10 April, 2017

Orbea (r)evolution I: designing the future

We want to involve you in a very exciting project for Orbea: We’re going to (r)evolutionize our facilities in Mallabia, making them more effective, more innovative and more competitive. This is the first in a series of articles in which we will tell you how we’re transforming our current factory into the factory where your dreams will be born.

“Our goal is ambitious: to become the leading brand in the world of cycling in the area of product customization. As bicycle manufacturers, we need facilities that enable us to be more efficient and better along the entire production chain, with one single goal in mind: to offer more and better solutions, and to do it faster.”

Those are the words of Miguel Ángel Estandía, Orbea’s industrial director and the person responsible for this project: a revolution that is going to affect all areas of our factory in Mallabia and that has us – and will continue to have us – very busy until summer 2018.

What are we going to do?

1) Evolution of the current painting area: This is the preliminary step for the start of the project: in order for the current production to remain unaffected by the construction of the new facilities, we have decided to cover the current painting area. “It is a very important moment in the project to prevent any impurities that are found in the environment from affecting the quality and finishing of our frames,” Miguel Ángel says. This way, we get a new totally encapsulated area that, once the new painting facility is finished, we will use for prototype painting, color and texture research and a whole series of innovations for which we need a specific area.

2) New frame painting area: The new painting facilities (*) will be located in the southwest corner of the plant (see the illustration below). Covering a total of 600 m2, “they will allow us to provide a faster, more efficient response to the growing demand for bikes personalized with MyO,” Miguel Ángel affirms.

This way, at the end of the project, we will be capable of multiplying our production capacity. In this new area, we will continue to develop our water-based painting technique as part of our environmentally-friendly policy.

This space will contain 9 separate areas:

Frame selection area: where we program the order in which the frames will be painted.

Sanding area: where we prepare the surface of the frames for paint application, ensuring its adherence.

Preliminary masking room: where the areas of the frame are covered on which components will later be mounted (wheels, etc).

Base color painting room: here, we apply the different layers of paint that make up the background color of the frame.

Masking room: we cover the parts of the frame that we do not want painted in order to then apply the different custom colors chosen.

Color room: where we apply the chosen colors.

Decal application room

Varnishing area: where we apply the coats of both matte and glossy varnish.

Final control: Here, we check that the frame is ready to continue the assembly process.

3) Reorganization of the warehouse area: This revolution does not involve just the painting facilities. Others are involved too, such as our warehouses, which will also undergo changes with the same goal in mind: efficiency. “By the end of 2017 we will be able to have more products in the same amount of space and thus, once again, be more efficient in the service we provide to users,” indicated Orbea’s industrial director.

4) New assembly area: In 2018, we will undertake the renovation and redefinition of our three assembly lines, which will be functioning full throttle as of the second quarter of next year.

5) New testing area: in the words of Miguel Ángel, innovation is the other big objective of this project. “We want to surprise people with new and distinctive finishes on our frames, with imaginative solutions that improve the experience of our customers on their bicycles.” To accomplish this, this (r)evolutionary project at Orbea will bring with it new spaces in which to research and test out our frames in even greater detail.

Finally, we want to stress that this project is not only about modernizing our facilities, it is also intended to rethink each and every one of our manufacturing processes, to be more competitive and, ultimately, to give you better service.

That’s how you’ll benefit from our (r)evolution.

Being more efficient means that, once the project has been completed, we will be capable of delivering your chosen bicycle even faster, and we will be more precise about letting you know when you’ll receive it. We’re going to be able to offer you more bicycles with a more high-tech structure and finish.

Of course, the entire project has been carefully designed and planned so that neither our current manufacturing processes nor our commitments to our dealers and customers are ever affected at any time.

The revolution has begun. Welcome to the Orbea of the future!

(*) Project financed by the CDTI (Center for Industrial Technological Development).