Seisenbacher is providing smart interior solutions for the rail industry. As an innovation partner for the rail industry, we guide our customers and inventions in the Mobility Interior at every stage – from the first idea to the finished product and beyond. 

Interview with Christian Forstner, Head of Sales and R&D at Seisenbacher

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Christian Forstner: The experience, technical expertise, long-term perspective and inventive spirit of our team have turned a small family business in Ybbsitz (Austria) into a hidden champion of future-oriented mobility and a strong development partner for industry and railway operators. Inventing Mobility Interiors is more than a slogan – it’s our mission statement. In cooperation with our partners and customers, we develop and realize the interior solutions that truly move people forward, with the latest technology and utmost precision.

For over 10 years, Seisenbacher has built smart solutions for the rail industry. We are therefore completely familiar with the requirements of vehicle builders, operators, and above all the users. We monitor trends and developments in the industry and society closely, and use our expertise and technical capabilities to develop, create and implement interiors for the rail travel of the future.

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

C.F: Seisenbacher is focusing on development, design, engineering and production of all sorts of metal interior components for railway vehicles. With our team, we are covering the complete project cycle starting from the inquiry, through the design and validation to the final product shipped to our customers. The projects are supervised after direct and individual consultation between the respective project managers and their associated project team.

Our own engineering department creates and implements drawings based on design ideas. All associated tests and specifications are fulfilled so that the end customer – the passenger – is completely satisfied and safe.

With the help of our in-house testing facility, all tests required for the First Article Inspection (FAI), and subsequently for the initial production, are conscientiously carried out. In this way, all norms and standards can be guaranteed.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

C.F: Our R&D department is always working on new ideas. Currently we are finalizing our C.A.T.S. (Crash Absorbing Table System) which provides an additional safety aspect for passengers by absorbing the energy that occurs during a crash scenario. 

A specially developed crash element is built into an aluminum frame structure under the table top, which absorbs impact energy through friction and damping.

The lightweight tabletop is not part of the crash system and can be customized according to the customer’s requirements. C.A.T.S. is also compliant with all applicable passenger safety standards, including the US APTA.

Furthermore, the cantilever design with customizable wall console creates more space for passengers and operators.

Extensive simulations and laboratory tests prove that the effect of the patented in-house development, C.A.T.S., is independent of the direction of travel and seating, and significantly reduces the risk of injury in all possible seat configurations.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

C.F: Our core competency lies within the ceiling area of. 

The centerpiece of every single train, in local and long-distance traffic, is also the centerpiece of Seisenbacher. The various designs of our ceiling systems are well known far beyond the borders of Austria.

Our ceiling systems are of high quality and include all components requested by our customers. A complete ceiling system mainly consists of a central ceiling and the side ceilings adjacent to the windows.

In order to supply our customers with a plug-and-play solution, our ceiling systems in the majority of cases get equipped with LED lighting, air ducts and sometimes even cables and cable trays.

To cover greater areas of customer needs we are constantly adding new products to our portfolio e.g. the aforementioned table system.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

C.F: The market is benefiting from the growing demand on sustainable and zero emission mobility solutions. We clearly see a renaissance of rolling stock and boost in innovative solutions.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

C.F: Railway operators are attracting passengers with innovative train systems, comfort and safety. Topics like “first and last mile” and “mobile living and passenger experience” are being discussed and making a non-individual transport system as individual as possible will be key in future.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

C.F: Together with well-known players of the LED lighting industry, we are working on the EU-funded Horizon 2020 research and development project “PHABULOμS”. The aim of this project is to create and industrialize “free-form micro-lenses”, which have the ability to produce square/rectangular illuminance patterns upon LED illumination. The individual illuminance patterns produced by each LED on an array can hence be overlapped with 100% fill factor thus rendering a uniform luminance over the luminaire outermost surface (exit aperture). As partner of PHABULOμS, we provide key insight towards the design of ultrathin luminaires (thickness < 10 mm) or luminaires with a significantly reduced number of LEDs (less than half for linear lighting) and a customized shape of illumination pattern due to freeform micro-optical films for very homogeneous irradiance on the diffuser plane. The results will be beneficial to the general LED lighting market and specifically trailed for rail vehicles, busses and other means of transport.

In addition, we have just started working on smart storage solutions for bicycles which we want to introduce to the market during this year’s Innotrans Exhibition in Berlin. Not only are we very excited to see the reaction of the audience, we also want to use their feedback for the setup of the next step within this development project. 

Further product ideas with heavy weight on the passenger experience, such as intelligent light control units to fulfil human centric lighting application, digital connected applications and passenger privacy are queued up and waiting to be brought to life.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022?

C.F: 2022 has and will be a challenging year for everyone. We are facing delays and shifts in projects caused by a very unstable raw material market. However, Seisenbacher is set to navigate through these difficulties, in the end every crisis also offers chances and the possibility to evolve.