In 1992 the First Hungary Fund bought the former Ikarus factory location and started independent production under the NABI (North American Bus Industries) name. The site in Budapest was part of the US-based NABI parent company. Its main profile was the manufacture of unfinished bus bodies (UFBs) for the US city bus market.
In 2006 Cerberus Capital Management acquired the US parent company, and with it the Hungarian NABI. The factory in Budapest manufactured steel-framed, painted, towable chassis buses using modern technologies.
In December 2013 after the American owner exited the Hungarian market the evopro group bought the factory in Budapest together with NABI Hungary, Ltd. and all its intellectual properties, but without its naming rights. The company exited the US market and the evopro group formed the new MABI-BUS Ltd. Today evopro performs its own product development and manufacturing at the factory site.
BUDAPEST SITE, PRODUCTION, PRODUCTS
Under NABI's ownership the factory produced 8500 UFBs and 63 finished buses. The American models are still in use on the streets of Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, Boston, Washington, Las Vegas, etc., and so are the 63 finished buses that were sold for the Hungarian market. Beyond the acquisition of the factory site, evopro also has competencies in manufacturing American solo and articulated SF, LFW, BRT buses, plus European 700SE and Sirius urban / suburban buses. As per previous practice, the MABI-BUS factory is also making buses under contract and in partnership, e.g the ARC-IKARUS trolleybus. The flagship products of the MABI-BUS factory are the world-class, innovative evopro Modulo Medio Electric and Hybrid composite body, alternative fuel vehicles. Since 2015 it also manufactures the steel-body Modulo M models.
SITE FEATURES, INFRASTRUCTURE
A The MABI-BUS factory has been designed primarily to be a bus/vehicle production facility. Its 85'000 square meter property includes 33'000 square meters of built-up area that houses the factory itself, the administrative buildings, and the warehouse. The location also includes a side track to the factory. The factory contains a component manufacturing hall (CNC laser cutter, CNC folder, NC thick plate cutter, CNC 2D tube bender, traditional cutting and folding machines, eccentric presses), crane halls for manufacturing welded steel structures (AWI and AFI welding machines, flatters, purpose-built machines), assembly lines (with connectors for electric and pneumatic hand-held machines), and paint chambers suitable for high-capacity commercial vehicles. The factory halls also contain break rooms, lunch rooms, etc. For additional activities there are tube phosphating bath systems, a conveyor track for painting components, and small paint chambers. Warehouses of raw materials and semi- finished products support manufacturing. Special low-volume or prototype vehicles are manufactured in a separate pilot plant. The climate controlled offices house engineering and administrative (finance, HR, PR, procurement, management, meeting rooms) functions. MABI-BUS Ltd. has gained significant expertise designing, developing, and preparing manufacture of bus chassis that meet high standards of production. The current production structure is organized around the following main activities:
- Component production
- Frame production (steel and composite)
- Manufacture of metal casing systems (for steel chassis)
- Painting and coating
- Final assembly
The component production consists mainly of sheet metal forming and hollow section / profile processing. Besides the manufacture of primary components, partial or complete units are assembled by welding, riveting, or with structural bonding technologies. Sheet metals are processed with high-performance CNC laser cutters, CNC or manually controlled folders, and NC or manually controlled cutters. For hollow section / profile processing there are saw blade cutters and CNC 2D profile benders.
- CNC laser cutter (TRUMPF)
- CNC folder (HACO)
- NC cutter (HACO)
- CNC 2D profile bender (PROFILBIEGETECHNIK)
- Manually controlled folders
- Manually controlled cutters
- Various capacity eccentric and regular presses, punchers
- Saw blade cutters (KALTENBACH)
- AWI/AFI welding machines (MILLER, CLOOS)
STEEL FRAME MANUFACTURING
The undercarriage and cabinet frames are made with in-house components or with components from our suppliers. These are made of carbon steel or stainless steel materials. For carbon steel frames the raw materials used for the hollow section receive special phosphate coating, partly as temporary corrosion protection, partly to help create a base for perfect primer-coating later during assembly. The welded structures are created by highly qualified welders. The welding can satisfy either EN or AWS standards as per the customer's requirements. The frames may be one-off prototypes or mass-produced products. For mass production the frames are made with welding machines. Magnetic or ultrasonic weld testing is used to verify the completed welds.
COMPOSITE FRAME MANUFACTURING
The incoming composite modules and components are inserted into a special frame assembly machine where high-strength adhesive is used to bond them together. Thanks to the modular design, the same modules can be used to make 6.5m, 8.0m, or 9.5m vehicle bodies, too. The lead time is very fast: only a few days. The agglutinated chassis is put into a heat treatment furnace for a few hours. After heat treatment the chassis is ready for painting, it needs no further manufacturing operations.
METAL CASING (FOR STEEL CHASSIS)
The steel frame bases receive a metal casing. These are usually made out of stainless steel, aluminum, or fiber-reinforced plastic depending on the needs of the customer. Several fiberglass-reinforced, formed plastic casing is added. The casings are usually affixed with bonding technology which use the high strength, flexible structure adhesive systems of SIKA AG. MABI-BUS Ltd. has acquired significant expertise with such adhesive systems. Of course, for some casing elements traditional riveting, bolding, or welding technologies can be used, too.
PAINTING AND COATING
The coating systems that prevent corrosion and rusting in the chassis are applied in multiple steps during manufacturing. The raw materials of the hollow frame receive phosphate coating, while the steel components that are made in-house or by our suppliers receive a primer coating. The welded undercarriage also receives a primer coating before the body structure is applied to it. The assembled body structure also receives a primer coating before the metal casing is applied to it. The chassis with the casing receives multiple coats of paint that are fused in a chamber. The completed bus chassis is cavity protected and the under carriage receives protective coating, too. For coating systems the company has experience with several major manufacturers: PPG, AKZO-NOBEL, DUPONT.
The level of final assembly can be either a complete bus, or a partly knocked down (PKD) chassis depending on the needs of the customer. During final assembly the vehicles receive their mechanical and electrical systems: powertrain components, steering, braking systems, interior and exterior components (passenger seats, handrails, illumination, etc.).
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Project name: Partially automated
vehicle platform with safety and economical functions
Project ID: VKSZ_14-1-2015-0125
Beneficiaries: Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) Institute for Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI), Knorr-Bremse Brake Systems Ltd., Trigon Electronica Ltd., Budapest University of Technology and Economics, MABI-BUS Ltd.
Total funds: HUF 1.162.000.000
The project is funded by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office of the Hungarian Government
Designing an Automated
Vehicle Platform for Safer and More Economical Transport
led by MTA SZTAKI and funded by the Hungarian government's Research,
Development and Innovation Office focuses on automated control functions
specifically for commercial vehicles; reduction of fuel consumption and
pollutant emissions; and to increase safety.
The leader of the project and the manager of the R&D effort is the MTA's Institute for Computer Science and Control (MTA SZTAKI), which is a top Hungarian institution in control theory and vehicle control. The members of the consortium include the multinational Knorr-Bremse Brake Systems Ltd.; BME, Hungary's research and educational institution for control theory; MABI-BUS Ltd. bus manufacturer; and Trigon-Electronica Ltd., a powertrain research and development company.
The consortium is looking for answers to global trends affecting the development of vehicle technology: reducing fuel consumption and pollutant emissions, increasing transport safety, while keeping comfort level high and total costs low.
The consortium plans to develop vehicle control concepts specific to commercial vehicles that allow for automated vehicle control, economical and environmentally friendly operation, plus the utilization of electromobility in mass transportation.
The project connects to Hungarian and international strategies and trends, it encourages R&D activities for the businesses involved in the project, and opens the possibility to create new research positions. It also establishes further cooperation between the partners under the themes defined by the "Smart, green, and integrated transport" strategy of the Horizon 2020 EU Societal Challenges.
The beneficiary members of the consortium that won the "Partially automated vehicle platform with safety and economical functions" tender:
Hungarian Academy of
Sciences (MTA), Institute for Computer Science and Control (SZTAKI)
Knorr-Bremse Brake Systems Ltd.
TRIGON Electronica Ltd.
Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Electronic Vehicle and Vehicle Control Knowledge Center
Company name: MABI-BUS Ltd.
Headquarters: 1165 Budapest, Újszász street 45., Hungary, EU
Tax ID: 13658139-2-44m EUVAT: HU13658139
Company registry number: 01-09-866564
Represented by: Tamás Bánsági executive director, József Dián deputy director
Main profile: 2910. Manufacture of motor vehicles
Tel.: +36 1 279 3982
Fax: +36 1 279 3971