Truck Safety Event

Posted on: August 21st, 2014 by Rachael

August 26, 2014
Westfield, IN

IMMI, the leading manufacturer of seat belts for all heavy, commercial trucks in North America, recently demonstrated the importance of seat belts and advanced safety equipment for truck drivers by crashing the cab of a large semi-truck head-on into the largest barrier block in the world. “We are committed to continually improving the safety of our nation’s truck drivers, and we were pleased to host nearly 200 safety-minded industry professionals at our event,” said Larry Gray, IMMI CEO. “Not only did we vividly demonstrate why it is vital for drivers to wear their seat belts, we also showed our RollTek side-roll protection system, which can better protect them in the worst kind of crash a truck driver can face – a rollover.”

This exclusive crash demonstration took place at CAPE, the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation. Inside the truck were two test dummies – one wearing a seat belt and one without – to show what happens to truck drivers and passengers during a crash. Nearly 700 drivers/passengers lost their lives in 2012, of which, 34% percent of them were not wearing a seat belt (2012 FARS Data, U.S. Department of Transportation).

IMMI’s patented air bag system, RollTek, was also deployed in a separate demonstration concerning overturned trucks, which are the deadliest kind of accident for truck drivers. Out of all truck crash-related deaths, over 50% happen in a rollover.

IMMI goes the distance to protect our nation’s truck drivers. With inventions like Komfort Latch, 4Front, and RollTek, the only advanced side-roll protection system that protects drivers when their vehicle overturns, IMMI is also behind the Click, Tug, and Snug campaign, created to encourage seat belt use in the commercial trucking industry.

IMMI was also pleased to welcome 30 engineering students from Westfield High School, who witnessed the crash.

Check out more crash test videos on our YouTube page.

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Breaking: NHTSA Requires Seat Belts in Large Buses

Posted on: November 22nd, 2013 by Rachael

Bringing Safety to People

Before now, most large buses (ex: motorcoaches) did not have lap and shoulder seat belts. IMMI® has been making motorocoach seats with seat belts since 2009 – well ahead of this federal mandate – because it’s just a part of our mission to bring safety to people. (Full NHSTA press release)

This new ruling has some caveats and can be a little difficult to understand. To help, we made this handy infographic.  Did you know that seat belts on school buses was expressly excluded in this new ruling? We think we should get it mandated next time. Click here to see just a few reasons why there should be seat belts on school buses.

If you agree that there are No More Excuses® and that it’s time for seat belts on school buses, request an advocate kit to get the movement started in your area.

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motorcoach infographic

IMMI is Safe & Sound

Posted on: September 4th, 2013 by Rachael

Safe & Sound

(via Current in Westfield)

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Safety products in van are tested in the CAPE facility, which has crash tested more school buses than anywhere else in the world. (Photos by Robert Herrington)

Safety products in van are tested in the CAPE facility, which has
crash tested more school buses than anywhere else in the world. (Photos by Robert Herrington)

IMMI President Tom Anthony explains how a Westfield company became a global leader in safety

For more than 50 years, Westfield-based IMMI has been an industry leader in the design, testing and manufacturing of advanced safety systems. Located along U.S. 31 just south of East 191st Street, IMMI is the largest manufacturer in Hamilton County. It employs more than 700 people, making it the eighth largest private employer in Indiana.

IMMI began in 1961 at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and St. Clair Street in Indianapolis.

IMMI began in 1961 at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and St. Clair Street in Indianapolis.

“We never had an overnight success,” President James Thomas “Tom” Anthony said. “Nobody’s asking for unique, simple, and elegant that over time people can’t do without.”

The story of IMMI actually began in 1915 with Anthony’s grandfather, James “Jim” Lesley Anthony. Jim started Uniform UHL, an automotive parts store supplying pieces for the 30 different manufacturers around Indianapolis.

IMMI started in 1961 at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and StClair Street in Indianapolis with four people and two sewing machines. Indiana Mills & Manufacturing – with mills referring to the woven component in products – was in the back portion of Uniform UHL.

“My dad removed the horse stalls in the (former) fire house,” Anthony said. “Cars lined up all around the block to get retrofitted seatbelts. If they wanted to get them early they would come in and help pack them.”

In 1971, IMMI moved to Hamilton County and was located in buildings two-and-a-half blocks apart in what is now the Carmel Arts & Design District.

“There was more product on trucks going between buildings than on floors,” Anthony said.

CEO Larry Gray, left, and President Tom Anthony

CEO Larry Gray, left, and President Tom Anthony

In 1986, the company expanded its property size four times and moved to Westfield. Fifty two years since it began, IMMI has 1,000 employees and operates six facilities in North America, Asia, and Europe.

IMMI produces hundreds of innovative products for various industrial sectors, including the school bus, commercial vehicle, fire/ambulance, child seating, military, off-road, and motor coach industries.

“We’ve protected tens of millions of lives with their work ethic,” Anthony said. “Our passion is safety. We have two primary domains: protect people making their living behind the wheel and protect children from the first ride home from the hospital until they get their first set of car keys. They are making a life saving device.”

Anthony said its commercial products include boat and cargo buckle tie down systems.

“We’re doing all of the Greyhound seating now as they begin to retrofit and build new buses,” he said. “When we began we were just trying to put seatbelts in vehicles and kids in car seats. It was very simple. As safety began to get more sophisticated we saw the need to jump boards from just the webbing, belt and buckle, seating structures and inflatables.”

Anthony said one area that didn’t exist and has made the most advancement is child passenger safety. In the late 1970s, IMMI designed the five-point buckle system for child restraints and later created the first central adjustment child seat and SafeGuard family of products. As part of President Bill Clinton’s Blue Ribbon Panel, IMMI worked with other industry leaders to create a better anchor and latch process for vehicle child seats.

“We’re protecting over 10 million children every day,” CEO Larry Gray said. “We’re proud we are protecting 700,000 students every day, but yellow school buses transport 24 million students every day. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface.”Working on Child Seat

IMMI also protects 300,000 firefighters every day. The country’s largest fire department, FDNY, awarded them a special commendation for their work in the advancement of safety for first responders in June 2012.

“IMMI is dedicated to not only bringing safety to our first responders here in our own backyard, but also around the world,” Gray said.

Former WFD Fire Chief Todd Burtron, who now works as Mayor Andy Cook’s chief of staff, explained that Westfield serves as a beta test site working with IMMI on safety products that help save the lives of their fellow firefighters across the nation. These products include the Smart Dock air tank securing system and a rollover system that deploys air bags and tightens seatbelts.

“They’re a global company prominent in our industry,” he said, adding the company recently did research and development on occupant restraints in the back of an ambulance. “They rode with us, observed how people moved around in the compartment. It was a real-life test opportunity.”

The interior of IMMI provides warehouse and manufacturing spaces at the Westfield headquarters.

The interior of IMMI provides warehouse and manufacturing spaces
at the Westfield headquarters.

“We have good relations with both Westfield and Noblesville fire departments. That’s where the knowledge resides. Our relationships with them are invaluable,” Anthony said.

IMMI holds two distinctions in the crash testing industry. Its Center for Advanced Product Evaluation has a 2.2 million pound barrier block – the largest in the world. CAPE also has the distinction of having crash tested more school bus seats than any other test house in the world. In addition to school buses, CAPE also tests semi trucks, fire trucks, light rail trains and ambulances.

“The big stuff is what we do here,” ‎Marketing Communications Manager Marissa Cotten said. “We do a lot of testing of bus seats and child restraints here. Everybody knows us as the people who put seatbelts on buses, but it’s just one part.”