The Flemish Government grants strategic transformation support of 1.164 million euro to REIN4CED NV, upon proposal by Philippe Muyters, Flemish minister of Work, Economy, Innovation and Sports.
De motivation of the Flemish Government reads as follows: "Initially REIN4CED primarily targeted advising customers on the use of fiber-strengthened composite materials, en now has become an expert in the production of composite materials. Over the past three years the company has intensively researched a new type of hybrid composite materials that can be a full and better replacement for carbon. The next step, and the transformation project, is setting up an automated production facility for commercializing the research of hybrid composites for the production of bicycle frames."
Combined material innovation & process automation
The basis for REIN4CED’s innovation is the development of a new impact-resistant composite material for bicycle frames. The disruptive impact-resistant material eliminates the sudden and dramatic failure of carbon bicycle frames that put riders’ lives in danger. REIN4CED’s new lightweight material combines carbon with fine steel fibers, offering cyclists maximum performance with enhanced safety and durability.
A second disruption is the patent-pending method that REIN4CED developed for automated production of bicycle frames. Today, carbon race bicycles and mountain bikes are produced in Asia because bicycle production is a largely manual process with low hourly wages. Currently the team is working to bring its automated process to an industrial scale through its production plant in Leuven. The combined material innovation and process automation is a decisive stronghold of REIN4CED.
Bring back carbon frame production to Europe
Already late 2019, REIN4CED’s first impact-resistant frames will roll off the new production line. The production facility of REIN4CED will allow customers – leading cycling brands – to bring back carbon frame production from Asia to Europe. As a result, they will benefit from significant logistic advantages as well as increased supply chain flexibility and efficiency.
The REIN4CED facility in Leuven will start at an annual production capacity of at least 20,000 bicycle frames and is ready to be easily upgraded to meet higher production capacity. It is a scalable process that allows REIN4CED to steadily increase production volumes in response to the growing demand for localized production in Europe.
Targeting automotive and aerospace industries
REIN4CED focuses on the bicycle world because this fast-paced industry is constantly searching for new material innovations. The advantage of the patented material is that any inflicted damage remains visible after an impact and that its structural integrity is maintained. The new composite material combined with a repeatable and automated process is much desired in other composite-intensive markets such as automotive and aerospace.
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