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Kautex Textron Invests in Lightweight Battery Technology in China

Image: Kautex Textron Pentatonic battery system
The long-glass-fiber-based Pentatonic battery system weighs up to 50% less than its steel and aluminum counterparts.

Kautex Textron GmbH & Co. KG plans to expand production capabilities at its plant in Pinghu, China, with the recent purchase of a direct-long-fiber thermoplastic molding line including a 5,500-tonne press. The line will produce Kautex’s latest automotive innovation, the Pentatonic battery system.

Pentatonic is a lightweight, customizable battery system for hybrid and full-electric vehicles. Manufactured from thermoplastic composites or composite-metal hybrid materials, it weighs up to 50% less than its steel and aluminum counterparts.

The one-shot production process enables structural and thermal management components to be integrated directly into the plastic shell, simplifying the bill of material and reducing the need for additional manufacturing steps. Fewer secondary operations, such as welding and riveting, are required, resulting in shorter cycle times than steel and aluminum systems while offering better leak-tightness.

Customer sampling activities on the new Pinghu line are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022.

“The addition of this new production line is a critical step forward in our preparation to design and produce battery systems in China,” said Felix Haas, Director, Pentatonic Product Development. “The investments we are making in China are a clear commitment to our strategy to be a formidable player in the emerging EV industry.”

“We are pleased that Pinghu has been selected as the first site for this important expansion,” said Wayne Shen, President, Kautex Asia, and Vice President, China Customer Business Unit. “Kautex’s first compression molding production line in China complements the additional investments we have made in Pinghu, including our forthcoming Asia Tech Center that will house e-mobility and fuel test technologies. The team in Pinghu is proud to represent Kautex as it expands its capabilities to compete in the emerging EV segment,” said Shen.

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