Today Timyo operates two e-bike assembly plants in Europe, one in the Netherlands and one in Lithuania. After the implementation of the anti-dumping duties in 2019 the facility in China is only used for pre-production planning and storage. Earlier this year, Timyo’s owner Nantong Dingyu Vehicle Industry CO. LTD founded a new subsidiary; the Dingyu frame factory which is based just north of Shanghai. Since this summer the new frame factory is also located on the same premises.
Investment in robotised production
“To avoid complicated welding, we decided to use gravity die casting and invested substantially in robotised production. The big advantage of gravity die casting is that you need only 5 welds to build a complete e-bike frame with the same characteristics and riding features as a hydroformed frame. Our robotised welding machines can weld two frames at the same time,” explains CEO Steve Zhu.
“A second reason for us to go for die casting instead of hydroformed frames is the wide availability in the areas where we are based. The automotive industry is widely spread over this region. If we would have chosen for hydroformed frames we would have ended up at Giant China. That’s not what we preferred as it was our intention to be less dependent on the regular bicycle supply chain. We had to go up stream in the supply chain to make a real difference and that’s what we did with our choice for die casting.”
To obtain maximum control over the production process, the Dingyu frame factory includes a T4 and T6 heat treatment facility while the new painting line is still under construction. This comes with the latest powder coating and wet-based painting technology.
The establishment of the frame building factory is not only a matter of keeping control over production, but also to streamline the whole process. Steve explains that they “developed a high-end in-tube die casting frame with a fixed platform for Bosch, Shimano and Bafang. By limiting the number of weldings to only 5 we can reduce the time needed for engineering and R&D by 50% compared with a regular e-bike frame.
Output and expansion
“We want to do everything ourselves when it comes to frame building,” says Steve Zhu. “The total capacity of the machinery is 150,000 units annually while in floorspace the total output can be scaled to 250,000 units. We use the output of our frame factory only partially to our sister companies in the group who distribute the brands Keola, Muon and Van Dijck. The remaining capacity, now more than 100,000 units is available for others in the market.”