Engineering processes deliver quality engineering

Evotech Performance prides itself on the quality of its EP accessories. Ease of fit, precise tolerances, quality component parts, durability and style are key requirements to maintain EP’s reputation of leading manufacturer of world-class motorcycle accessories. But what goes into ensuring EP products are nothing short of perfection? Here are some tasters to give an idea of how Evotech Performance produces and delivers quality.

There are many processes involved in EP accessory production, from design through to packaging. The days of simply bending a piece of roughly sawn metal and then drilling mounting holes for indicators and a registration plate are long gone. Today’s motorcycles are more like works of art in the way their component parts are produced, finished and mounted to be ‘beautiful’ to look at and yet be functional and safe. Evotech Performance always strive to ensure its EP accessories have a ‘factory-like’ finish.

Through the process of combining fabrication engineers and modern tech e.g. 3D scanning, CAD engineering software and the latest machining processes, EP parts are equal to if not better than standard components. And this usually starts with the materials used in the fabrication and machining process.

All aluminium alloys used to produce, say an EP Tail Tidy or Crash Protectors are sourced from reputable suppliers – usually local to the Lincolnshire-based Evotech Performance factory. What makes a reputable supplier? Is it the ability to carry and deliver stock within a short time? Well, yes, maybe. But to maintain stock levels in order to ensure no machine or staff downtime is the responsibility of management and internal recording systems.

A materials supplier will always be able to provide COC (Certificate of Conformity) statements for the supplied materials. This not only ensures quality to an expected level, but the contained information will be used by Evotech Performance in order to achieve traceability, a requirement in all manufacturing industries should a material be suspected of failure etc.

Traceability is part of QMS (Quality Management Services), a requirement of a certificated standard to show that a business meets the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. This standard is known as ISO 9001, of which Evotech Performance holds.

On every EP product package is a job code that is issued when a production job is put on the system. Used in conjunction with the COC code, the exact history of any EP accessory can be revealed. Think of when, where, who and how… Going back to QMS, traceability is also used to improve/refine manufacturing processes, which can lead to even greater final product quality while maintaining good work practice/efficiency.

Let’s leave the management side of things and turn to areas we all understand and appreciate. As said, Evotech Performance has a reputation for quality. One area frequently commented upon is the quality of the supplied EP accessory. To achieve a factory-like finish and be praised for it gives every member of the Evotech Performance team a good feeling that their hard work is genuinely appreciated. But style and function is also followed up with durability in order to deliver longevity. To put it another way, what’s the point in buying something that won’t last? Hands up anyone who has bought a product that has failed in just a short time! We all have… and isn’t it annoying?

There are many finishing processes to ensure EP accessories are top notch and remain that way. In 2018, Evotech Performance invested heavily in a new in-house Powder Coating Centre complete with the latest, most efficient technology. After any fabricated or machined alloys are deburred (a process itself that justifies several chapters on how), the parts are washed to be grease and dust-free, then pre-treated with an almost invisible phosphate coating to provide a key for the powder coat.

The coating is a powder air sprayed onto the part – an electrostatic charge as it leaves the special spray gun ensures the dense cloud of powder earths to the grounded part. The coated part is then heated to a specific temperature and time period for the powder to cure – pool and form one continuous, unbroken, smooth layer. Powder coating is a tough finish that is highly resilient to the elements and prevents oxidisation. It also looks good as you take it out of the packaging let alone when attached to your motorcycle.

By Chris Vines on 30 January 2019