Last week we visited Haibike in Germany. Aside from riding the very latest Haibike eBike tech, we were invited on a factory tour at Haibike HQ at Winora in Schweinfurt. Certainly an offer we couldn't turn down!
Haibike pride themselves in producing high quality eBikes. The complete innovation, design and production comes from the heart of their electric bike factory in Germany. We were met by Tina Puello in the Winora reception Haibike are part of Winora Group). Both Winora & Haibike are a family business, originating with Tina's great grandfather opening a small shop in the industrial town of Schweinfurt back in the early 19th century.
The cycle shop was closed after the war and Tina's grandfather decided to re-open it and start producing bikes. The business today is a global company offering 1000's of bikes, parts and accessories. Today, Tina's mother Susanne Puello is CEO of Winora group and Tina's father Felix Puello is Winora groups Haibike brand manager. They still hold a stone embedded in the wall at Haibike which originated from the small shop many years ago.
Winora Bike Parts
Let's start off by saying this place is massive! So we have grouped together some of the interesting things we found inside. First off, lets see where the parts are stored.
This side of the warehouse holds 1000's of the larger parts, it works in darkness and is un-manned, the whole system runs completely by robots. The warehouse holds around 8.9 million euros of parts at any one time, this means that parts can be held efficiently in a refined space. When parts are required, a person in the other side of the building can ask the computer for these and the machines will go and get them. Neat huh?
Smaller parts are contained by 100's of picking rows split across multiple floors. Every 3 rows is manned by one person and as orders come in the boxes automatically stop by each corridor where parts are required. Winora has almost 3 km of automated tracks, where parts can travel to their designated areas.
Parts that are going out to dealers all arrived here, the packing station. Once every box is full and checked for the parts required. The boxes proceed from here into the manned cardboard packer machine, which fills any remaining space in the box to make sure they don't move around. All packaging at Winora is recycled and 100% recyclable after use.
This area of the factory is devoted to wheel building. 100's of rims, different sized spokes and hubs come together here by dedicated wheel building technicians. Machines check each and every wheel for tension, rigidity, and trueness.
100% of the wheels Winora use are handbuilt in house, this hidden secret is not often shouted about & we think it should be shown more. They say that they will not outsource wheels and building in house is always produces the very best quality.
Haibike Assembly Line
Now onto the most anticipated part, the Haibike electric bike assembly line! Where all the magic happens. As you can imagine, it's Haibike heaven for us. Here the Haibike xDuro HardSeven
getting ready for assembly:
First up the completely bare frames are arranged into lines ready for specific parts to be added. Notice each frame already has it's frame number stamped and a tag related to it is attached.
At each stage of production the parts and bike are tagged by use of the barcode attached. Above is the highly rated Haibike xDuro FatSix
being produced. Parts are lined up ready to be fitted onto each electric bike. To run efficiently, some parts are already pre bolted together.
Above for example the stem is attached to the handlebars, then the handlebar controls, brake & gear levers are attached prior to going on each bike.
The standard bike components are then fitted to the bike. Headset, forks, stem, handlebars, brakes & gears are fitted by an cycle technician. Each tech has their own workstation & tools.
At every stage the bikes are hand built by a technician, some specialising in certain parts, the bikes then get spun upside down and held by their seat tubes & transported onto the next stage.
Bosch Electric Motor Installation
This stage, Haibike refer to as 'The Marriage'. Where the motor is married to the Haibike. The electrical components and the bike combine to become one - The eBike!
Once the motor and Bosch components are fitted, each Bosch system is flashed to the eBike. So the technician enter factors like manufacture date, wheel size, gear ratios and frame number to programme to that Bosch electric bike's software.
We now see the complete bike with all its components installed. The finishing touches and they wheels go on after this stage to test the bike is working properly before completion.
Packing & Quality Control
At this point, once the eBike has passed Haibike's quality control, a technician carefully wraps up the bike to keep it protected during transit. Every Haibike has to be in perfect condition for it's proud owner waiting on the other end.
Last but not least the bike is part dis-assembled and packed down into a cardboard box container ready for shipping to the dealer. At this point we (Haibike dealer) have to re-install the parts, fine tune the bike, update software, carry out our own pre delivery inspection, spec the bike to it's country of sale and get the bike prepped for the customer.
All in all, the Haibike factory is a lively buzzing place with lot's going on. It's currently huge and Winora inform us they have pretty much bought every available unit in this estate to allow for their ongoing expansion! It's clear that although this is a huge company, they are clearly focussed on what they do, have built it up from the bottom to the top & in turn by doing it properly and building great bikes they are the market leaders of eBikes today! Finally, we could resist adding in this picture of Guido Tschugg's brand new Haibike lorry parked outside the front of Haibike, this will follow him to all the major bike festival / races.
As the UK's largest Haibike suppliers, we hold the largest eBike range - check it out here