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Oct 21, 2021

Congressman Jimmy Panetta visits Ibis’s carbon manufacturing facility.

Recent­ly, Con­gress­man Jim­my Panet­ta vis­it­ed Ibis’s car­bon man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty in Pajaro, CA (Locat­ed between Mon­terey and our home town of San­ta Cruz). This was Rep. Panetta’s sec­ond vis­it to the facil­i­ty. Who was return­ing to check in on our progress. Since his orig­i­nal vis­it we began pro­duc­tion and pub­licly launched our Exie mod­el, and with that cre­at­ed 12 new high val­ue jobs in our self pow­ered facility. 

The Exie — a cross-coun­try rac­ing bike — was the cul­mi­na­tion of a dream that Ibis CEO Hans Heim com­mit­ted to more than 5 years ago. He want­ed to try to do things dif­fer­ent­ly. The goal was to reduce the over­all ener­gy and labor input involved in man­u­fac­tur­ing each frame, and thus make it fea­si­ble to onshore car­bon frame man­u­fac­tur­ing to the USA. Achiev­ing that required an inten­sive amount of upfront engi­neer­ing, and demand­ed per­se­ver­ance and con­tin­u­al tri­al and error. A con­tin­u­al loop of pro­to­typ­ing, test­ing and imple­ment­ing fast and effi­cient lay up revi­sions brought us clos­er and clos­er to our objec­tives. Through­out it all, we found clever engi­neer­ing solu­tions and finessed the man­u­fac­tur­ing process — which took us down dif­fer­ent paths of man­drel mak­ing, layup and cur­ing, and fin­ish­ing (includ­ing ideas that went absolute­ly nowhere). 

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At the time of Rep. Panetta’s pre­vi­ous vis­it, we were just past our proof of con­cept phase, which had demon­strat­ed that we could make a car­bon frame entire­ly in-house. That involved mak­ing one size of one mod­el — our small sized Rip­ley LS.

Embold­ened by that project, we pur­chased this beau­ti­ful build­ing, installed pho­to-volta­ic solar array suf­fi­cient to pow­er the whole oper­a­tion, devel­oped new low ener­gy tools and staffed it with the best car­bon layup tal­ent around, many of whom had pre­vi­ous­ly worked for Ibis engi­neer, Pre­ston San­dusky — for­mer part­ner in Kestrel Bicy­cles, as well as the man­ag­er of a car­bon fiber man­u­fac­tur­ing defense contractor.

Con­gress­man Panetta’s inter­est in the project comes from see­ing new indus­tries devel­op in his large­ly agri­cul­tur­al dis­trict — par­tic­u­lar­ly ones cre­at­ing new jobs for skilled work­ers uti­liz­ing green tech­nolo­gies. From design­ing tool­ing, cut­ting and past­ing decals, our Pajaro facil­i­ty is a ver­ti­cal­ly inte­grat­ed mod­el for future busi­ness devel­op­ment in Mon­terey County.