When we recently visited Madrid-based Rotor’s facilities for the launch of its new Uno hydraulic groupset and 2INpower double sided power meter, we were given a tour of its impressive machining facility housed in a series of buildings on the same industrial estate as its head office.
First look at Rotor’s new Uno groupset
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
Rotor describes itself as an engineering company gone wild in the cycle industry. Its original designs sprung from work at the Aeronautical Engineering School in Madrid and were launched in 1998, with manufacturing outsourced to Spanish mountain bike parts manufacturer EDR. Eventually, Rotor bought out EDR and its facilities became the core of Rotor’s own facilities, where Rotor still makes the majority of its components.
The whole process is highly automated, with robots selecting the templates used by the computerised CNC machines. Because of the large number of different parts which Rotor manufactures, it has invested in versatile machines which can make small runs of a variety of different components.
Cutting intricate parts from blocks of aluminium creates a lot of waste and Rotor collects this up elsewhere in its factory for recycling.
There’s a lot of testing done of finished product and again much of this is automated. Rotor also runs a quality assurance facility where tolerances are measured to ensure that standards are met.
Rotor’s design team works in the head office building. As well as CAD software, it makes use of 3D printing to make prototypes of new parts and assemblies. There’s also a small facility in the same building in which Rotor assembles complete bikes using its components.