ASHVILLE, NC- Tucked away in the scenic Blue Ridge mountain range of western North Carolina sits a company dedicated to making some of the finest bicycle components in the world.
Industry Nine (I9), a name settled on by owner Clint Spiegel after eight previous ventures didn’t quite work out, is filled with people passionate about making wheels, hubs, stems and other equipment aimed at providing riders with unmatched performance, style and quality.
The experience of mixing colors in their online anolab (https://industrynine.com/anolab) is like an addicting smart phone game. They offer cyclists the opportunity to choose from a spectrum of anodized aluminum spokes and stems to customize their ride.
In January of 2019, I9’s Plant Manager and Anodizer, Mike Rischitelli, contacted MFI looking for solutions to relieve a bottleneck in their polishing process. They had underestimated the potential popularity of their new bike stems (the piece that attaches the handlebars to the bike). Hand polishing couldn’t keep up with the demand for the new product and Rischitelli needed a solution fast.
Rischitelli sent samples of the unfinished stems to the MFI Lab in Howard Lake, MN. Engineer Tommy Mathisen came up with a two-step process with each step lasting 20 minutes.
After seeing the results, Rischitelli convinced Spiegel to submit a purchase order for an HZ-60 Centrifugal Barrel Tumbler. The Mass Finishing production team assembled the unit and got it rolling to North Carolina by late April.
The HZ-60 is polishing 32 stem pieces at a time and I9 has been able to take back control of their production timeline to meet customer demand. During a recent trip to Georgia and the Carolinas, Sales and Marketing Manager Cole Mathisen was able to stop in and see the process firsthand. He was impressed with the facility and even more so the passion of the employees working for I9.
After the visit Rischitelli sent MFI this note:
“I look forward to continued business with MFI because we have a lot in common as small US manufacturers. Of all the vendors I’ve dealt with in my years as plant manager at Industry Nine, none have been accommodating and easier to do business with than MFI.”
Mass Finishing looks forward to continuing helping Industry 9 be successful, along with all the other great manufacturers who are looking for better surface-finishing solutions.