SRAM RED ETAP FRONT DERAILLEUR
When SRAM was beginning the development of their first electronic shifting package, they needed some extra engineering manpower to push the project forward. As Design Integrity had worked on several successful projects with SRAM, their team retained our innovative design consulting team to collaborate on the program.
The goals for the new front electronic derailleur included a small component size, light weight, reliability and fast/accurate shifting. The project would be a case study in miniaturization and complex mechatronics. A key goal for the front and rear derailleurs was to have low air drag, as well.
Our team reviewed the product requirements in detail and put together a detailed project plan to meet the target schedule. A integral aspect of the plan was to schedule bi-weekly touch points with key SRAM team members to ensure that SRAM expertise was incorporated into the design and decision-making processes.
Our engineering team began by developing the Alpha design on Pro/ENGINEER software. Alpha prototypes were then fabricated and tested extensively. Next, the Beta design was developed with improvements driven by lessons learned during the Alpha development effort. A Beta II design iteration followed to further refine and test the new design.
The iterative development effort was integral to the success of the project. Knowledge was gained during each design and prototype iteration. Our team conducted engineering analyses on key aspects of the design, failure modes and effects analyses to solve issues before releasing prototypes for machining, and collaborative ideation sessions to work out critical design elements and resolve challenges with core team members.
The SRAM RED eTap shifters incorporated wireless shifting, a technological advancement in the category at the time, and advanced battery power management. The new shifters were well received in the market, and they earned a reputation for fast and reliable shifting.
As our clients’ new product development work loads ebb and flow, they can flex up their design, engineering, and innovation teams with external resources to get their key strategic projects completed on schedule. SRAM has worked with our team on several key new product development projects over the years, and this project is a great example.
Note that after the Beta II design was run through engineering testing, SRAM brought the project back in-house as internal engineering resources were available to take the project through to production.
The SRAM RED eTap electronic shifters were released to the marketplace with accolades from customers and reviewers. The RED eTap shifters won multiple awards, as well, including the Velo Awards “Innovation of Year” and the Design & Innovation Award, a benchmark achievement for the bike industry’s highest-performing products.
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