Autoneum Opens Seventh Production Facility in China

The Yantai plant represents the start of Autoneum’s significant capacity expansion in China. Series production of carpet systems, inner dashes and wheelhouse outer liners launch soon at a new facility in Changsha. Two other factories are under construction.

November 6, 2017

2 Min Read
Autoneumrsquos Yantai China plant designed using 3D simulations
Autoneum’s Yantai, China plant designed using 3D simulations.

Automotive supplier Autoneum says it is expanding its footprint and boosting production in China in response to high-volume orders from European, U.S. and Chinese customers.

At a new plant in the city of Yantai in Shandong province, Autoneum’s seventh in China, series and just-in-time production of inner dashes and carpet systems has begun. Some 250,000 Chinese-built vehicles will be supplied with components from Yantai each year.

Sustainable production is a particular area of focus at the plant, Winterthur, Switzerland-based Autoneum says in a news release. Production waste in the form of mixed fiber fleece and polyester will be recycled and reused in component manufacturing.

Autoneum says Yantai is one of its first plants designed on the basis of digital 3D simulations. Using Computer-Based Manufacturing Simulation (CBMS), machine setup, layout of production cells and even deployment of shopfloor workers were simulated during the planning phase, allowing the company to ideally design and utilize the plant, improve working conditions, raise production efficiency and realize associated cost savings.

Experience with the virtual-reality application in Yantai will flow into the CBMS-based design of other new plants within Autoneum’s global production network, the supplier says.

The new plant in Yantai represents the start of Autoneum’s significant capacity extension in China. Series production of carpet systems, inner dashes and wheelhouse outer liners for U.S. and Chinese automakers will launch within a few weeks at a new plant in Changsha in Hunan province. Annual production capacity is estimated at 1.4 million components.

Productivity and sustainability likewise come together at the 118,400-sq.-ft. (11,000-sq.-m) Changsa plant, where scrap from carpet and felt production is recycled on a fully automated basis, Autoneum says.

Two more Chinese plants are under construction. A factory in Pinghu in Zhejiang province, 62 miles (100 km) southwest of Shanghai, will produce underbody systems for European and Chinese automakers starting in the fall of 2018. A facility in Shenyang Tiexi in Liaoning province in the country’s northeast will supply German customers with heat shields, hood liners and carpet systems.

Autoneum also has three fully owned plants in Chongqing, Taicang and Shenyang and a development center in Shanghai, and jointly operates Chinese production locations with Japanese automotive supplier Nittoku in Guangzhou, Tianjin and Wuhan. Autoneum’s customers in China include European, U.S.-American and several Chinese vehicle manufacturers.

“With the regional market launch and production of lightweight components for various types of drives, Autoneum is supporting the expansion of electromobility in China, reductions in traffic-related CO2 emissions and thus sustainable mobility in the highest-volume automotive market in the world,” CEO Martin Hirzel says of Autoneum’s expansion in China.

Autoneum anticipates its 2017 net sales will slightly surpass those of the previous year despite the significant decline in light-vehicle production in the U.S. The results achieved so far confirm the company’s EBIT margin forecast of over 8% for 2017.

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