Lattice frame maker boosted with equity funding - BikeBiz

Lattice frame maker boosted with equity funding

Advanced Composite Solutions, parent Company of Delta 7 Sports, maker of IsoTruss frames, raises $1.5m from private investors
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Last year, Advanced Composite Solutions introduced the Arantix mountain bike frame made with patented IsoTruss technology and design. Tthe Arantix mountain bike is built with carbon fibre and Kevlar in a spiders' web-like open lattice tube design.

“This past year has been challenging and exciting for both Advanced Composite Solutions and Delta 7 Sports,” said Jay Mealey, new CEO of Advanced Composite Solutions.

“We’ve learned a lot and we’ve proven a lot during these past 12 months. However, with this $1.5 million Series A funding in place, we are quickly moving forward to take Delta 7 Sports and Advanced Composites to new heights of success.”

Mealey - and another new appointment, Brent Johnson - were both hired after serving the company for several months in consulting roles.

Mealey was president and chief executive officer of Onyx Corporation from 1991 to 2006, a company that developed several asphalt technologies that became industry standards. Prior to the sale of the company in 2006, Onyx had become a dominant supplier of liquid asphalt throughout the western United States.

“After successfully growing and selling my last company, I thought I was finished with running a business on a day-to-day basis,” Mealey said.

“But the more I worked with the ACS and Delta 7 Sports teams and the more I learned about the possible applications of the IsoTruss technology into new structures, the more opportunities I saw across multiple industries. My job is to ensure that both ACS and Delta 7 Sports have the resources necessary to allow them to precisely focus on what they need to do to be successful, both now and in the future.”

Brent Johnson has been a corporate strategy and systems consultant and he has more than 12 years of experience managing complex production, personnel and financial systems for Alcoa, Inc.

Johnson said: “Although the Delta 7 Sports team has done a great job of figuring out how to beautifully hand-craft the Arantix mountain bike, making bikes by hand limits us to several hundred bikes each year. That is not a scaleable manufacturing model.

"We foresee a future where we will need to build thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of IsoTruss-derived products annually. So that’s my job: improving our manufacturing processes, boosting productivity and enhancing quality and control."

Formed in 2007, Advanced Composite Solutions has an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Brigham Young University to commercialize the IsoTruss technology and design, which the company is initially driving through its Delta 7 Sports division.

The Arantix mountain bike is the first commercial product from Delta 7 Sports and Advanced Composite Solutions. To build an Arantix mountain bike frame, Delta 7 Sports’ workers weave a single carbon fibre strand in a precise manner in order to create the open lattice IsoTruss structure of each frame tube. Each bundle of carbon fibre strands is then constrained within a helical wrapping of Kevlar string designed to tightly bind the carbon fibres together before the tubes are baked at 255 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours. The ends of the cured tubes are next machined to specific measurements and diameters before being joined with molded carbon fibre lugs into a completed frame.

When completed, the hardtail Arantix weighs approximately 2.6 pounds. The frame has been dropped in price to $4,895 from $6,995. The cost saving was realised when Delta 7 Sports brought its manufacturing process in-house.

At Interbike, the company will display a road bike using the same see-through IsoTruss design.

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