Hey guys! Here is a post about Shengyi Motors in Suzhou City China. As a brief re-cap, I was paid by several companies to film their facilities and sort of introduce them as a provider for electric bike parts through Electric Bike Review, and Blue Monkey Bicycles. The companies include APT displays, Shengyi Motor, Julet Connectors, EUNORAU bikes/kits, Kclamber Torque Sensors and finally Bafang Motors. I'll be posting here, as well as on the YouTube channel when a new video is released.
Shengyi Motors was definitely the most impressive facility I witnessed up to that point. Aside from the welcoming staff, and lovely facility, I was most interested in their showroom/conference room which held a glass case holding about 20 different motors. The majority of their products were hub-motors, used in eBikes, scooters, kits and other applications as well. Newer models of theirs include two bottom bracket motors; one is a production model, the other a DIY kit with a very high output of 500w compared to the slim profile of about 2.5”. More on that later. After the brief rundown of the motors, and accompanying bikes, we walked upstairs to the production facility. Like Julet, we started the tour at the testing room, where I got to see motors being tortured until failure. One of the more exciting machines was a strength test, simulating the force of a rider’s feet constantly pressing and releasing. I didn’t get a chance to see how long it was running (possibly days, weeks, months…?) but the entire time I was there it was running the test. Other tests included how much current it could withstand, how fast it could spin, how long it could sit in accelerated UV light, and more machines that I couldn’t deduce.
The facility housed about 30-40 employees that I saw, working two main lines with parts supplies in line between them. On the far end shipping was accomplished, and behind this shipping line was a duplicate set of conveyor lines that were unmanned, presumably for a different set of products. When I first arrived at production, the employees were on a break. There were a few gals getting ready for the upcoming shopping holiday (11.11), and most of the men had retired outside for a smoke. An alarm sounded and the men shuffled back in, and the women resumed their positions. They busied themselves by screwing on faceplates, soldering boards, installing bearings, magnets, running tests and all manner of production work. Of all the facilities I visited, the workers at Shengyi seemed to enjoy themselves the most. The workers freely spoke and even challenged one another on speed, some of the monotonous tasks had workers chatting, and they seemed genuinely curious of my presence and enjoyed helping me attain specific shots that impeded their work. I’ve heard the news cite terrible and crushing working conditions for workers in China, but I saw no evidence of this, and my trip to Shengyi exhibited quite the contrary.
After the production facility, we headed downstairs where I got to try out some bikes! The first was their production model, a torque based mid-drive with good looks and a healthy amount of power. I wish I had more time on it! I was quickly shown the DIY kit, which kept a similar aesthetic, but mounted to an existing bottom bracket. While still in the pre-production phase, I liked it for what it was, but I must admit having come from the production model, I much prefer the first.
After this we got to briefly tour their hub motor facility, a different building in which the hub motors are made. A copper coiling machine runs constantly on the first floor, down the hall from another testing room. Upstairs are two more production lines where hub motors are assembles, and installed in heavy casing before packed and sent. Shengyi is looking to increase their American presence (hence these videos), but the majority of their customers are currently in China and Europe. Shengyi has two very impressive facilities, able to product several great products at a very good volume, it was definitely exciting to see their professionalism combined with a very comfortable human element.
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