The Manufacturing Process:
Raw materials as well as parts and components arrive at the manufacturing plant by truck or rail, typically on a daily basis. As part of the just-in-time delivery system on which many plants are scheduled, the materials and parts are delivered at the place where they are used or installed.
Manufacturing begins in the weld department with computer-controlled fabrication of the frame from high strength frame materials. Components are formed out of tubular metal and/or hollow metal shells fashioned from sheet metal. The various sections are welded together. This process involves manual, automatic, and robotic equipment.
In the plastics department, small plastic resin pellets are melted and injected into molds under high pressure to form various plastic body trim parts. This process is known as injection molding.
Plastic and metal parts and components are painted in booths in the paint department using a process known as powder-coating (this is the same process by which automobiles are painted). A powder-coating apparatus works like a large spray-painter, dispersing paint through a pressurized system evenly across the metal frame.
Painted parts are sent via overhead conveyors or tow motor (similar to a ski lift tow rope) to the assembly department where they are installed on the frame of the motorcycle.
The engine is mounted in the painted frame, and various other components are fitted as the motorcycle is sent down the assembly line.
Wheels, brakes, wiring cables, foot pegs, exhaust pipes, seats, saddlebags, lights, radios, and hundreds of other parts are installed on the motorcycle frame. A Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, for example, needs almost as many parts to complete it as a Honda Civic automobile.
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