WABCO Vehicle Control Systems

WABCO Holdings Inc. is a global supplier companies principally for the commercial vehicle automobile industry with headquarters in Brussels. It is one of the leading providers of electronic braking and vehicle control systems, stability, suspension and transmission control systems primarily for medium and heavy commercial vehicles ( NFZ ).


Seat of the corporate headquarters is in Brussels. CEO of the WABCO Group is Jacques Esculier. The international company has approximately 10,700 employees in 34 offices and production. In 2012, WABCO had a turnover of 2.5 billion U.S. dollars.


WABCO was founded in 1869 as Westinghouse Air Brake Company of George Westinghouse. He was the inventor of the air brake, which is used in railways and commercial vehicles. The production plant began in 1870 in Pittsburgh (USA). Through the Westinghouse air brake the train driver was in full control of the braking system of the train and did not need to notify the brakeman. 1881 a branch was established in England in 1884 and was followed by the German branch in Hanover. 1908 An electronic air brake for subways has been developed.

1911 WABCO Mannheim location of Fulmina for the production of automobiles and industrial was founded. Died 1914 George Westinghouse. It is estimated that he has every 6 weeks a new patent pending in 48 years. In 1917 the acquisition of Union Switch & Signal Company, a company that developed systems for signal indicators on rails and for the coordination of the trains.

1921 pneumatic brakes for the growing U.S. car market were developed. 1922 saw the establishment of a production plant in Gronau (Leine). 1924 WABCO was in the U.S. responsibility under antitrust laws, to enter into a joint venture with Bendix ( Bendix -Westinghouse ), rather than create a separate series with brake components. In Europe, the WABCO companies could develop independently. So Fulmina acquired in 1924 a license for the production of Perrot- Bendix brakes.

In the 1940s, the first brake systems were built with automatic block signals. They ensure safe distances between trains on a track and enable centralized traffic control. 1939 to 1945, there was the development of a pneumatic control, the direction of travel can change by the ships in the shortest possible time to avoid torpedoes, mines or bombs.

With Melpar a company for research and development was taken over by electronics. With the purchase of earthmoving company of RG LeTourneau LeTourneau -Westinghouse was born. In addition, the Le Roi Company was acquired, which manufactures compressors, motors and pneumatic tools for the oil, mining and road construction industries.

In the 1960s, sales declined. 1968, WABCO was acquired by American Standard Companies. The automotive business was kept as WABCO was the market leader in Europe. In the U.S., the minority interest in Bendix -Westinghouse was sold.

WABCO and development partner Mercedes -Benz since 1972 drove together to advance the development and launch of an anti -lock braking system (ABS ) for commercial vehicles. In 1976, WABCO with Texas Instruments, a cooperation agreement for the development and delivery of a 16 -bit processor for a micro - computer that was used as a controller for the ABS in trucks. In 1977, the acquisition of the manufacturing facility in Leeds as well as a joint venture with Sundaram Clayton Limited in Chennai.

1981, the company introduced an antilock braking system ( ABS) for heavy trucks. In 1985, the opening of a factory in Meppel. 1988 was a private test track in Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle for brake and stability control systems.

1990 founded Arvin Meritor WABCO and the U.S. joint venture Meritor WABCO Rockwell, Meritor WABCO later than North American supplier of ABS for heavy duty trucks, tractors, trailers and buses. The rail vehicle sector ( Railway Products Group ) has been solved by a management buy -out from the company. Under the original name " Westinghouse Air Brake Company ," it was a new company that took over the brand name WABCO on the rail vehicle sector. It merged in 1999 with Motive Power Industries for " Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation " ( WABTEC ).

In 1994, the company opened a second test track in Jeversen, near the main development and production center in Hannover. The oval with a length of 2,000 meters and two steep curves is suitable for speeds up to 120 km / h and has a variety of road surfaces to the development and testing of control systems for commercial vehicles and passenger cars. Also in 1994 took over the WABCO Group, the German Perrot- Brake by American Standard.

1996 was a new production facility in Charleston (South Carolina) through a joint venture with Cummins Inc. in 1996 first electronic braking system (EBS ) has been developed for commercial vehicles.

1997 Rockwell Automotive has been producing for Meritor Automotive, an independent company that components and systems for trucks.

1998 changed Rockwell WABCO Vehicle Control Systems changed its name to Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems. After the introduction of EBS for trucks / buses 1996, the Electronic Braking System for Trailers ( TEBS ) was introduced.

Were founded in 2001 with one new WABCO factory in Wroclaw ( Poland) and in Pyeongtaek (Korea ).

In 2002 a joint venture in Jinan, Shandong Province, China. In the same year the introduction of Adaptive Cruise Control ( ACC) for commercial vehicles, which supports the driver by automatic traffic monitoring, sampling distance and braking event in potentially hazardous situations occurred. In addition, electronically controlled air suspension was offered (ECAS ) for passenger cars, SUVs and small trucks. In addition to EBS WABCO introduced an electronic stability control (ESC ), and in cooperation with Michelin, the first self-sufficient tire pressure monitoring system was developed ( IVTM = Integrated Vehicle Tire Pressure Monitoring ) for commercial vehicles.

2003 aftermarket flagship training center was opened in Hanover. WABCO Poland was evaluated by the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita as one of the 20 best Polish company, making it one of two listed multinational company with this award.

2004 was one of the easiest air disc brakes. The Vario Compact ABS for trailers - a compact and easy -to-install modular system - was offered in the 2nd Generation (VCS II). An air dryer cartridge with integrated filter has been introduced to increase the life of the air pressure and braking systems.

2006 saw the introduction of electronic braking systems for trailers in the latest generation ( TEBS E ) and an air disc brakes for heavy trucks and buses, a De - Oiling catalyst for compressed air systems, and a two-stage compressor for commercial vehicles.

On 31 July 2007, WABCO was spun off from American Standard, and is listed as a public company under the symbol WBC on the New York Stock Exchange since 1 August 2007. The former parent changed its name to Trane and was taken over in December 2007 by Ingersoll-Rand.

WABCO Mannheim develops and manufactures pneumatic and hydraulically actuated disc and drum brakes for vehicles of all kinds, supplying prestigious manufacturer of trucks, trailers and buses, and Achsproduzenten. In the development of brake master cylinder and wheel brake -related products WABCO Mannheim works closely with the factories in Hannover, Meppel (Netherlands) and Wroclaw ( Poland). WABCO employs in Mannheim currently about 365 employees, including 40 engineers.

Test tracks

The company operates three of its own test tracks in Rovaniemi (since 1988), in Jeversen (since 1995) and Chennai ( since 2001).

They are specifically designed for commercial vehicle testing and allow tests under natural conditions on various road surfaces and different weather conditions. WABCO test case for the brakes, stability control, ABS, antiskid, air suspension and tire pressure monitoring systems.