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The Trek bicycle manufacturing facility was recently toured by 36 members of the Milwaukee Section of ASME. The following tour summary and photos were contributed by the student section. We appreciate their involvement and look forward to their participation at future events. Please follow the link at the left to keep up to date on all of their activities.
This past Wednesday (07-Oct-2015) the UW-Madison ASME Student Section was lucky enough to send four students to attend the October Regional Meeting. This meeting took place in Waterloo, WI at the Trek Bicycles Headquarters, where Trek designs and produces its high-end carbon fiber bicycles. The badgers had an even better showing in that the tour was done by recent UW graduate Patrick Mabry, currently working at Trek as a Manufacturing Engineer.
Figure 1: (Left) UW-Madison Students Johnny Yan, Jake Esser, Erin Jamar and Chase Wember (shown left to right), (Right) Jake Esser and Johnny Yan in the Trek Testing Lab.
The tour was especially interesting, as it encompassed the entire process of bicycle production at Trek, starting in the prototyping lab, moving to the testing lab, where they can cycle test all sorts of component. From there, the tour moved on to molding of the carbon fiber frames, onto post production processing and finishing. We got to see examples of their custom bicycle paint jobs, as one frame was painted hot pink, and two more in highlighter yellow. The tour was especially interesting for mechanical engineers who are usually used to thinking about the field as being cast and machined metals or injection molded plastics. The carbon fiber process pushes the envelope of materials and engineering, minimizing weight for better gains in the performance of the bicycles. This material comes with its own set of challenges though, as Patrick was willing to discuss on the tour. It was an especially interesting tour, as many of us have not had any experience or exposure to this type of materials or manufacturing.
As a student section, we look forward to these types of opportunities to see the many sides of industry, and look forward to the next tour.
Trek Display Area
(Left to Right) Jake Esser and Johnny Yan in the Trek Testing Lab.