ContiTech AG has expanded its footprint in China with the opening of a production plant for 3D blow molded hoses in the eastern city of Changshu.
The company announced Aug. 28 that the $11.7 million production unit will supply hoses for high-performance turbochargers for automakers.
The hoses, ContiTech confirmed to Plastics News Europe, will be made of thermoplastic elastomers, expanding the company's products and solutions portfolio within the Chinese automotive industry.
“The investment into the new plant underlines our focus on and commitment to the Chinese domestic market, especially the automotive market,” said Thomas Reichenbach, manager of the 3D blow molding project of mobile fluid systems, a business unit of Continental Corp.
According to the company, the TPE materials used for the hoses will contribute to lower weight parts while increasing performance.
Another advantage of the new production process, according to ContiTech, is the elimination of production and assembly of intermediate parts by automotive parts suppliers.
“By relying on the 3D blow molding technology, auto parts manufacturers will [be] shortening the supply chain, improving the production efficiency … and ultimately meeting the needs of automakers for rapid production and iteration,” ContiTech noted.
The plant in Changshu is Continental's fourth production site featuring the 3D blow molding technology across the world, following Waltershausen, Germany, Somersworth, N.H., and San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
The unit is set to start mass production in the third quarter of 2018.