New Space for New Seats
It is not well-known that the IVECO BUS plant in Vysoké Mýto, in addition to being the largest manufacturing facility in Eastern Europe and the largest bus maker in the Czech Republic, is also the third largest manufacturer of seats for public transport vehicles across Europe. In 2015, the plant produced 165,000 seats, and in 2016, the production increased even higher up to 210,000. The seats are made not only for Crossway and Evadys buses, but are also delivered to the plant in Annonay, France, for Magelys vehicles.
The production of our own seats in Vysoké Mýto develops more than a hundred-year tradition which began in the 19th century when the first products of the Sodomka Company, i.e, carriages, sledges and barouches, were completed. It continued even after opening the manufacture line of passenger cars and buses of the Carroserie Sodomka brand in 1928. This year the tradition of seat production, now under the IVECO BUS brand name, has entered into its new stage.
At the end of March the manufacturing line of bus seats underwent an extensive modernization and the assembly of the latest New Spacio ergonomic seats was launched. The company's engineers were working on the innovation process for several months, and the run-in has been managed in full operation. The result is a brand new concept of series production of bus seats. "We have become extremely versatile and are able to execute big contracts for our sister plants," says Stephan Abdulrahman, Manager of Seat Manufacture.
Precisely Processed Seats
And how does the assembly of seats look like? The foam material is applied on the seat frame and a precisely cut fabric is sewn to make the cover for the upholstery. Being completely mounted, the seat is transported to the main manufacturing line. Everything is done by 170 employees, most of them women who have to do absolutely precise work.
The typical set for one bus has 55 seats, which is the average number of seats in the IVECO BUS models made in Vysoké Mýto. The plant makes two basic types of seats: hinged and fixed, which are further subdivided into 10 models that differ from each other by the type of headrest, footrest, cover design and used materials. The seats made in greatest numbers are Lineo (fixed) and Skoleo max for the Crossway PRO school buses operating in France. Since each customer selects the combination by themselves, hundreds of different variants are passing through the assembly hall every year. You can easily configure your preferred combination at the Bus Design Center where a complete range of options is available. In the virtual space on the configurator´s screen you can choose from hundreds of tested and homologated materials, fabrics, coatings, floor coverings, etc. IVECO BUS experts are always willing to advise you on choosing the right materials and recommend the optimal configuration of buses for specific traffic conditions.
Development and Construction of Seats in Vysoké Mýto
The IVECO BUS development department in Vysoké Mýto has been intensively engaged in the development and construction of bus seats. Thus the concept, shapes and design are original. The developers from Vysoké Mýto apply the latest ergonomic knowledge to raise the comfort of every new range even higher. "Even the seats are subject of ceaseless improvements, although the fundamental frame construction remains relatively unchanged for a long time," says Stephen Abdulrahman.
At the same time, the seats must meet a countless number of standards, such as regulations on strength, belt fixing, or material flammability, making the development and homologation a complicated and long-lasting process. "First we make a prototype that goes through a number of tests, for example strength of the material, and as soon as the homologation is approved, we produce the whole set which is put in the car and the homologation is solved on the bus, "explains Mr. Abdulrahman. "The investment in development and construction is paying off, our buses have the highest possible occupancy in the category and their parameters are very competitive."
The team of high-tech constructors, specialists and designers from Vysoké Mýto is already developing a new generation of seats for future bus models that will again make significant innovative and technological progress in the spirit of the company´s trade-mark and tradition.