HARUCHIKA Manufacturing Co.Ltd

Leading the way in bicycle parts machining

HARUCHIKA Manufacturing Co.Ltd. (Headquarters: Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture)

Driven by mountain bike fads about 20 years ago, and followed by a boom in health consciousness and diets, the number of people riding sport bicycles has increased rapidly in Japan.

In addition, in the past few years, "non-use of public transportation" and "door-to-door convenience" due to the COVID-19 disaster have provided a boost to remind people that bicycles enable optimal mobility while achieving ecological performance. This has further increased bicycle production and imports. High-end bicycles such as road bikes and mountain bikes are in high demand and have become a long-term trend.

In this environment, Haruchika Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture, hereafter Haruchika Manufacturing, or, the company) is expanding its business performance mainly in bicycle parts machining.

The company is highly regarded for "quick delivery and meticulous attention to details.” We asked President Nobuyuki Horada about their techniques and the machinery they use to find out how they are handling orders received.

New factory of Haruchika Manufacturing in Gifu City completed in July 2023

New factory of Haruchika Manufacturing in Gifu City completed in July 2023

Entrance of the new factory

Entrance of the new factory

Quickly proposes machining procedures, prices, and delivery time based on customers’ product drawings

"Aluminum die-cast parts are widely used for bicycle due to the light weight and ease of machining, but many parts require machining of curved lines, irregular shapes, rounded surfaces and so on. So, machining is quite complicated, including the material setting on the machine," says President Horada.

Currently, the company receives parts drawings or parts models from customers, and provides estimates for machining procedures, jig design, delivery time, etc. in a short period of time. The company also sets optimal pricing based on the best machining method, such as whether to use process division or process integration.

This approach meets the needs of customers. Currently, the company is handling so many orders that it must operate at full capacity 24 hours a day and 6 days a week to meet delivery schedules.

The company currently manufactures about 200 different types of bicycle parts. The machining time per part ranges from several tens of seconds to several minutes, and the lot size ranges from several thousand to over two hundred thousand pieces. Machines are assigned according to the workpieces, and processes are organized so that all machines can be operated efficiently.

Outstandingly reliable Brother's machine tools that generate added value

Brother's machining centers play a central role in the company's machining operations. "Many bicycle parts are small, and speed and accuracy are required above all else in their machining. In addition, products change so quickly. If we can’t respond to machining costs and the delivery time required by customers, and implement rules of thumb for overall machining, we will be left behind," says President Horada.

Many companies in the die-casting industry had installed Brother machines, which was one factor that influenced Haruchika Manufacturing to also install Brother machines. However, the president says, "After installation, we were attracted by the high speed and high accuracy of Brother machines. Besides, as we often perform 24-hour continuous operation, excellent durability and power-saving performance were decisive factors for installing Brother machines. After the first Brother machine, we have installed only Brother machines."

In the production line, Brother's SPEEDIO machining centers are lined up, which is spectacular. Previously, workpieces were set by workers. As more machines have been added according to the increase in orders, automation with robots has progressed to compensate for manpower shortages and other relevant factors. The latest unmanned machining system is configured where two robots are used to link the NC lathe and the SPEEDIO, and it is now in active use. Currently, 30 Brother tapping centers and 70 SPEEDIO machining centers are in operation. “We use only Brother machining centers," he says with outstanding trust in Brother.

SPEEDIO machines lined up in the factory

SPEEDIO machines lined up in the factory

SPEEDIO machines lined up in the new factory

SPEEDIO machines lined up in the new factory

On the other hand, he also mentioned some requests to Brother in the interview.

"There is a system upgrade request from the inhouse staff. They want Brother to provide a smart management system that enables them to easily check the operating rate of machines in real time." The company aims for more efficient production through enhanced cooperation with Brother.

Future of the bicycle industry and development of HARUCHIKA Manufacturing Co.Ltd

The bicycle industry is currently in the midst of a shift to electrification and parts sharing.

Electrification is progressing not only in assisted bicycles, but also in transmission and brake-related systems. Electrification makes bicycles easier to operate and maintain. Initially, electrification was adopted for competition bicycle parts, but recently it has spread to mid-range bicycles. 30-40% of current bicycle parts we produce are electrified parts, so electrification is a major keyword.

Machining electrified parts requires higher quality than ever before, including machining accuracy and removal of chips and fine dust. Therefore, the cleaning process is essential. Deburring is also essential to ensure smoother motion of parts.

As a challenge looking further into the future, the company has commenced the approach to next-generation core parts, such as automobile and industrial robot components, in addition to bicycle parts. The company is now putting the company creed “Pushing forward” into practice, striving to move forward through management that is always looking ahead.

The company had been responding to orders from customers with a highly efficient 24-hour system, but the production capacity soon filled. In response to this, they built a fourth plant on an adjacent site, and began operation from July 2023. Making use of this extended production capacity, the company is willing to develop new innovations.

HARUCHIKA Manufacturing is now committed to carbon neutrality (CN) by installing solar panels over the entire roof, which makes us feel pride for the company manufacturing parts for ecological vehicles.

Products introduced

S700X2 / S500X2 / S300X2

The SPEEDIO maximizes productive efficiency improvement of mass-production parts such as automobile, motorcycle and information technology.

Customer considering purchase

Machine Tools lineup