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Efficient kitting and assembly line for bicycles

Riese & Müller is a German manufacturer of premium e-bikes, cargo bikes and folding bikes. The company was founded in 1993 by Markus Riese and Heiko Müller, and have 550 employees at its site in Mühltal,Germany together with an exclusive dealer network worldwide. Riese & Müller is in the forefront of future mobility with its innovative products and as the expert of cargo bikes and fast HS – bikes. The company is synonymous with a sustainable lifestyle, custom made product development and pioneering E-Bike technology. Apart from the ongoing product development Riese & Müller’s overall strategy includes a responsibility to people and the environment. In its activities, the company is guided by its four pillars of responsibility: culture, ecology, social responsibility and economics. Thanks to OCS overhead conveyor solution they now have an efficient kitting and assembly line for their bicycles.

As part of planning a new building, Riese & Müller wanted to bring its production up to the latest level of technique. After visiting other bike-manufacturers with OCS installations installed, Riese & Müller contacted us to discuss the different solutions and possibilities for bike-assembling using an OCS Overhead Conveyor System.
The request included the assembly of E-Bikes and Cargo-bikes, including a SCADA-system (Supervisor Control and Data Acquisition) to control the material flow and check the process times.

The project started with on-site meetings at Riese & Müller’s old production plant to understand the customers’ requirements and needs. Based on experience from previous installations, together with clear customer needs we developed the optimal layout. The process continued with an ongoing dialogue to secure all technical requests.
The difference to previous installations was the idea that the frames and wheels should be brought to the assembly lines via an additional system on a 2nd level, to avoid too much material-traffic into the assembling area. Custom made product carriers was developed together with the customer, on site with prototype carriers.
Thanks to the flexibility of the OCS system Riese & Müller got a compact buffer for one-day production with the possibility of later extensions.

The solution is based on OCS 500 overhead conveyor for production lines and the OCS 150 for frames and wheels transport before installation. The Scada system and a connection to the Riese & Müller material flow-control and data storage (FMS) was also included.
A RFID tag is fixed to each OCS trolley which ensures a clear identification of both trolley and product. The OCS 500 system is used for transport within the assembly of bicycles. The system is designed without a drive and in each case as a mounting loop. There are five assembly loops for e-bikes and one assembly loop for cargo bikes. The OCS 150 system is used to transport frames and wheels. There is only one product carrier in the system for both products. Vertical conveyors transports the components down to the assembly loops.

Sustainability – a key factor when choosing supplier

The subject of sustainability has been firmly rooted in Riese & Müller’s business strategy. Their vision is clear: Riese & Müller will be the most sustainable company in the e-bicycle sector in 2025.

OCS  is part of Axel Johnson International and its group-wide sustainability work. Sustainability is one of the Group’s guiding principles and a fundamental part of OCS own business strategy. The sustainability principle of the bicycle industry therefore matches OCS and our core values Lean, Clean & Green and makes it the perfect match.

“Our products stand for premium quality and sustainability and this means high-end production and partners who help us achieve these goals. With OCS we have a premium quality system and a reliable partner by our side”. Heiko Müller, CEO Riese & Müller