Hope Technology Factory Visit
Hope Technology Factory Visit
Hope Technology are one of the well known after-market brands that specialise in hubs, stems, chain-rings, lights, and brakes to name but a few. Hope aims at producing high quality long lasting components that are made precisely in the Untied Kingdom, not in Taiwan. With a history that stretches back to the early 1990’s when they started they try to stay true to their principles and produce every small component in the UK.
Their production facility is located in Barnoldswick near Manchester, in the heart of the Yorkshire Hills. Close by it is possible to find Rolls Royce and an whole host of other high end engineering companies. We visited Hope to have a look at how they produce their products and what happens on their production lines. Hope gave us a complete all access look at their way of life and dedication to mountain biking. Whilst we were there we felt the sense that Hope did what it believed in and was a cool company to work for, it felt like the Google or Apple of mountain biking.
Research and Development
Hope can’t make new products without trying new ideas and finding out what works in the real world and what doesn’t. We had a look at their “Ideas” that were laying around the office and some of the machines to realise them.
Hope focuses on efficiency when they look at producing their various products. Hope makes in house almost every single item they sell, save the cables for their lights, and rims from other brands for mounting on hubs. Even the tiniest bolts are made on their CNC machines. They have a huge number of machines that work 24 hours a day, cutting, grinding and polishing components to one of the highest quality finishes in the industry. Tolerances are as close as 2 microns in certain cases that keeps wear to a minimum and returns to once of the lowest in the industry.
We took a good look around at the machines and wondered how they came up with the idea to make everything, apparently there is a motto, “How hard can it be to make it ourselves?” The factory is layed out pretty broadly with no clear production line just machines grouped in various locations that complete particular tasks.
The Anodising Process
Hope keeps their colouring process in house and has gone from 2000 parts per week up to 80,000 parts per week.
Parts and Assembly
Parts are put together in the final assembly area, where a final quality control pass takes place.
A few random last shots from around and about in the factory.
There is no doubt that Hope Tech is one of the best places one could probably work in the mountain bike industry. It has fun, serious work, and innovation in a nice environment as it’s core value, plus it manages to keep production on shore, under control, with constant reinvestment and development, including the development of a new pump track in addition to the one they already have, they are also working on a Velo drome which they will start building soon, we are definitely going back for another visit!