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Initial focus on EV multi-material battery enclosures.

Stephen Moore

October 22, 2020

2 Min Read
Image: AZL

Japan’s Teijin Group has joined the AZL Partner Network for Lightweight Production Technology, a cross-industry network for joint business development and technology development organized by service and engineering provider AZL Aachen GmbH and involving nine institutes and some 80 companies in the field of lightweight production. On October 22, the network will be kicking off one of their many joint projects, an eight-month project to develop and manufacture multi-material battery enclosures for electrical vehicles (EV).

Amid the ongoing shift toward connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) automobiles, automotive companies are transforming their business models to realize more lightweight and multifunctional next-generation vehicles. The objectives of the cross-industry AZL Partner Network for Lightweight Production Technology align closely with Teijin’s vision and goals of developing lightweight materials and components for these next generation vehicles. Through the participation in this project as well as two more projects, The Teijin Group will accelerate its automotive composite expertise.

Teijin acquired Continental Structural Plastics Holdings Corporation (CSP) in 2017 to become a Tier 1 supplier of multi-material automotive composites. CSP's French operation is installing a new sheet molding compound line. Teijin also acquired leading automotive-composite suppliers Inapal Plásticos SA of Portugal and Benet Automotive s.r.o of Czech Republic. The combined capabilities of Teijin’s composites businesses have resulted in collaborative initiatives that leverage each company’s unique strengths. For example, last year Teijin developed a multi-material composite automotive door that meets crash regulations while reducing weight compared to that of conventional steel doors.

Further, Teijin established Teijin Automotive Center Europe GmbH (TACE) this past February as a base for developing technical functions using the group's automotive composites to strengthen and accelerate its conceptualization, designing, prototyping, evaluation, marketing and technical research of next-generation automotive components. In particular, TACE is helping to combine the Teijin Group's diverse capabilities in multi-material solutions utilizing its expertise, experiences and also new ideas in materials including carbon fibers and aramids for next-generation vehicles.

AZL Aachen GmbH specializes in composite- lightweight production and offers cross-industry services for business development and technology development. The engineering and service portfolio includes the identification of business opportunities and market potential for lightweight construction technologies, the development of components, production processes and production systems including cost assessments and support for commercialization by identifying partners, suppliers and customers.

Based in the heart of one of the world's leading high-tech ecosystems, RWTH Aachen University, the AZL works closely with technology experts and ultra-modern infrastructure for the entire value chain of thermoplastic, thermoset and hybrid material systems. With the AZL Partnership, the AZL offers a framework contract to connect decision-makers from academia and industry and to offer a platform for initiating sustainable partnerships in projects to exchange knowledge and efficiently drive innovation through shared effort.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking is bike on overseas business trips, and proud dachshund owner.

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