TATA steel TABB limited

New joint venture

TABB and Tata join forces in lightweight interior systems

TABB Interior Systems has entered into an agreement with Tata Steel Advanced Materials Limited to form Tata Steel TABB Limited. This new entity will produce interior solutions for rail transportation worldwide.

Patented sandwich structures

The Dutch TABB has a reputation for interior systems for trains, streetcars and subways, as well as mega yachts, and also has its own product line for quiet cabins. The Tilburg-based company specializes in the production of lightweight aluminum honeycomb structures. The patented SMRTCOMB technology behind the constructions makes modular sandwich systems possible, for example for modern lightweight high-speed trains. High-quality ceilings, partitions, doors and furniture made from SMRTCOMB provide significant weight reduction.

“We started about twelve years ago, and from the beginning we have focused on the train industry,” said Paul van der Wielen, managing director. “As a developer and manufacturer of interior systems for trains, this gave us a solid foundation for our business. In recent years, we have developed into a successful and innovative manufacturer of lightweight interior systems. Our solutions are sustainable, reusable and cost-efficient. With our system, rail carriers can easily adapt the interior of their cars to changing needs.”

New technology, international expansion

The innovative SMRTCOMB technology caught Tata Steel’s attention at the time. Initial meetings took place in 2017, and mutual interest eventually led to a new joint venture, Tata Steel TABB Limited. TABB co-owns the new venture. Based on a Technology License Agreement, TABB licenses the technology, proprietary information and patents of the products and processes. This makes international growth easier and thus allows a quick response to the extensive expansion of the train industry, worldwide.

“Our factory is in Khopoli, not far from Mumbai, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra,” says Eric de Mol, co-owner of TABB. “There we will initially produce our systems for production centers of Indian Rail, Alstom and other train manufacturers. Every subway, streetcar and train needs its own unique lightweight inner lining. We make those to order. Not in the calibrated way through countless process steps, but in one step thanks to our integrated Plug & Play system. The new venture enables us to start serving a much larger potential in the international rail transportation market with our system.” Smiling, he concludes, “Not to mention other possibilities, such as our successful silent cab Cabb-In, for example.”