Siac celebrates 50 years of cab history

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Italian cab manufacturer Siac’s roadmap is synonymous with the history of driving units and cabins for agricultural and earthmoving machinery. In the early 1970s the agricultural market considered the introduction of equipment more evolved than safety driving units to protect the driver from climate and environmental conditions.

Siac was among the first manufacturers of cab structures that tackled this market by developing the first cabs using a more industrial approach: the first customers to rely on Siac were Same, Landini, Fiat, Massey Ferguson, and Deutz.

It wasn’t long before the requests coming from the market became more and more demanding in terms of protection from noise, climate, pollution, vibrations and heat: all elements that bothered operators by limiting their efficiency as well as being 

physically tiring. Siac responded by developing cabs with light but resistant structures, meeting safety requirements (directive 201/73 January 1974), highlighting visibility and developing, in cooperation with top level partners, insulating and aesthetic elements with new, great innovations and captivating design.

Due to the strong market demand, Siac focused on fundamental components like complete pedal assemblies, steering columns (patented solutions), heating/air conditioning groups, PU components for its own needs and solution proposals to its customers’ problems. Such hectic activity has been supported by a constant evolution of production equipment, as well as of designing tools and structural calculations, which drastically cut homologation timelines.

The requested volumes kept growing and some customers evaluated the idea of integrating such an important part of the product – the cab – to their machines. Siac had already foreseen this natural development and leveraged its experience on the agricultural market to enter into the construction one.

Thanks to such technological know-how, the first cabs for Fiat-Hitachi were born at Siac’s plant, with cab structures produced completely from deep-drawn metal-sheet and with the use of – among the first in Europe – 3D metal sheet laser-cutting technology. This brave choice enabled Siac to reach automotive levels of quality, even for small/medium batch volumes.

The market welcomed Siac’s determination, as well as its capability to propose avant-garde solutions thanks to a modern engineering department and evolved production equipment with robotized welding lines and 2D-3D laser cutting equipment.

Customers recognized Siac as a leader proposing solutions to the problems they faced during the development of their products. At that moment, the first cabs for Liebherr excavators, Fiat Hitachi’s wheel loaders, dozers and telehandlers, Mecalac excavators, Furukawa’s wheel loaders, Komatsu’s mini and midi excavators, and Caterpillar’s track loaders became consolidated products in Siac’s production as well as products that are satisfying for the customers.

Thanks to such important cooperation, Siac was able to develop technical innovations and solutions such as the first curved, one-piece windshield, pasted directly on the metallic frame of wheel loader cabs for Fiat Hitachi; the first modular cab for Liebherr excavators (with just one modular cab, it was possible to have three different sizes: narrow, standard and wide cab); and Caterpillar’s TTL cabs with front pillars covered in PU trim, reaching a top aesthetic level.

Now, in Europe and worldwide, new local and global customers such as Volvo, O&K, JLG and Caterpillar, rely on Siac expertise, with new products being developed for Komatsu and Claas, along with the evolution of Liebherr’s Syscabine. The latter, also known as Alpha Cab, with just one cab structure, allows Liebherr to have the same modular cab sizes plus two solutions for doors: the classic hinged design with a 180° opening, and the more innovative sliding door (patented), especially studied for a narrow accessibility platform (? 700 mm).

Always looking forward, studying the market evolution, and integrating customer’s objectives, in order to anticipate its needs and prevent potential problems, plus a never-ending passion for the job and absolute respect and satisfaction for its customers and, even sometimes, stubbornness in convincing them to follow new ideas: this is Siac’s way of thinking.

March 24, 2016

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Tom is editor of ivtinternational.com and iVT magazine. During his 20 year career in journalism Tom has worked for a diverse range of titles including Men's Health and Cosmopolitan. He also edits iVT's UKi Media & Events stablemate Traffic Technology International.

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