A problem IS an opportunity

or how does a small company build a product portfolio?


AIM (Advanced Innovational Machinery) Corp. is a SoCal company developing and selling clutch related Harley-Davidson (H-D) products. The company is very lean and funds its new product development from sales of existing products. For the last 14 years Acrokin has helped AIM turn their product ideas into parts. By working together the complex requirements of the market niches become new AIM products.


Recently H-D reduced the clutch slave cylinder diameter to provide more disengagement travel for the multiplate clutch. This increases the distance between the plates and makes the disengagement cleaner. Clutch drag can cause the motorcycle to lurch forward when first gear is engaged. But the drawback to the reduction in piston diameter is increased rider effort to operate the clutch. AIM saw the opportunity to make the clutch travel vs rider effort compromise slightly differently. Acrokin did the mechanical and aesthetic design for a new cylinder assembly. Because the design goal was to reduce rider clutch effort Acrokin Engineers also optimized the design to reduce friction.


As with many products the forums are the jury, one contributor made his own measurements and pronounced the AIM sales claims were incorrect, it wasn't a 40% reduction in effort it was 60%. The friction reduction was a large portion of the total and reducing that put this product ahead of all the others using conventional piston seals. 


While AIM tries to keep up with the demand for the new clutch cylinder Acrokin Engineers are working with other clients. Acrokin contributes to AIM's bottom line by only providing Engineering when its needed, without losing continuity. The same Engineers work with AIM on every project.