Japan’s Teijin plans to install a composite compression molding line at Benet Automotive s.r.o, the company’s automotive composites business in Milovice, Czech Republic. Teijin will invest some €10 million ($12 million) in the new glass-fiber sheet molding compound (GF-SMC) line, which will begin operating in autumn 2022 to help meet strong demand for Teijin’s composite formulations in Europe.
Headquartered in Mlada Boleslav, Benet Automotive is a Tier 1 supplier of automotive composite components. The company is noted for its advanced technologies related to carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic molding as well as its capabilities in vehicle painting and assembly.
The new GF-SMC molding line will strengthen Teijin’s response to market demands for greater design freedom, productivity, and cost efficiency as well as weight reduction and strength. Benet Automotive has already received new orders from European and American automobile manufacturers for automotive components that will be produced on the new line.
Amid the ongoing shift toward connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) automobiles, the automotive industry is modifying its business model for lightweight, multifunctional next-generation vehicles. Teijin acquired Continental Structural Plastics Holdings Corp. (CSP) in 2017 to become a Tier 1 supplier of multi-material automotive composites.
Teijin subsequently acquired leading automotive composite suppliers Inapal Plásticos SA in Portugal and Benet Automotive in the Czech Republic, and now plans to build a new GF-SMC compound plant geographically in-between these two suppliers at CSP's facility in Pouancé, France. In addition, Teijin established Teijin Automotive Center Europe GmbH in Wuppertal, Germany, in 2020 as a new base for research and development within the company's multi-material automotive composite business. Teijin is targeting automotive composite business sales of around $2 billion by 2030.