Insight into motorbike manufacture for DT students

Lower Sixth Design Technology students gained an insight into the creation of motorbikes from concept to manufacturing and final assembly when they visited the Triumph Factory Visitor Experience.

The students travelled to the Triumph factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and began by looking round the onsite motorbike museum which showcases the developments in its motorbikes since the company produced its first one in 1902.

They then had a two-hour guided tour round the manufacturing plant for an insight into the cutting edge technology and rigorous testing that goes into the development of every new model rolling off the production line today.

Students watched as cast engine components imported from Triumph’s factory in India were machined to the correct dimensions on CNC multi axes milling machines, and quality checked before going to the assembly line. They saw three different bikes progress down the same assembly line, as a Triumph worker explained each stage in the production process.

It was explained how the bikes were checked at each stage and how detailed records were kept as to who had fitted what part to which bike and how this became part of the new bike’s identity. Students were interested to hear that every bike has its own build number and that this number is based on production at three sites around the world, in India, Brazil and the UK.

Steve Ellis, Head of Design, said: “It was a very busy and absorbing visit which covered a lot of the DT students’ theory curriculum. It will provide a useful case study to help support students’ understanding of modern manufacturing processes.

“The motorbike museum was also fascinating. It was interesting to find out which of the many old and new bikes on display the students preferred, with some going for the very modern and aggressive Tigger 1200 and some for the 1950’s inspired ‘Bobbers’.”