By: Steve Toloken
December 4, 2012
TOKYO (Dec. 4, 12:55 p.m. ET) — Teijin Ltd. said Dec. 4 it has started up a previously announced pilot plant to mass produce carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastic parts in less than minute, and will initially target the automotive market.
The factory, at Teijin’s existing manufacturing campus in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, will allow the company to accelerate cooperation with global automakers through both its Teijin Composites Innovation Center in Japan and a new facility it opened in Auburn Hills, Mich., its Teijin Composites Application Center, in April 2012.
“CFRTP components, which have the potential to realize unprecedented weight reductions, are expected to find wide-ranging applications for automobiles and other industrial uses,” the company said. “They also are highly recyclable, since used thermoplastic resins can be reheated and remolded into new shapes.”
The Tokyo-based company said it is also exploring applications outside automotive. Teijin said it is aiming at annual sales of 150 billion to 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion to $2.4 billion) from carbon fiber composite products by around 2020.
The facility full integrates carbon fiber production with component molding and manufacturing, the company said.