New Zealand Company kinaroad Reinvents Surfboard Design and Manufacture
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – May 4th 2015 – Auckland-based company kinaroad® today unveiled an innovative surfboard design and manufacturing solution that is set to revolutionise the global board industry.
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kinaroad has developed revolutionary design software and a robotic manufacturing solution enabling low cost on-demand manufacture of surfboards. The early stage company, based in Auckland, New Zealand, has been in research and development mode since 2010, and is now moving into production.
kinaroad was born out of a desire to make surfing more accessible to everyone, whilst bringing production and profits back to the community. The problem with today’s board manufacturing industry is it is hugely labour intensive, characterized by high volume production in low labour cost countries.“By creating a network of globally distributed manufacturing cells, kinaroad will be able to manufacture in-market for the biggest global surfboard brands, decreasing their reliance on existing Asian production,” said Dr. Paul Winton, kinaroad’s founder. kinaroad’s solution will significantly increase the profitability of surfboard brands by reducing their costs and working capital requirements, eliminating long lead times and reducing stock forecasting issues. “Sophisticated software coupled with lean manufacturing and new composites technology has enabled us to reduce cost, bringing the craft of manufacturing beautiful boards back to the local communities in which the boards are produced and used.”
A revolutionary platform
New Zealand has proven itself a fantastic place to develop this cutting edge technology. CEO Scott Fenton explains, “There is no better place in the world to have developed this. New Zealand has a wealth of innovative expertise and a mix of unique technologies that we have been able to tap into. kinaroad has been made possible through collaboration with New Zealand based partners and that is something we are very proud of.” The company’s online design tool is an industry first, having borrowed technology from New Zealand’s special effects and gaming industry to create a perfect 3-D digital representation of the surfboard. This provides surfboard designers with an intuitive tool that decreases design time and gives them full control over not only the shape but also the construction layers that make up the surfboard. The design tool is married to a smart lean manufacturing system that has been developed using world-leading composites technology honed through New Zealand’s America’s Cup challenges and advanced robotics and automation typically found in the aerospace industry.
kinaroad is the brainchild of engineer and investment specialist Dr. Paul Winton. His obsession for beautiful design married with lean manufacturing led to kinaroad’s vision: ‘to create the world’s most innovative surfboard design & manufacturing solution, enabling quality real-time, near-demand production of beautiful watercraft’. The company has the backing of Callaghan Innovation and well-known names including social entrepreneur Ian Kuperus, marketing legend Todd McLeay and former NZ windsurfing professional Scott Fenton.
The company currently has a manufacturing cell in Auckland. Once this operation is at full production, they have plans to deploy replicas of this cell into markets around the world close to demand. The manufacturing operation has been designed in a modular way so that it can be fully commissioned in Auckland and packed into four containers, allowing it to be easily shipped anywhere in the world. kinaroad is currently seeking expressions of interest from potential partners looking to own and operate manufacturing cells in their home market, as well as options to enable investors to participate in its next exciting growth phase.