CSP’s joint venture in China ready for business

The new plant will enable the partners to expand its range of components for China's rapidly growing automotive industry.

CSP Victall, the joint venture of Continental Structural Plastics (CSP, Auburn Hills, MI, US) and Qingdao Victall Railway (Group) Co. (Qingdao, China), is ready to begin production operations at its manufacturing facility in Tangshan City, Hebei Province, China. The 322,000-square-foot facility will manufacture lightweight composite components for the automotive, heavy truck and bus, construction and agriculture markets in China. The joint venture will also compound and sell advanced composite raw materials out of this facility.

“CSP Victall specializes in developing, formulating and compounding advanced, lightweight materials that help car makers reduce overall vehicle weight and emissions,” said Frank Macher, chairman of the board of CSP Victall and chairman and CEO of CSP. “We see tremendous opportunity for lightweighting in China, especially given new Chinese regulatory policies and the push toward vehicle electrification.”

Manufacturing equipment to be installed in the new CSP Victall facility includes a Dieffenbacher (Eppingen, Germany) fully automated LFT-D line, which the company says is the first in the world to be equipped to support the application of carbon fiber and higher temperature resins in addition to mainstream glass and polypropylene materials.

The scope of equipment being supplied by Dieffenbacher at CSP Victall includes a 4300-ton compression press and a trim press for LFT-D in-line compounding, a twin 3-inch extruder with an output of approximately 1,500 lb/hour, convection ovens and complete automation. The line is capable of a 30-second cycle time, and with double belt-loading, has an output of approximately one million components per year. Additional equipment in the facility includes locally-sourced Tianjin Tianduan 3300-ton presses, an advanced composite compounding line and robotic routers. The facility will also feature the latest in dust control technology, including a centralized vacuum system and dust booths.

In addition to its standard density advanced composite called Tough Class A (TCA), CSP Victall will provide Chinese automakers the opportunity to incorporate CSP’s proprietary TCA Ultra Lite technology on vehicles. This material, currently in production on the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette, is reportedly 40% lighter than steel, is e-coat oven capable and offers a superior surface finish.

“For automakers in China and around the world, our Ultra Lite material offers distinct advantages over metals for body panel and structural applications,” Macher said. “In addition to the weight and cost-savings that come with TCA Ultra Lite, car makers will benefit from its styling flexibility and its natural resistance to corrosion, denting and dinging.”