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Solaris buses brighten up public transport

Eco-friendly 18-metre giants

  • Machinery and plant engineering

In Alsdorf and Berlin; in Dortmund, Dresden and Hanover; in Bergen on the island of Rügen; in Bayreuth and Troisdorf; and also in the HANSA‑FLEX home city of Bremen – state-of-the-art buses from Polish manufacturer Solaris are to be found in local public transport systems all over Germany. The Solaris Urbino model brings high standards to urban transportation with advanced engineering and enhanced comfort. Although fitted with a standard diesel engine, the buses already conform not only to the most stringent Euro 5 emissions norm which does not in fact come into force until October 2009, they also meet the ultimate in emissions standards, designated EEV (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicle), which was developed primarily for gas-powered buses.


The Polish company Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. was founded in 1996 as Neoplan Poland. Its facility in Bolechowo near Poznan, with a workforce of 1,025 people, now produces four buses a day: state-of-the-art urban buses, inter-urban buses and trolley-buses, coaches, as well as special-purpose vehicles. The medium-sized family enterprise is headed by proprietor Krzysztof Olszewski and his wife Solange Olszewski. The buses from the young company – already the market leader in the urban bus sector in Poland – are now to be found throughout Europe, and are gaining more and more transport companies as customers based on their innovative engineering and flexibility. In Germany, the Berlin transport corporation BVB alone has to date ordered 130 of the Urbino articulated bus model, which were delivered back in 2005, and has an option for a further 130 units for delivery in 2007­–2008.

Solaris supplies buses tailored to the needs of the transport companies and their passengers. The latest urban bus model, the Urbino, for example, is available in four different lengths between 10 and 18 metres, all built using the same components. Customers can also decided which engine to fit. Options include a DAF diesel unit which already meets the most stringent EEV emissions limit. In this, Solaris is already today presenting a groundbreaking solution for the future, serving to conserve the environment with an engine producing emission figures – such as 0.015 g/kWh for particulates – which are well within the EEV limits. The first Urbino 18 articulated buses featuring this engine were put into service last November in our home city of Bremen.

Line engineering from HANSA‑FLEX

Solaris has been investing for years in such future-proof solutions, as well as in advanced engineering technology. It relies exclusively on top-quality European components. As a partner to Solaris bus production, HANSA‑FLEX supplies all fluid line connecting elements.

The first contact between the hydraulics service provider and Solaris was back in the 1990s. Then, in 2001, the stage was set for what has today become an intensive collaboration. At the beginning, it was sales engineer Karl-Heinz Loose who presented to the Polish manufacturer the HANSA‑FLEX service and parts range, incorporating technical advice as well as the supply of hydraulic connecting elements. It was obviously a persuasive presentation, because since that time HANSA‑FLEX has been supplying all the components for the buses’ fuel lines and hydraulic systems. Consequently, HANSA‑FLEX was of course also involved when work began to configure Solaris buses to run on biodiesel. This type of fuel is cheaper in Poland than conventional fuel, and in other countries – such as Germany –  the use of biodiesel is likewise becoming a viable alternative. Biodiesel requires the use of special hose lines which are resistant to pulsating pressure.

Highest demands in terms of product quality

Karl-Heinz Loose knows the responsibility which HANSA‑FLEX bears “when we work for an up-and-coming business like Solaris, supplying its production and replacement parts needs”. Because anyone operating as a listed supplier to a bus manufacturer must meet the highest demands in terms of product quality. After all, it is not merely a question of the operational reliability of the buses – passengers expect timetables to be kept to, with no unscheduled delays due to breakdowns – but also the safety of the passengers.“

As Solaris is continually enhancing its vehicle designs and working on new technical solutions, HANSA‑FLEX sales engineer Karl-Heinz Loose keeps in close contact with his customer. He provides advice on line layout, and makes sure the right components are selected. Together with the Solaris design department, components are developed for subsequent production; HANSA‑FLEX produces samples and supplies the documentation. Before a component is listed for production use, it is subjected to thorough testing. From that point on, all component specifications are held on computer by HANSA‑FLEX for retrieval at any time.

The day-to-day business is then handled by the HANSA‑FLEX branch in Poznan, where Leszek Plocharz ensures orders are processed reliably. As part of that care, he calls in on the customer on a daily basis. As general manager of the HANSA‑FLEX branch network in Poland, Michael Misorny is the local point of contact for Solaris.

Based on the commitment of Karl-Heinz Loose, HANSA‑FLEX is also closely involved in the future planning of the bus manufacturer, so as to be prepared to meet the customer’s wishes over the long term. Joint meetings discuss issues such as the planning of new bus models and updates to existing models in which HANSA‑FLEX is to be involved. This enables optimum solutions to be devised and implemented.

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