AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – October 8th 2014 – Auckland-based company kinaroad® today unveiled an innovative surfboard design and manufacturing solution that is set to revolutionise the global board industry.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
kinaroad has developed an entirely new, cloud-based board design interface that connects seamlessly with local manufacturing operations to enable on-demand manufacture of surfboards, SUP, windsurf and kite boards. The early stage company, based in Auckland, New Zealand, has been in research and development mode since 2011 and plans to move into production before the end of the year.
kinaroad was born out of a desire to create supply chain efficiencies. This in turn will increase the profitability of brands and their distributors by reducing working capital requirements and eliminating long lead times and stock forecasting issues. Today’s board manufacturing industry 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 board brands, decreasing their reliance on existing Asian production,” said Paul Winton, kinaroad’s CEO and founder. “Sophisticated software coupled with lean manufacturing and new composites technology has enabled us to bring the craft of manufacturing beautiful boards and jobs back to the local communities in which the boards are produced and used.”
A revolutionary platform
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 avatar of the board. This allows a design environment that is both easy to use and produces extremely high quality designs. The design tool is married to a smart lean manufacturing system that has been developed using New Zealand America’s Cup lamination technologists and robotics normally used in New Zealand’s agricultural sector. Paul Winton explains, “In hindsight there is no better place in the world to have developed this. New Zealand has a wealth of innovative expertise that we have been able to tap into. kinaroad has been made possible through a collaboration of great locally based partners and that is something we are very proud of.”
kinaroad is the brainchild of engineer and investment specialist Paul Winton. His obsession for beautiful design married with lean manufacturing led to kinaroad’s vision: ‘to create the world’s most innovative board 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 guru Todd McLeay and former NZ windsurfing legend Scott Fenton.
The company currently has one prototype-manufacturing cell in Auckland, which is in its fourth iteration. Once the manufacturing capability is fully tested and proven, they have plans to deploy replicas of this cell into markets around the world. The manufacturing operation has been designed 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.