Pinnacle Industries has played a big hand in helping to evolve commuters’ seating, pretty much across modes of transportation. Ashish Bhatia goes through the product lifecycle to understand what makes these commercial automotive seating systems click across the board


On your next trip, ditch the plan of boarding a flight. You must consider the Vande Bharat Express, to experience a modern commute that comes close to the in-flight experience. The experience is elevated by the next generation of seating systems these trains flank. These commercial automotive seating systems are manufactured by Pinnacle Industries Ltd. Well known for seating systems, the company also dabbles in automotive interiors, EV components, and speciality vehicles which gives it an edge over competition. Claimed to understand the crucial ergonomics like no other, Arihant Mehta, President, of Pinnacle Industries looked back in time to gauge the evolution. “Over the years, India’s automotive industry has witnessed significant transformations in terms of the design, comfort, safety, and functionality of seating systems in commercial vehicles. From basic bench seats to ergonomic and technologically advanced configurations, our journey in commercial automotive seating systems showcases a remarkable evolution,” he opined.

Manufacturing Railway seating systems

Under the broad spectrum of commercial automotive seating systems, the foray into railway seating holds a special place for Pinnacle Industries. “We are deeply grateful to the Indian Railways and Integral Coach Factory for entrusting Pinnacle Industries, a proud Indian company with the railway seating business, an industry by far typically dominated by established institutional or international players,” Mehta averred. The opportunity is believed to have driven Pinnacle to work harder and continue delivering exceptional seating solutions that surpass expectations and contribute to the growth and success of the Indian Railways.

For almost a year, designers and engineers at the company are said to have worked very closely with both Indian Railways and Integral Coach Factory on the design, development, and validation of the seating range. The comprehensive range of seating systems for Vande Bharat Express trains includes ‘Economy,’ ‘Executive,’ ‘Tip-Up,’ and ‘Folding Seats.’ These have been engineered to deliver unparalleled comfort, safety, and seamlessness during train journeys.

The Economy Seats, for example, have been intelligently designed to cater to different seating capacities, offering single-seater, two-seater, and three-seater options. Passenger convenience remains a priority, with each occupant provided with modular-type charging units, allowing them to stay connected and charged throughout their journey. Moreover, the ergonomically designed seat foam profile ensures proper support and comfort during travel, with careful consideration of pressure mapping to enhance the seating experience as per Mehta. He added that the Executive Seats, designed to provide a premium experience, incorporate a range of innovative features for enhanced passenger comfort and flexibility. Notably, passengers have taken to the luxury of a 180-degree rotating seat, offering the ability to adjust their seating position according to their preference, be it for relaxation, socialising, or work during their journey. Similar facility is also being offered on the Vistadome coach. The seat rotation can be conveniently locked or unlocked at 90 degrees using a pedal mechanism for added safety and ease of use.

To further ensure passenger convenience, a sideways sunken grab handle has been thoughtfully integrated into the seat design. Additionally, a passenger-friendly footrest with three adjustable stops offers personalised leg support during travel, enhancing overall comfort. The Executive Seats are equipped with Wago connector components, enabling easy electrical connections for various amenities. Each occupant is also provided with a modular type charging unit, ensuring they can stay connected and powered throughout the journey.

For added practicality, the side armrests of the Executive Seats are foldable, allowing easy movement between seats. Moreover, the middle armrest features a sunken snack tray, providing passengers with additional functional space and offering the in-flight experience on a train. To prioritise optimal lumbar support and comfort, the seat foam profile is ergonomically designed, considering pressure mapping for a more pleasant and relaxing travel experience. Furthermore, the electrical harness of the Executive Seats is also said to have been enclosed and routed through aluminium sections of the seats, to ensure secure and efficient electrical connections, and adding to the overall safety and reliability of the seating system.

All the seating options are claimed to have been crafted with meticulous attention to detail and high-quality materials to ensure durability and longevity. Seats are constructed with Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP), a material known for its exceptional corrosion resistance and cost-effectiveness in maintenance. These seats further conform to the European standard for fire-retardant properties, ensuring an elevated level of safety for passengers. To optimise space efficiency, tip-up seats and folding seats are also integrated making them suited for areas where flexibility and multipurpose usage are crucial. Passengers can easily fold them when not in use, creating additional space for passengers or luggage.

Headroom for growth

Pinnacle draws on its roots of providing seating for the iconic Matador over 27 years ago. This set the foundation over which the company expanded on volumes, product categories and business units. Fast forward to 2023, it is claimed to be one of the only integrated companies providing end-to-end products to OEMs across the ICE and EV spectrum. “Our vision has always been clear to become a one-stop solution for all categories of commercial vehicles for not just the seating systems, but also the interiors and other such components. While we were on that journey, we ventured into newer territories, including speciality vehicles, ambulances, EV components, and now railway seating.”

Focusing on the seating systems, Mehta acknowledged the significant shift towards prioritising of passenger comfort and safety. For buses, the focus has shifted towards modular seating arrangements, optimising space utilisation while ensuring passenger comfort, especially in the context of public transportation. For trucks, driver comfort and convenience have now taken precedence. In the special application vehicles category, customisation, personalising, and cost-effectiveness are the key, and customer requirements change as per the end use. The ambulance and medical application vehicle category has been witnessing a huge transformation since pre-COVID-19 though, he explained. Over the last year itself, Pinnacle Industries designed and customised a variety of such vehicles, including compact advanced life care support, neonatal ambulances, breast cancer detection vans, blood donation vans, pet grooming vans, veterinarian clinics on wheels, and much more. According to Mehta, this category holds a lot of under utilised potential, as India has an acute shortage of ambulances, and our medical transport infrastructure needs a reboot. ACI



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

AlphaOmega Captcha Medica  –  What Do You See?


* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *