Smoove Advances Sustainable Bike Sharing with Creo

Bike-share systems are popping up in communities all over the world. Great for quick trips about town, urban two-wheelers also reduce traffic and pollution, and provide flexible low-cost transportation within cities.

But as an engineer, you’ll want to look more closely when you pass a docking station on the street. You’ll see that these bikes are quite different than that velocipede hanging in your garage. Why? Consider theft, vandalism, heavy use, and exposure to the elements.

To confront these challenges in a sustainable way, French company Smoove has engineered some rather creative solutions, like the locking systems shown in this video:

Because Smoove systems must work in cities from Moscow to Bangkok and Chicago, the design team chose light-weight, durable, vandal-resistant materials. They also included these innovations:

  • A hub dynamo to power the bike’s internal battery.
  • A maintenance-free brake system.
  • A drive shaft rather than a chain.
  • Solar powered subscription and information kiosks.

The Smoove Bike parked in the Smoove-designed bike dock.

With a product and systems that complex, you might expect a company 500 people or more standing behind it, with a substantial R&D team. But the truth is, Smoove is made up of just 16 people!

To make development and production possible, those few people work with an extensive network of subcontractors in multiple disciplines—electronics, metal work, foundry, assembly, and more. And to ensure design and collaboration work seamlessly, the team uses Creo and Windchill.

PTC Customers

Who uses Creo?

Creo provides Smoove engineers with powerful and flexible 3D CAD software that includes the broadest range of 3D CAD capabilities available. The software designers with a modern, streamlined, easy-to-use interface, for fast product design.

And for working more effectively with suppliers and partners, who may work with a number of different CAD systems, Creo now includes Unite technology. With this new set of capabilities, teams can convert data from other common CAD tools into Creo data without the need for the original authoring CAD system.

Windchill works as the central repository for all product-related information in a company. The software effectively manages product content throughout its lifecycle, from concept to service.  Windchill provides the efficient data management and security a small team needs to prevent confusion data loss, and overwriting as product files move through the development cycle.

If you watched the video above, you might have also noticed that the Smoove system incorporates technology that allows the bikes to connect with transportation IT systems for payment, authorization, bike tracking, etc. That’s all done with the PTC ThingWorx IoT platform—a system that adds connectivity, cloud, business logic, big data, analytics and remote service applications to everyday products.

With PTC solutions, Smoove is now a small team ready to design and manufacture on an international scale with its new bike-sharing innovations—all the while contributing to a more sustainable world.

Are you part of a small company looking for creative design innovations? Visit our Demos and Tech Tips page to see recorded demos or sign up for a webcast today.