AG Motors has inaugurated a factory for aluminum bicycle frames – Europe's second such facility – in the Polish city of Podgrodzie. According to Bike Europe, this makes the 10-year-old company the first producer able to manufacture a complete aluminum frame in a single uninterrupted welding process, thanks to developments undertaken with local academic institutions. In keeping with the Industry 4.0 philosophy, the 6,100-square-meter factory combines IT and robotic production lines with an in-house R&D center, which drew part of its funding from the European Commission. The factory currently employs 137 people. The €10 million project is expected to make the European bicycle industry's supply chain more flexible by cutting lead times and increasing speed-to-market. The company intends to make other bicycle components, such as seat posts and handlebars, and is developing a method to mass-produce composite frames. In time, the company hopes to establish a second “bike valley” in Poland like the one in Portugal.

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