Islabikes, a specialist bike manufacturer will embrace a service-based approach and circular supply chain concept, as it proposes a long-term rental service for its bikes.
The Ludlow-based company is planning to manufacture long-lasting bikes, which will be rented for as long as possible, before eventually be refurbished for a new user.
The ‘Imagine Project’ will see bicycles designed in such a way, so that when they finally reach the end of their lives, all raw materials can be separated and reused – a circular supply chain.
According to their site, the company believe that “with the Imagine Project, we are rethinking the way bicycles will be made and supplied in the future.”
The company plan to develop its own in-house manufacturing capability, which will bring initial-stage production back from South East Asia.
At present, the company is producing a small range of sustainable bikes, which they will manufacture in the UK. These will be utility “riding to school” bikes that will sit alongside current models and will be available to customers to use on a rental-only basis.
It is the first company in the country to tap into the Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology’s recently launched Engineering Club.
Islabikes, which was founded in 2006 to give children a better experience of cycling, is using the training centre’s technology and prototyping service to help it bring this project to life.
At present, engineers at the bike maker have used millers and lathes, CNCs to machine small parts and will shortly be using 3D printers to help with prototyping the bikes.
This has allowed them to understand different equipment and what technology they might need to invest in to help establish their own manufacturing process.