Auburn Hills-based Continental Structural Plastics has announced its Chinese joint venture, CSP Victall, is ready to begin production operations at a 322,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Tangshan City, China, near Beijing. The facility will be used to manufacture lightweight composite components for the automotive, construction, and agriculture markets in China.
“CSP Victall specializes in developing, formulating, and compounding advanced, lightweight materials that help car makers reduce overall vehicle weight and emissions,” says Frank Macher, chairman and CEO of Continental. “We see tremendous opportunity for lightweighting in China, especially given new Chinese regulatory policies and the push toward vehicle electrification.”
Macher says the facility will also be used to compound and sell advanced composite raw materials. The facility has a fully automated production line that supports the application of carbon fiber and higher temperature resins. Using carbon fiber can help automakers improve reduce vehicle weight, fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions. The facility has dust control technology, including a centralized vacuum system and dust booths.
Macher says CSP Victall will offer Chinese automakers the opportunity to incorporate Continental Structural Plastics’ ultra-lightweight composite material in their vehicles. The material, currently in production on the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette, is 40 percent lighter than steel.
About 3.8 million tons of composites and plastics are used by Chinese vehicle OEMs, compared to 7.6 million tons used by North American OEMs.
CSP Victall is a joint venture between Continental Structural Plastics and Qingdao Victall Railway Co., a Chinese manufacturer of modular products and parts for high-speed trains and other transportation equipment.