human errors and definition confusion; many products that would not be conventionally regarded as an “electric bike” may be listed as such, or in similar terms,” offers Benjamin. “Our figure of 40,000 additional imported bikes is intended to realistically encompass both our likely margin of error and bikes that are either poorly defined within the record, not described with any of the 60 terms we search under, or simply mislabeled entirely. The remaining 15,000 USA assembled bikes is based on data gathered through our relationships with USA assemblers, retailers, brand managers, OEMs, component suppliers, and sales reps.”

Ebikes were imported by approximately 135 entities during this period, found eCycleElectric. Most came from China, but also from Taiwan, Korea, and elsewhere.

The largest importers were ebike specialists, followed by major bicycle brands. A large number of bikes were imported by specialist ebike retailers. Other importers included sporting goods stores, online sales, and mass merchants.

Many small importers brought in shipments of 6 to 50 bikes. These are thought to be start ups, retailers, and companies considering the ebike business.

Does it all translate to sales?

“If stock languishing in warehouses were a widespread problem grumbling in the supply side would be heard loudly and clearly. As it is, grumbling has been absent, so we feel that most of the ebikes entering the market are being sold, and easily,” starts Benjamin.

Sources within the industry have indeed told eCycleElectric that unit sales have risen by as much as three fold year-on-year, with many more pointing to increases between 40 and 70% during 2016.

“This aligns with our observations, and thus we feel confident that the path from importer to customer is, at the moment, fairly well-lubricated,” says Benjamin.

“An often overlooked detail of the USA ebike market is that it cannot be as easily compared to the bicycle market as we might like. A figure of a quarter-million bicycles sounds unimpressive for an industry that moves in tens of millions in the USA. However, with the average ebike somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000, with many examples reaching towards (or even past) $6,000, this small volume represents a larger slice than is immediately obvious.

“Thus we feel that the overall picture of the market is this: Sales are up, some (but not all) companies are growing fast, and this small, yet profitable, industry segment is continuing to grow due to a variety of global and USA trends.”

To contact Benjamin directly head on over to www.eCycleElectric.com.

Within Europe, manufacturers like Cube are drastically expanding the scope of their electric bike production. Head here for our interview with CEO Marcus Purner.

Hoskins pushes growth at Octex through enthusiasm, planning

Sarasota, Fla. — There's an energy and enthusiasm at Octex LLC that's palpable and seemingly infectious.

Maybe it's the sunshine of Sarasota. More likely, it's the vision of President John Hoskins and his team that's sprinkled with youthful leaders. Either way, this contract manufacturer/injection molder is expanding physically and on its balance sheet.

Examples abound.

This month, Octex moved equipment into its newly constructed 4,000-square-foot white room. This room for medical molding has a reflective deep blue floor and wall of windows that give office staff a needed view into the work room, connecting shop to office.

In the fourth quarter, Hoskins said the company will expand its clean room to 6,000 square feet.
These moves are all part of the company's master plan, which by the end of 2020 will see the complete reconfiguration of the building, moving the entrance to the current rear of the complex.

The company's in-house lab — currently at 3,000 square feet — will expand to 10,000 in the next two to three years. That lab, formerly Octex Labs, now goes by the name Omnia Scientific.

All of this is on the heels of the 2015 purchase of Choice Tool & Mold Inc., which is housed in newly refurbished digs next door to Octex.

A website relaunch is also three months out to help keep current and prospective customers up to date on all of Octex's seemingly ever-changing capabilities.

This growth stems from the company's decision to move deeply into the medical device market, leaving consumer drinkware late last year. Hoskins points out, however, that Octex remains committed to the consumer and industrial markets and its current partners.

Hoskins estimates the company's sales at less than $40 million today. The company has a three-year goal of $50 million and an ambitious target of "nine figures" or more than $100 million in five to 10 years.

"Targets are first brush strokes. We're not going to limit growth. But we don't want to throw away what made us who we are. We've got to remain relevant to our partners," he said.

6 Tips for Choosing Material Handling Equipment

Whether you need storage equipment, bulk material equipment or automation solutions, here are six crucial points to consider before purchasing.

A number of factors come into play when choosing material handling equipment for your warehouse. Whether you need storage equipment, bulk material equipment or automation solutions, here are six crucial points to consider before purchasing.

1. While it seems obvious

While it seems obvious, the place to start is the types of materials being handled. This could include pallets, spools of materials, coils, tires, etc.

2. Another factor

Another factor is the order picking method, which could include piece pick, case pick or pallet pick. If your personnel stores and picks full pallets in racks, then a reach truck would be the right equipment choice. However, if workers have to case pick cartons from pallets, then choose the order picker.

3. Determine which functions need to be performed

Determine which functions need to be performed, as well as environmental factors such as rack aisle width, rack type and ceiling height. There are a number of options to choose from but as a general rule of thumb, the narrower the aisle the equipment can operate in, the higher the cost.

4. You can’t expect every conveying

You can’t expect every conveying, palletizing or filling application to be heavy-duty. Any application involving drums, weighing scales, pails or totes being filled and moved at high-volume intervals will require rugged, heavy-duty equipment. This will hold true especially if the equipment is not maintained regularly.

5. Assess the level of customization you need.

Assess the level of customization you need. You can choose to have a complete range of services that cover analysis through start-up and post-sale support.

6. Keep track of all the maintenance costs.

Keep track of all the maintenance costs. Software programs and tools can track this information and help boost warehouse productivity. Choose equipment whose spares can be found easily in replacing or repairing the equipment, thus minimizing downtime.

Factory Orders Rise As Aircraft Demand Soars

The Commerce Departments said Thursday that factory orders increased 3 percent in June, a solid rebound after declining in May and April. But the gains largely came from a massive 131 percent jump in orders for civilian aircraft, a category that can be volatile on a monthly basis.

U.S. manufacturing has been recovering from a slowdown in late 2015 caused by lower energy prices and a strong dollar that made American products more expensive overseas. Factories have responded with a relatively slight upturn in hiring. Manufacturers added a modest average of 8,833 jobs during the first six months of this year.

Excluding the transportation sector that includes aircraft, factory orders slipped 0.2 percent in June.Demand fell for computers and electronic products, while primary metals, machinery and motor vehicles eked out gains.

Excluding the transportation sector that includes aircraft, factory orders slipped 0.2 percent in June.

Demand fell for computers and electronic products, while primary metals, machinery and motor vehicles eked out gains.

Other manufacturing indicators point to continued but cautious growth.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its index of factory activity fell 1.5 points to 56.3 in July. Still, any reading above 50 signals that manufacturers are expanding.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said that factory production advanced 0.2 percent in June and 1.2 percent over the past 12 months.

Airlines’ belief in the Airbus superjumbo is faltering

ONE of the most insightful responses to a Gulliver article was below the line of a post about air turbulence, and how flyers often overestimate its effects. The mysterious “guest-nialmnj” wrote:
No amount of fancy aeronautical engineering calculations can change the fact that the notion of any vehicle of such vast weight and size actually flying is patently absurd; planes are clearly kept aloft by sorcery and the collective (if misguided) belief of their passengers. This so-called turbulence arises when the faith of some of those passengers falters for a moment.

Gulliver lives just a few miles east of Heathrow on the flight path. He often sits in his garden and watches A380 jumbos fly overhead, less than a minute into their enchanted journeys to the Middle East or Asia. He knows guest-nialmnj to be a sage. Watching beasts as mighty as Airbus’s double-deck leviathan take to the air is enough to make one wonder at the laws of physics.

Gulliver lives just a few miles east of Heathrow on the flight path. He often sits in his garden and watches A380 jumbos fly overhead, less than a minute into their enchanted journeys to the Middle East or Asia. He knows guest-nialmnj to be a sage. Watching beasts as mighty as Airbus’s double-deck leviathan take to the air is enough to make one wonder at the laws of physics.

Alas, such a magnificent sight may well become less common in the future. Not because the collective belief of the passengers has failed, but because that of airlines has.

On 14th September, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced that it would not be renewing the lease on five of its A380s when the ten-year contract expires next year. It said that it has not made a decision on its remaining four leased Airbus jumbos, though there is a good chance that they, too, will be consigned to SIA’s history.

Hello World!

Design complexity simplifiedwith CNC machining technology

Design complexity simplifiedwith CNC machining technology
How complex gears are engraved with extreme precision! Complex wooden designs, which are too intricate to understand! How man to achieve that was, was it mere manual work or advanced knowledge; was it a supernatural occurrence? An ordinary individual may ask these usual questions on coming across complex engineering designs. What is your thought?

In the late 1970s, man invented a machine technology, which would allow complex designs to be made by machines automatically, with minimal manpower, and proper timing. This technology has indeed advanced significantly in the 21st century, thus making it possible to design and develop complex components, which would have proved a nightmare without current technology. Let us look with the intent on the actual Robotic machine technology.

CNC machining is the use of a computer with a unique Computer software program composed of a numerical machine language, designed to control the movement of the machine components with extreme precision while performing a task. Especially applied on lathes, routers, mills and grinders.

A CAD drawing of either two dimensions or three dimensions is created and a programming code that the CNC machining will understand is uploaded, then it’s tested on the machine to ensure that there are no errors. This test is of extreme importance since it checks on speed and position because having a fault in operation could result in machine damage or even injuries to the operator.

The CNC machining automated control ensures extreme precision, with high-level accuracy, especially on repetitive tasks. Indeed the CNC numeric program is unambiguous, meaning that errors in design are outdated, and the ideology of safety and time management is well accommodated in this mechanism. Work is done with minimal manpower as all is automated through the CNC software program. Accuracy and the high degree of precision in cutting internal threads. Observe the picture. (Done by lathe machine using CNC machining)

I am sure you would like to have an idea of the function and operation of the CNC machining technology. Indeed all you need is a background and in mathematical skills, industrial arts, mechanical drafting and computer skills.

CNC machining skills can be acquired through training in the CNC numeric programming allowing you to gain acquaintance to machine operation protocol. There are various technical institutes to link up with, such as the Lincoln’s CNC machining and manufacturing technology program. The Lincoln College of Technology in Indianapolis in collaboration with Lincoln Technical institute Mahwah, NJ, and Lincoln College of Technology in Grand Prairie TX.

Here you will be able to learn and gain the most needed skills and experience in modern manufacturing machines with most advanced technology, therefore, graduating with all the necessary qualifications needed as the machine operator or a setup technician.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

This is an aside post.

This week the class will focus on the work of Ansel Adams. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to purchase Ansel Adams: An Autobiography (available at the school bookstore) and read chapters 1 through 4. In particular, I want you to focus on this section from chapter 2:

Adams also came to understand how important it was that his carefully crafted photos were reproduced to best effect. At Bender’s invitation, he joined the prestigious Roxburghe Club, an association devoted to fine printing and high standards in book arts. He learned much about printing techniques, inks, design, and layout which he later applied to other projects. [1]Some of Adams’ success can be attributed to how successfully he replicated his work through printing. This week we’ll be learning about his print techniques and making some prints of our own.

Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius. Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima.


What is 3D printing and how does it work?

Golden Gate Bridge

Strauss was chief engineer in charge of overall design and construction of the bridge project.However, because he had little understanding or experience with cable-suspension designs, responsibility for much of the engineering and architecture fell on other experts.
Strauss's initial design proposal (two double cantilever spans linked by a central suspension segment) was unacceptable from a visual standpoint. The final graceful suspension design was conceived and championed by Leon Moisseiff, the engineer of the Manhattan Bridge in New York City.

Irving Morrow, a relatively unknown residential architect, designed the overall shape of the bridge towers, the lighting scheme, and Art Deco elements, such as the tower decorations, streetlights, railing, and walkways. The famous International Orange color was originally used as a sealant for the bridge. The US Navy had wanted it to be painted with black and yellow stripes to ensure visibility by passing ships.

Senior engineer Charles Alton Ellis, collaborating remotely with Moisseiff, was the principal engineer of the project. Moisseiff produced the basic structural design, introducing his "deflection theory" by which a thin, flexible roadway would flex in the wind, greatly reducing stress by transmitting forces via suspension cables to the bridge towers. Although the Golden Gate Bridge design has proved sound, a later Moisseiff design, the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, collapsed in a strong windstorm soon after it was completed, because of an unexpected aeroelastic flutter. Ellis was also tasked with designing a "bridge within a bridge" in the southern abutment, to avoid the need to demolish Fort Point, a pre-Civil War masonry fortification viewed, even then, as worthy of historic preservation. He penned a graceful steel arch spanning the fort and carrying the roadway to the bridge's southern anchorage.

Below Golden Gate Bridge
Ellis was a Greek scholar and mathematician who at one time was a University of Illinois professor of engineering despite having no engineering degree. He eventually earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois prior to designing the Golden Gate Bridge and spent the last twelve years of his career as a professor at Purdue University. He became an expert in structural design, writing the standard textbook of the time. Ellis did much of the technical and theoretical work that built the bridge, but he received none of the credit in his lifetime. In November 1931, Strauss fired Ellis and replaced him with a former subordinate, Clifford Paine, ostensibly for wasting too much money sending telegrams back and forth to Moisseiff. Ellis, obsessed with the project and unable to find work elsewhere during the Depression, continued working 70 hours per week on an unpaid basis, eventually turning in ten volumes of hand calculations.

With an eye toward self-promotion and posterity, Strauss downplayed the contributions of his collaborators who, despite receiving little recognition or compensation, are largely responsible for the final form of the bridge. He succeeded in having himself credited as the person most responsible for the design and vision of the bridge. Only much later were the contributions of the others on the design team properly appreciated. In May 2007, the Golden Gate Bridge District issued a formal report on 70 years of stewardship of the famous bridge and decided to give Ellis major credit for the design of the bridge.