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. Acrokin has been working closely with AIM for the past 14 years, helping them turn their ideas into new products. Acrokins engineering skills and AIMs market knowledge combine to produce products that fill niches in this complex market.
Recently, in order to make for a cleaner disengagement of the plates in their multiplate clutch, and hence reduce the likelihood of clutch drag causing a forward lurch when first gear is engaged, H-D reduced the clutch slave cylinder diameter. While it had the desired effect, the change had the drawback of increasing the rider effort required to disengage the clutch. AIM spotted an opportunity to address the compromise between clutch travel and rider effort, and engaged Acrokin for the the mechanical and aesthetic design work for a new cylinder assembly. Bearing in mind the design goal of reducing rider clutch effort Acrokin Engineers also analysed the friction component and made further changes to reduce those losses.
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.