With the start of its production facility for rubber compounds in Changshu, ContiTech has reached another milestone on the Chinese market.
“Today, a project that has been in preparation for a long time reaches completion. With our new Compounding Center, we are now also bringing our special materials expertise directly to the heart of this key market. It is further evidence of our stable, local business growth. We want to continue to grow sustainably on the Chinese market. We will achieve that only if we are where our customers are—directly in their areas,” said Hans-Jürgen Duensing, CEO of ContiTech and member of the Executive Board of Continental AG, at the opening ceremony for the location in Changshu.
ContiTech Compounding Technology develops compounds and sheeting for a wide range of industrial fields. Rubber-based product solutions are used on construction sites; in trucks, cars and trains; in mining; and in the food industry. The plant is the first Compounding Center for general applications other than tires or conveyor belts outside Europe.
Until now, the company has produced rubber compounds for applications such as drive belts, hoses and car tires at its three plants in Germany and Hungary. At a total of €10 million, it is one of the biggest investments in the history of the business unit.
“In our 3,000 square meters of production space, we are also setting technological standards. The machinery on the first production line is some of the most efficient in the whole of ContiTech,” said Peter Scholtissek, head of the Compounding Technology business unit.
First to start operations is a compounding line with a capacity of 10,000 metric tons per year. Furthermore, the company operates an extrusion line for high-tech compounds that produces one metric ton of rubber compounds every hour. Internal ContiTech customers are being supplied at first. However, the plant is structured in a way that will enable the company to double its capacity in the years to come. In doing so, ContiTech is also drawing upon the knowledge and experience of Veyance Technologies in China.
At the start of 2015, ContiTech took over a small compounding facility as part of the acquisition. “With this shared local expertise, we are now able to work even more quickly, more specifically, and with a greater proportion of local raw materials to meet the needs and requirements of the Chinese market. We also save valuable time and transport costs,” said the head of the business unit.