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FILM: Inside A Factory 7: Brompton Bikes
DVD [£47.00 plus VAT]
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Three Year Streaming Subscription [£47.00 plus VAT]
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30 mins, 2010
Types of Production
The Brompton is no ordinary bike. You ride it - you fold it up. Not so much a product - more a cult - and it's made in Britain! This is the story of how they make it - and why they're changing to a different approach to production.
The Brompton bike was the brainchild of ex-landscape gardener Andrew Ritchie. He failed to interest the big bicycle companies in the idea and set up his own company. The secret of the Brompton's success lies in its iconic design. They design not just the bike itself but also the tools they make it with. And they make the Brompton not in China or Taiwan, where most bikes are made, but in London - an essential element in its "hand-built" image.
Manufacturing starts in the engineering department. The vital parts of the bike are put together employing the skilful craft of the brazer - a process of soldering which, they claim, provides a better effect than welding. But the bike's not ALL hand-built - their technology includes a CNC machine, controlled by a CAD file, which produces the hinges to the designer's specifications. Quality is vital - Brompton's quality control department takes one in 50 of their frame parts at random and checks for problems.
TYPES OF PRODUCTION:
Currently Brompton uses batch production but now plans to move to something nearer to continuous flow - machines being used to do just one job, workers working in specialist cells and turning out more bikes more quickly. And not only are they gearing up to make more, but they're also going in for a bit of marketing. Can Brompton ring the changes and retain their hand-built image?
DVD EXTRAS include items on financial control and marketing at Brompton, as well as an insight into the work of the brazer.
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