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Anyone who has ever been to our showroom in Nieuwkuijk knows that we have a long helmet wall on which the latest models hang. Of course, there is also room for NEXX Helmets. We visited them to gain more knowledge about this Portuguese brand.
You need a good magnifying glass to discover Amoreira da Gândara on the Portugal map. Not very strange, given that less than 1,500 inhabitants have settled in this village. Nevertheless, NEXX Helmets saw an ideal place to develop their factory halls here. The reason: they are close to the country's main thoroughfare. The E1 connects Porto in the north with Lisbon in the south. And if you search specifically, you will also see the NEXX building from that highway.
The Portuguese helmet manufacturer has now been on the market for twenty years. In 2001, Helder Loureiro started a great adventure by setting up his own brand. As a former head of design for another helmet brand, he feels that it could be even better. Not to mention, he sees that there is still room on the market.Together with three investors, he therefore takes the plunge and starts NEXX.
Only in the last few years, despite several setbacks (e.g., the financial crisis from 2007 to 2011), has Loureiro succeeded in DE-in the premium segment.
That was given to the Portuguese, together with quality, and, for him, to the people on the ground. In the meantime, the family has grown to over 200 people, and they have to make up for that, DE, now, anywhere in the world. In the factory, we work hard to make high-quality products. To the bikers, who are the ultimate consumer in the best possible way to operate, providing them with DE is that they are helmets that comply with the slogan: Helmets for life. And no, they do not imply that you will live your life with only one helmet and can keep riding around the block. This is the best possible safety and security, with which you will be able to provide in the event of an accident, and it is sure to have a helmet that fits your lifestyle and needs.
This approach is the first stage of a new helmet design that is being considered.This idea can be made from several different departments, created, or even of the riders here. As far as possible, the information is added to this idea, which in the end made a rough design. That will put it to DE, end up with a clay model and then to see if there are still adjustments to be made. If this is not the case, they put the helmet in 3D in a digital world. The first prototype is then created from there.
What follows is test work. This is done, among other things, in NEXX's own test lab. Here they mainly look at the safety of the helmet, but they also work on, for example, improvements in the field of the visor or the aerodynamics of certain parts.
Nice fact by the way; every year they use (or rather, destroy) about 2,000 helmets there to give you the best protection. The desired level of comfort and ease of use is a matter of a lot of motorcycling. These properties are checked on the street and that is done extensively. Not only do our own employees ride around with a new helmet model, professional motorcyclists also help in this process.
In this way, NEXX collects a lot of input to take the helmet to an even higher level. They eventually put all fine-tuning in the 'golden' example, with which approval is requested. This is done at an independent and recognized laboratory, namely VIAS in Belgium. After receiving European approval, the new helmet model can be put into production.
Quite unique is the fact that NEXX carries out all the steps in its own factory. This is also how the entire production process takes place in Portugal. A lot of time, money and development has gone into the two different technologies they use to make the outer shells. Based on the intended sales price, they opt for a thermoplastic or composite construction. In order to achieve the correct strength with a composite outer shell, they ensure that they lay six layers in various directions. Another technique they use is X-PRO Carbon technology.
As the name suggests, carbon fiber is an important part of the construction here. With this method, NEXX has managed to find the right mix between the different elements and this makes it possible to use fifteen percent less epoxy resin than they did before. In this way, the carbon fiber stands out even better in terms of optimal protection against high energy impact and penetration. They use different molds for the outer shells made of thermoplastic. They spray raw material into it. This is heated and under strong pressure, an outer shell is eventually formed.
This is followed by another five steps, such as applying a special coating, the right color and stickers. Then the helmet goes to several workstations. In this way, the various parts are mounted on the helmet and, of course, the helmet receives a lining. This is heated and under strong pressure, an outer shell is eventually formed. This is followed by another five steps, such as applying a special coating, the right color and stickers. Then the helmet goes to a number of workstations. In this way, the various parts are mounted on the helmet and, of course, the helmet receives a lining. They also make these completely in the NEXX factory halls. Operators carry out a strict check several times, until the helmet is finally packed. In total, the NEXX helmet has been checked at fifty points and is ready for shipment.
The complete development of a new helmet takes a considerable amount of time. This can vary from 12 to 36 months. It is therefore not surprising to hear that at NEXX they have to look far ahead, given the lengthy process of a single helmet design. The Portuguese manufacturer is therefore already working on the following models well in advance. As a result, at NEXX they are usually two collections ahead of the current range. Because they often have to look into the future, it is also crucial to anticipate certain evolutions early on. The Portuguese therefore decided five years ago to set up a brand new department.
At the electronics division, they are busy looking at how they can ensure that the motorcyclist can be served even better by adding electronic aids. NEXX can not yet indicate exactly what that entails. Fortunately, we will find out automatically, but in the end, it is all about one thing.
NEXX does everything in its power to live up to their own slogan: make helmets for life!