By Richard Higgs, Plastics News correspondent
Krefeld, Germany - Reports indicate that global car parts group International Automotive Components Group (IAC) will resume production later this year at a former interior components plant in Plzen Prestice, Czech Republic.
According to a Czech environment impact assessment, the Luxembourg-based group intends to install new injection moulding machines in the former plant. There, it will turn out PP door panel parts for vehicle builders Skoda and Volkswagen, reports the East European Nov-Ost industry news portal.
It reported that IAC wants to add new injection moulding capacity at the relaunched interior trim plant where it already has 4-6 injection presses. Annual capacity in this operation is set to reach 660tpa of moulded PP parts.
At the Prestice facility it bought from Lear and closed down, IAC also plans to put in equipment for foaming and cutting semi-rigid polyurethane blocks which will be used to make car headliners. It aims to manufacture up to 900 tonnes of moulded PU foam annually at the revitalised operation, according to Nov-Ost.
The ceiling panels will be glued at the rate of 1000 units per shift in a second hall at the plant, previously occupied by a laminating section.
IAC, which grew out of the former global interiors divisions of US components groups Lear and Collins & Aikman is said to be aiming to relaunch production at the Prestice site on a trial basis this March. It expects to reach full capacity by May 2012.
The Luxembourg group, whose European business is based in Krefeld, Germany, is expected to recruit an overall workforce of 160 for a three-shift operation at the Czech site.
IAC, which has a strong worldwide production footprint with 73 manufacturing units in 15 countries, employs a workforce of around 19 000. Its product portfolio includes instrument panels, door and trim systems, consoles and cockpits, flooring and acoustic systems and headliner and overhead systems. It also offers complementary exterior car parts.
IAC has other ex-Lear Interior Systems plans in central Europe at Teresin, Poland and Lozorno, Slovakia. The Lozorno unit has manufactured car interior door panels used in Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne car models.
Other IAC plants are located in Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.