EvoBus & Southco: Building Headrests for Passenger Comfort
In order to differentiate its premium bus seat offering, EvoBus, a leading German bus manufacturer and wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, was seeking a solution that would allow the passenger to position the headrest according to their own individual preferences and have it remain firmly in place during use. This search for an innovative product solution led EvoBus to turn to Southco who implemented a solution using Southco's ST Torque Cartridge Embedded Hinge Series featuring an embedded constant torque hinge within a plastic overmoulded headrest.
EvoBus was looking to upgrade their current headrest designs to overcome limited vertical adjustment movability and to allow passengers to effortlessly position the headrest according to individual preferences. Southco implemented a solution featuring an asymmtric torque cartridge embedded hinge that enables the passenger to easily pull the headrest wings forward, yet still supports the full head weight. The new headrest design not only offers maximum passenger comfort but also requires zero maintenance or readjustment throughout its life cycle.
With current headrest designs, vertical adjustment has previously been achieved with limited success, resulting in inconsistent cycle life. Outdated vertical friction affects the reliability and functionality of headrests over time, resulting in a design that cannot maintain position and thus no longer supports a passenger’s head.
Southco’s headrest solutions feature standard integrated positioning technology, which provide reliable and flexible constant torque capabilities in a small package, allowing them to be seamlessly integrated into the bus manufacturer’s moulded headrest assembly. Asymmetric torque allows the design engineer to specify various operating efforts in different directions of motion, allowing the passenger to easily pull the headrest wings forward for adjustment, yet still be supported when resting the full weight of their head against it. Additionally, the hinge stays fully encapsulated and hidden, thereby enhancing the aesthetic value of the seat design.
The simple assembly is complemented by convenient, maintenance-free constant torque technology, which provides constant resistance to the headrest through the entire range of motion with zero-drift and backlash.
With its international manufacturing and engineering presence, Southco offered a key design advantage in that it was able to complete the design in Germany and also support production in India, where its team of experts was able to work in close collaboration with representatives from Daimler group and its subcontractor.
“Southco’s ability to provide support on all fronts gave us the confidence that we would be given the complete support necessary to deliver the project, from start to finish, “ said Martin Gaub, leader, competence center seating.
Working in close collaboration with EvoBus, Southco played an instrumental part in delivering a unique headrest design that will maximise comfort for passengers across the bus and coach segments. Furthermore, Southco’s unique approach to hinge manufacturing means that the headrests will require zero maintenance or readjustment throughout their cycle life, saving considerable time and money associated with routine maintenance.
With its global footprint, Southco offers unrivalled technical, operational and commercial support – this, combined with its engineering excellence and industry-leading expertise in friction hinge technology, truly distinguished its solution from the rest – improving ergonomics and creating a quality experience designed for the next generation of bus and coach passengers.
For more information on Southco’s Hinge Solutions visit our Hinges page.