EconCore, the technology provider for continuous production of thermoplastic honeycomb sandwich materials, has signed a license agreement with Kotobukiya Fronte, a leading manufacturer of car interior components, headquartered in Japan. The Japanese company, with several production locations worldwide, has installed EconCore’s production technology addressing the market demand of weight and cost efficiency. The innovative honeycomb material solutions of Kotobukiya Fronte are now offered under the brand name of M-Light.
Japanese Tier I Kotobukiya Fronte is licensed to use EconCore thermoplastic honeycomb sandwich materials. Image courtesy of EconCore.
EconCore is said to offer a cost-efficient, continuous, high-volume production process for lightweight thermoplastic honeycomb sandwich panels. EconCore’s customers and licensees in Europe, Asia and in the Americas have already entered the transportation market with the honeycomb technology. The light but strong honeycomb sandwich panels have already proven to be a genuine benefit not only for the automotive industry. With the new license agreement, the smart and efficient honeycomb production process is now being used by an established Tier one supplier who will drive innovation and performance further.
Adopting the process for continuous production of thermoplastic honeycomb panels, the Japanese Tier one supplier is shifting to a unique market position by integrating the innovative production and material technologies. The production of rigid panels integrated with in-line lamination of nonwoven and carpet surface layers enables a more efficient production process of finished automotive interior elements. Furthermore, the lightweight thermoplastic honeycomb panels can be converted into relatively complex shaped parts within a short compression molding process cycle.
Jochen Pflug, CEO of EconCore said: “We are very pleased and proud of having Kotobukiya Fronte join the family of our licensees. We’ve seen the market shift to lighter, sustainable materials, and OEMs insist on keeping costs competitive at the same time. This development is helping to evolve the automotive interior market and EconCore’s technology is helping to transform the market with its superior performance and enhanced acoustic properties. We are confident Kotobukiya Fronte is the right partner to develop new honeycomb products for automotive interiors and we are keen to support them with their innovative plans.”
Masahiko Tsuchiya, CEO of Kotobukiya Fronte said: “We are excited to have EconCore’s honeycomb process for our products. This material, with our production technologies, can bring a positive impact on the acoustic performance, light weight, and rigidity of automotive parts. We believe products using this material can satisfy automotive OEM customers globally.”