Ah, the simple pleasures of a bike ride. It’s a freedom many take for granted but certainly not those with mobility issues. Step forward Van Raam, a Netherlands-based bike manufacturer for the disabled and the elderly. This family business originally set-up in 1984, turned its attention to designing bikes and tricycles specifically for a largely immobile client base, handing back the autonomy of travel to those without it.
Formerly relying on paper and pen to design its creations, the team at Van Raam now see SOLIDWORKS as a crucial part of the design process. It’s meant that Van Raam can be way more reactive to its customers – moving faster and slashing production costs.
How has SOLIDWORKS helped?
Having all the parts and materials loaded onto the platform means that customer and supplier interaction is now at the forefront of the building process. Van Raam had found that the average person’s weight and size is increasing and its products had to be ready. By modelling the real-life tension and durability of materials, a bike build can be stress-tested right within SOLIDWORKS before a prototype has even been built.
Van Raam have a huge and varied collection of bikes and trikes. The sheer range of different vehicles reflects the varying mobility levels of their customers. Lots of models means lots of components and lots of different production methods: frame building in steel, injection moulding, casting in vacuum forming. It’s complex stuff. Uploading the bike builds to SOLIDWORKS has allowed the engineers to simplify the build by peeling back the layers of the design in a 3D framework.
That’s not all. Having the regular parts locked in on the database has made the design phase far more streamlined too. New designs can be drafted swiftly by tweaking existing components. SOLIDWORKS even plays a role in the supply chain. Stocks and orders of parts can be fed straight from the database to the stockists. That means major time-savings.
Much like its products, Van Raam is a company on the move. They plan to use SOLIDWORKS to feed straight into the build process, using factory robots to carry out much of the manufacturing. Van Raam are on a quest for mobility for all and that’s a mission we are proud to support.
Thank you to the CAD2M team for this brilliant story from one of their customers.