SuperATV might make the widest variety of products of any aftermarket company out there. There are winch guys out there and bumper guys and axle guys but we specialize in… everything. We endeavor to bring you any part you want, at the best quality, and the lowest price. We’ve done a good job of it so far but we’re always improving and always adding new products.
And all those different products take a diverse set of equipment and a lot of manpower to manufacture and fill our 232,000 square foot facility. We’ve got routers for windshields and skid plates, brake presses, lasers, lathes, CNCs, mills, welders, and tube benders and we’re adding more all the time.
Let’s look at a few of these and what they help us do in more detail.
Windshields and Skid Plates
First of all, we’ve got our CNC routers. If you don’t have a clue what that is, CNC is basically a fancy acronym for “it uses a computer to know what to do” and a router cuts stuff. We uses these guys to cut flat sheets of material into precise shapes that are exactly the same every single time we cut them. Those materials are either UHMW or Makrolon polycarbonate and are bent in brake presses to become skid plates or windshields respectively.
Those windshields and skid plates then get boxed up with whatever hardware and brackets they need before getting moved out to the warehouse. They don’t stay there long, though. We crank these things out non-stop on multiple routers and can barely keep up with demand.
We have a big laser
Lasers are exciting. They’re all over the place doing all sorts of complicated things. But the really exciting ones – the ones that can actually burn holes in things – are reserved for science fiction and manufacturing. Well we’re in the business of manufacturing so we’ve got ourselves a big fancy laser.
Ours is a big 60 ft table with an arm over it that carries the laser. We put huge sheets of steel, Domex, or anything else at all different thicknesses on there and the laser cuts through it all like butter. We can used this to cut out all the parts for 100 boxed A arms, lift kits, or bumpers in a single sheet. We also use it for portal gear lift plates, and anything else that uses plates instead of tubes.
We like to bend things
Our tube bender fits in the production line right alongside the laser. Instead of cutting out flat pieces, though, it bends and cuts tubs precisely to be welded into bumpers, A arms and other tubed parts.
These flat pieces are taken to the brake presses (we get a lot of use out of our brake presses) where they’re bent and sent to welders to assemble.
Walking by our row of welders, you’ll containers full of these bent flat pieces and pallets full of their raw finished assemblies – stacks and stacks of a single bracket or A arm. After these parts are assembled on a jig, welded, and checked dimensionally, they move on to our powder coating area. Our powder coating guys clean the parts, cover them in powder, and then bake them until we get that nice gloss or wrinkle finish we’re looking for.
If it’s a portal gear lift part we’ve put together and powder coated, it’ll be sent to our portal assembly cell. If you’ve bought one of our portal kits, you know they come with a lot of different parts. In order to make sure we get these kits right, we have a couple people that specialize specifically in assembling them in house.
These guys are also responsible for putting gears and seals into the portal boxes as well. If you walk around their area you’ll see hundreds of empty portal boxes waiting for their guts to be inserted.
We haven’t looked at our CNCs yet. Like our CNC routers, our CNCs use a computer to tell them what, where, and how to cut. Unlike our routers, CNCs are used to turn a big block of metal into a clean and precise metal part. No UHMW or Makrolon here. Most of the time you’ll see these machines churning out steering arms and pivot blocks for our portal gear lifts, but we started making carrier bearings on them when we began offering those a few months ago.
We didn’t cover everything like our wire-cutting EDM that has it’s own climate controlled room, and all of our lathes and mills that we use to make all sorts of miscellaneous parts. But I think you get the idea. We work with cutting edge machines (there’s a pun in there somewhere) run by top notch talent to bring you the very best home-grown parts we can.
And the story of our manufacturing is never-ending. There are machines and gadgets we use that I haven’t even hinted at and next week we’ll have more new tools that I’ve never heard of before. Check out our Machine Shop Monday series of videos on YouTube to get a closer look at some of the stuff we do here.