TRB Lightweight Structures will soon be opening a composites manufacturing center in Richmond, Kentucky, as a joint venture with Toyota Tsusho America. The 40,000-square-foot facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art robotics to allow high volume production of carbon fiber components using TRB’s unique press-forming process, initially focusing on the automotive sector.
Carbon fiber components offer a number of benefits for automotive applications, particularly in electric vehicles (EVs), where lightweight components can be used to increase vehicle range. However, the use of this material has traditionally been limited to high-end, low volume products, due to laborious and costly manufacturing processes. TRB has developed a revolutionary production process that allows carbon fiber to be press-formed using advanced industrial robotics, allowing components to be manufactured at a similar price point to equivalent aluminum parts. The new Richmond facility will complement TRB’s UK manufacturing operations, providing greater access to these materials for the North American market.
Richard Holland, Managing Director of TRB, commented: “We are delighted to announce the creation of TRB Lightweight Structures America together with Toyota Tsusho America. The UK is a global leader in composites, and we are very excited to bring our technology and expertise to the rapidly growing EV sector in the USA.”