20 May 2008
20 May 2008
Sigma Industries is developing a new green concept in body shell technology for urban transit buses.
Mainly targeted at the emerging hybrid electric drive market, for both city and over-the-road transit vehicles, this new patented solution marketed as Hybrid Composite Bus Body will be officially introduced at the American Public Transportation Association annual meeting to be held in October 2008.
Weighing in at nearly three tons less than a regular-sized transit vehicle body shell, the Hybrid Composite Bus Body technology is 20% lighter than conventional metal bodies, which will significantly enhance fuel efficiency. Furthermore, composite materials resistance to corrosion should extend vehicle life.
Although mainly aimed at transit vehicles equipped with hybrid engines, Sigma’s body shell technology can also equip diesel-engine powered vehicles.
Reflecting another technological breakthrough, the body is constructed of longitudinal, structural modules that are bonded together which does not restrict body length by the size of the mould. In so doing, Sigma industries is able to customize the transit bus body to match the original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) market requirements for style, length and interior finishes. In addition, the environment-friendly bodies are comprised of bio-resins that can be disassembled for end-of-life disposal.
“It’s not just about building a better product, it’s about integrating customer requirements and anticipating market trends, two key elements in Sigma Industries’ growth strategy,” said Denis Bertrand, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sigma Industries. “We are excited by the vast market potential for our innovative technological solution, as all market participants will enjoy benefits. Our revolutionary body shell will enable transit agencies to maximize their return on investment while our flexible manufacturing process will greatly simplify final vehicle assembly by OEMs.”
The use of composites within the rail industry is predicted to grow by up to 40% between 2015 and 2020 according to the Composites Leadership Forum, reports Fibrelite, a UK manufacturer of composite trench covers.
Plasan Carbon Composites (PCC) has been awarded a contract to produce the first composite ramps and bridgeplates for Amtrak.