Mexico – Costing around €11.4m ($12.8m), the new 7,000 sq.m production hall will sit next to the company’s existing plant in San Luis Potosí. It will produce Tepeo and Tepeo 2 foils for the North American market from the third quarter of 2016.
“All of our customers in the NAFTA region will benefit from the new production line,” said Dirk Leiss, CEO at Benecke-Kaliko. “This is our response to the continued growth in demand for high-quality soft-touch surface materials for the automotive industry in this region.”
Tepeo and Tepeo 2 are based on polyolefins and their maker says they can deliver weight savings of up to 50% compared with standard cover materials, while also being resistant to light, height and chemical and mechanical influences. According to Benecke-Kaliko, the material “enables complex component geometries which previously were only possible with alternative technologies”. A study by the company also suggested that lightweight Tepeo foil has a 48% better CO2 footprint than standard foils.
Benecke-Kaliko has been manufacturing Acella, Yorn, Tepeo and Tepeo 2 foils at the site since 2009, with a workforce of 200. Tepeo and Tepeo 2 production will be moved to the new building, where facilities will include an extruder, painting line and printing machine, plus other equipment, adjoining rooms and warehouse space. Around 100 jobs will be added.
The company says this development will “enable Tepeo and Tepeo 2 materials to match Acella and Yorn production while both areas continue to grow”. There are long-term plans to boost annual output from 7m sq.m of sheet goods this year to 11.5m sq.m by 2019.