Catrike: Story of a Dream that is “Made in Florida”
Dreams they say are built on passion and commitment. When Paulo Camasmie went after his long-time passion to “build” things, he did not know the answer lay in aluminum. The enlightenment came while riding through the hills in Sao Paulo, Brazil when he spotted a beauty—a retro diamond back bicycle that gleamed in style, ease and comfort. Thereon, he latched onto an idea that today has blossomed into an organization that is firmly rooted in “Quality—quality that comes before cost”.
Camasmie did not re-invent the wheel. He built the “third” wheel, literally. His company, Big Cat Human Powered Vehicles, is the manufacturer of lightweight recumbent tricycles “Catrikes”, located in Winter Garden, FL. From a small operation out of his garage, Camasmie’s dream has truly revolutionized the concept of riding. Catrike is a global giant in manufacturing recumbent trikes. It currently manufactures more than 100 trikes per month, and has stores located all over the world.
“Good is never good enough”. The design and engineering of its products are rooted in the founder’s passion for mechanical engineering. Man, woman or child—there is a Catrike customized to suit everyone’s personal and budgetary preferences. Starting with the Catrike C2000, the company has expanded its production line to include some hallmark designs like the Aluminum Catrike Road, Catrike Speed, Catrike Road, Tadpole trikes, Catrike Pocket etc. These design feats are a testament of the company’s use of alternative materials, fabrication and manufacturing techniques to remain competitive in a global market.
In many ways the company is its biggest competitor. Reflecting the belief of its founder—“Comparing ourselves to ourselves”—Catrike is constantly evolving and refining its extensive product line. Over the years, the company has heavily invested in new equipment to create ‘manufacturing cells’ which will enhance the quality of its products, allow Catrike to triple its output, cut the cycle time in half and maximize accuracy. It utilizes SolidWorks in the design department, and has a new inventory and scheduling system for proper supply chain management locked in gear.
Indeed, Catrike is an award winning manufacturer. In 2009, it was named small manufacturer of the year by the Manufacturers Association of Florida. Catrike is also working with FLATE to design a virtual tour, and a new “Made in Florida” Challenge that gives a real-world view of modern manufacturing facilities in Florida.
For more information on Catrike and its products visit http://www.catrike.com/. In the words of Rick Steves—until next time, keep on traveling!
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