Plastic Omnium SA is accelerating its strategy to supply advanced exterior auto parts by adding new equipment and buying a lighting supplier.
In two separate announcements just four days apart, the French molder and auto supplier said it was buying a new press for advanced parts and buying Germany's Automotive Lighting Systems GmbH.
Plastic Omnium is investing about 3 million euros ($3.3 million) to install a 2,700-ton dual-compound press at its exterior component research and development center near Lyon, France.
The company plans to use the equipment to work with automakers to design exterior body components, a March 21 news release said.
"The press is designed to allow two materials to be injected simultaneously, making it possible to produce parts with larger transparent surfaces than current products," the release said. "This opens new possibilities for automotive manufacturers that are looking for ways to integrate lighting and sensors into exterior body parts."
The automotive supplier partnered with ARaymond, a supplier of fastening and assembly products, and Cetim, a mechanical industry technical center to develop features like signaling, radar, lidar and optical sensors that can be integrated with Plastic Omnium's production process.
The investment includes the press and associated finishing like painting, decorating and assembling, the release said. It was partially covered by a subsidy from the Innovative Materials and Design for Intelligent Body Panels project supported by BPI, a French public investment bank.