(images credit: Irfendy Mohamad)
We exclusively presented the SeatBridge concept last year with a design contest: since then SINTEC, the company that developed this concept, has started negotiations with a number of automotive companies for turning this patented solution into a production reality.
Consisting of a bridge-shaped structure that raises the position of the rails and frees up the space underneath, and can integrate the center tunnel into a single module, the SeatBridge solution can be fully adopted in any production line with additional benefits in terms of process simplification.
SeatBridge offers a solution to the problems that characterize the conventional mounting system, where seats are connected to the floor through a pair of rails, which brings to a rather cluttered look and leaves small room for the rear passengers’ legs and feet.
The SeatBridge structure is easily connected to the car’s structure in the door sills and center tunnel area, and together with the seats and center console can be supplied and installed as an independent module, in a single operation – instead of three – on the final assembly line.
The first step in the patenting process has been reached with the issuance, on January 2nd, 2019 of the Italian Patent N. 102016000060616, which grants its owner exclusive rights to produce, use, market, sell or import on Italian national territory a car fitted with a SeatBridge solution. European Patent is expected on Oct-Nov 2019.
From the official Press Release:
SINTEC’s patented SeatBridge offers several advantages:
- it increases the space available to rear passengers’ feet and legs
- it has a very clean look, as a sitting room, in place of the rather cluttered, low-tech, workshop appearance of the current solution
- it decreases the logistics footprint for the cars final assembly
- it allows a new car interior design with an uncluttered, cleaner look
- investment costs will be easily recovered by offering an innovative feature which offers benefits-wins, i.e.:
- Benefits for passengers
- Feet comfort and space, + 40%
- Easier cleaning
- Single removable carpet for each seat
- Additional storage space
- Benefits for seat makers
- Higher market volume
- Value increase of delivered good: not only seats but also mounting of central consolle and accessories
- No constraints for geometries
- Benefits for car makers
- Simplified production line: one side only to assemble front seats
- A single configuration item, i.e.: the Front SeatBridge Assembly, which includes: left seat, right seat, central console, wirings, left rail, right rail, safety belts lock, etc.
- Lower production costs: one robot only, less items to be installed, less wiring, less labour, etc.
- Lower logistics costs: only one item to be purchased, received, stored, managed
- Benefits for passengers
In order to turn this concept into a production reality that could benefit the entire automotive industry and car passengers from all over the world, SINTEC is advancing the negotiations currently in place as well as looking for new companies and organizations willing to incorporate this solution into their production lines or to invest for reserving exclusive rights for licensing once the solution is implemented – which in SINTEC’s point of view will happen in the next future due to the objective advantages it brings.
SINTEC founder Claudio Buccini commented “The current standard seat mounting solution has reached a high level of standardization but has not progressed in decades and still suffers from the same problems: it leaves little space for rear passengers’ legs and feet, and with its cluttered, primitive look, it detracts from the elegance and design of any car interior – even on luxury vehicles.”
“For this reason, and also due to the revolution that electric cars will bring in terms of platform architecture, it’s only a matter of time until the SeatBridge solution is widely implemented.”
“SINTEC already owns exclusive rights for Italy and will soon be granted the European patent. We are actively speaking with several companies to move to the production phase, because we believe this will solution ultimately benefit not only car passengers, but also car manufacturers and suppliers.”
“Today there is an opportunity for those companies that are willing to invest for either developing the technology or ensure licensing rights for the future. Negotiations are in place but as it happens in these cases it’s likely to be a first-come, first-serve deal: that is why our message for this communication campaign is “…if you don’t choose SeatBridge…someone else will do it !”“
(Source: SINTEC / SeatBridge.com)