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Over 450 industry experts attended the conference in Wuhan, China.
Over 450 industry experts attended the conference in Wuhan, China.
Photo: 12345

The 7th Edition CPRJ Plastics in Automotive Conference & Showcase kicked off today at Liantou Peninsula Hotel & Resort in Wuhan, China. Over 450 local and foreign experts from automotive industries gathered to discuss the latest technology and market trends in the grand conference.

According to the organizer, local participants came from industry associations and leading enterprises across the supply chain, such as DongFeng Motor, Yanfeng Plastic Omnium, BAIC Motor, SAIC GM, BJEV, SAIC Volkswagen, Yangtse, Great Wall Motor, Dongfeng Honda, BYD, DongFeng Trucks, JAC, Nanjing IVECO, China Automotive Technology & Research Center, Wuhan Automotive Body Research Institute, Minth Group, Faurecia, DongFeng Yanfeng, DongFeng Omnium, Pan Asia Technical Automotive, Industry 4.0 Demonstration and Innovation Center, Hebei Chinaust, Cooper Standard, etc. For foreign participants, they came from Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, etc.

Over 450 industry professionals participated

Under the theme “Lightweighting and Advanced Manufacturing Technologies”, a total of 30+ presentations from experts offered a comprehensive outlook and analysis for a wide range of hot topics, such as the applications of continuous fibers, composite materials & engineering plastics, development of two platen plastic injection molding machines, lightweighting, design for automotive interiors & exteriors, 3D printing, industry 4.0 solutions, the roadmap of new energy vehicles manufacturing in China, regulations and technologies for in-car quality, etc.

Janet Tong, General Manager of Adsale Publishing Ltd, said in her opening speech, "The automotive industry is shifting towards the Asia Pacific region, as reflected by the fact that Asia Pacific consumed 50% of the global automotive plastics volume. Emerging economics like China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia will continue to fuel the growing automotive industry. In fact, China has become the world’s largest vehicle producer since 2009.”

According to Grandviewresearch, in 2016 the automotive industry consumed 10.225 million tons of plastics, of which polypropylene (PP) represented the most used material, accounting for 25% of the total volume.

Plastics and composites are the best options as weight reduction materials, and that will also bring upon strong impetus for relevant processing technology, especially smart manufacturing, Tong emphasized.Li Linqing, Vice-Director of Automotive Industry Development Office of Wuhan municipal government.

Li Linqing, Vice-Director of Automotive Industry Development Office of Wuhan municipal government, said, "China is not only the largest automobile producer in the world, it is also the biggest vehicle market. Within 90km of the conference venue, there are five automakers and 500+ components producers. Near 2 million vehicles will be produced in the area this year. In addition to fuel-based vehicles, automakers are also emphasizing the development of new energy vehicles and smart traffic system. In fact, Wuhan will be a demonstration base for smart vehicle and traffic system. The Wuhan automotive industry is gearing towards lightweight, NEV and smart vehicles!”

DongFeng Motor Corporation's Deputy Chief Engineer Zou Hengqi added, “Under ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy, automotive manufacturing is a major strategic industry. In the future, car is not only a mean of transportation but a technology hub. We have to develop new materials, new equipment and new processing technology, and more importantly, to integrate these new technologies with a deep knowledge of know-how to promote the brands of Chinese automakers!”

Hu Xinyi, Director of DongFeng Motor Manufacturing Technology Council, gave a presentation on “The roadmap of new energy vehicles manufacturing in China”.

“From 2000-2015, lean manufacturing was achieved in automotive manufacturing in China through the use of information technology such as MES, EPR and PLM system as well as robots. The next stage, from 2015-2030, will see the adoption of digitalization, big data and smart factory to achieve mass customization. From 2030 onwards, customized production can be done through free structure configuration, smart production and eco-manufacturing.”

A parade of latest materials, equipment and technology

In the morning session, Peter Peng, Director, Two-platen IMM Marketing Department, Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co. Ltd, shed light on “FoamPro micro foaming technology for automotive light-weighting”. He elaborated on Yizumi’s two-platen injection molding technologies, such as modular design, clamping unit, smart clamping system, etc.Guests and speakers posed for photo prior to the event.

“Yizumi’s machines are made in China, yet they incorporate German technology and US R&D capabilities, making them a good choice to realize new technology and processing method,” he said.

Yanfeng Plastic Omnium Automotive Exterior Systems Co. Ltd's Technical Center Deputy General Manager Su Jiangang gave a speech on “The applications of composite materials for rear doors”.

“Composites offer higher design freedom to for increasing individual needs, functional integration, weight reduction and modular structure,” Su explained. “In the future, door components will be produced mainly with composites, such as PPCF interior panel, Carbon SMC reinforced panel and sheets, etc.”

The presentation of Keanu, Jinyoung (Xiamen) Advanced Materials Technology Co. Ltd's Sales Director, centered around "Material Solutions for Lightweight and Environment-friendly Automobile Manufacturing".The presentation of Keanu, Jinyoung (Xiamen) Advanced Materials Technology Co. Ltd's Sales Director, centered around

“There are three major trends in the development of plastics light-weighting solutions: reducing structural weight; energy and emission reduction; and systems for new energy vehicles.” he said.

Commonly used lightweight materials include foamed plastics, low density PP, resins for thin-walled components, coating-free materials, low VOC material systems, long glass fiber reinforced PP, etc, Keanu said, adding that materials for new energy vehicle must meet the requirements in weatherability, high voltage environment, crash performance, environmental friendliness, coloring and surface quality.

Baic Motor Corporation Ltd. R&D Center's Chief Engineer Du Cao addressed the audience on "The challenges and opportunities posed by lightweighting to automotive materials". He pointed out the major challenges faced by Chinese automakers in developing lightweight solutions: “A top-down design is lacking in Chinese brands. The industry has not yet identified a clear relationship structure between lightweight construction and overall cost efficiency. There is also a disconnected value chain to support mass production.”Highly concentrated participants inside the venue.

Liu Yupeng, Technical Director/Senior Engineer of Ningbo Shuangma Machinery Industry Co. Ltd, discussed in his speech "Application of continuous fiber injection molding in automotive light-weighting”.

“LFT-D-IM long fiber reinforced composite direct injection molding technology integrates the continuous process of extrusion and discontinuous process of injection molding. The compounded materials in twin-screw extruder are injected directly into the mold. As the material is heated just once, product quality can be improved,” he explained.

The afternoon session has been divided into three sub forums, focusing on two key topics: innovative materials and processing technologies for lightweighting, and lightweight design & smart manufacturing for automotive interiors & Exteriors. Brainstorm sessions were also set up in each sub forum to inspire more discussions.Interested participants in discussion with exhibitors at the product showcase corner.

In addition to fruitful presentations and discussions, the 7th Edition CPRJ Plastics in Automotive Conference & Showcase held a concurrent exhibition with 40+ renowned materials and equipment suppliers.

The participating companies included: Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co., Ltd., Jinyoung (Xiamen) Advanced Materials Technology Co., Ltd., Ningbo Shuangma Machinery Industry Co., Ltd., ExxonMobil, RadiciGroup, Demag Plastics Machinery (Ningbo) Co., Ltd., WINTEC, Welltec Machinery Ltd., KIEFEL GmbH, Stratasys Shanghai Ltd., SHANGHAI-FANUC, Universal Robots, Gimatic Automation Engineering (Changshu) Co, Ltd., etc.

Participants will visit the Dongfeng Peugeot Citroën Automobile Company Ltd.’s plant in Wuhan and Dongfeng Passenger Vehicle Company tomorrow.

The 7th Edition CPRJ Plastics in Automotive Conference & Showcase was co-organized by Adsale Publishing Ltd. and DongFeng Motor Manufacturing Technology Council, and was supported by CHINAPLAS, Society Plastics Engineers (SPE) and SpecialChem.com.

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