What was the most memorable part of working on the New Bus for London project?
We most enjoyed the engineering collaboration with Wrightbus where both sides provided their expertise so the resulting product was optimized for the material and the function.
What has the response been to the new buses?
Passengers seem to be very positive, particularly over the styling. Transport for London seem to like it and they’ve ordered 600!
Was this Gurit’s first foray into mass transportation?
Gurit is a material supplier to other transportation applications including marine, aerospace, tail and automotive; however this is our first component project supplying “mass transportation.”
What is the biggest advantage that composites can offer the mass transportation industry?
Composites are very cost effective at production volumes (accounting for tooling and piece price) in mass transportation. They also provide significant weight savings, which is generally in line with the goals of every OEM. As fuel costs increase and “alternative energy” solutions gain a foothold, we believe the mass transportation industry will grow to believe in composites as strongly as we do.
In your opinion, what are OEMs looking for from composites?
Composites offer many advantages and in mass transport the primary one is the opportunity for weight saving. However, typically this is through substitution of parts previously made in metal. Designing with composites needs to consider the properties of this material and not look to copy the metal structure while recognizing that the part still needs to fit into the structure. They also need to consider that the handling and maintenance needs to comply with procedures.