Launching a brand-new company during the midst of a pandemic is not the simplest of challenges, but that’s the task PEMBREE’s Phil Law set himself. His first product, entirely self designed, is the R1V bicycle pedal and was unveiled in August 2020. The pedal has been a challenge in the making for over 20 years. Building his first bike at seventeen, Phil was frustrated that he couldn’t assemble the whole thing from UK made components. From here the seed was sown.
Sustainability and transparency are at the forefront of the PEMBREE ethos. The pedal is 100% recyclable and the factory, in Heathfield, East Sussex, is powered by solar and wind. Phil is entirely open about where his materials are sourced and his components are manufactured. “It’s very important to me to have full control of my products,” he explains. “I know where all the materials come from and I know the names of the people making the parts I outsource. Of course, I manufacture most things in-house.”
Phil wanted a CNC machine in his factory from the beginning. He shopped around and also asked the advice of some former engineering colleagues. Their answer was Haas. He opted for a VM-3 vertical mould making machine with 12,000 rpm spindle, 30 +1 side mount tool changer and a 5-axis trunnion unit.
I’m a Product Designer and this is my first CNC, but the Haas control is so simple, I can do everything I need to. The machine was installed right before lockdown so the on-site training didn’t happen as planned but Haas couldn’t of been more helpful though. They organised a virtual training session where I picked up the basics to get me running. Then when allowed, the engineer came to the factory and gave some more in-depth guidance. The abundance of information they provide really sets them apart from the rest. I use a lot of their online ‘Tips and Tricks’ videos. Special mention has to go to our salesman, Don Cole, who has been exceptional throughout the process.
“I use Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD/CAM package for my designs. It works seamlessly with Haas and the VM-3 is a brilliant machine; the 5-axis capability has paid for itself already. As I am the only person on the factory floor, I don’t have time to keep moving metal. The R1V pedal can be made in two operations; that makes a massive difference to the efficiency of my day.
The pedal comes with a full five-year warranty, which is why it is made with very high-quality materials and bearings. No carbon fibre or plastics are used, making the parts 100% recyclable. Working with charity TEMWA, the R1V pedal has a certificate of conformity to prove it is carbon neutral and a tree is planted for every set of pedals made.
“Relationships with riders is key for the future of PEMBREE; anyone can call me and speak directly to the person who designs everything. We will be using pembree.com and social media to keep everyone up to date on our products and the benefits of the environmental activities we are involved in” Phil says.
Phil has also set up a program for local schools to visit the factory to learn about design and manufacture. “Children need access to technology now. They need to see how ideas are brought to life and they’ll get to use the Haas machine while they’re here. I want to break down barriers to show kids how simple this technology is to operate.
“The next twelve months will be very important to Pembree. I have three more products ready to roll; I really want to get the message out there and Haas are helping me achieve those goals. They’ve got the solutions and given me the support to move forward.”
VISIT THE PEMBREE WEBSITE: https://pembree.com/