Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC; Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President: Masayuki Waga) will make a capital investment in C.P.C. SRL (CPC; Head office: Modena, Italy), an affiliate of MCC that manufactures and sells carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) automotive parts. The investment is to be carried out by MCC Group company Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials AG (Head office: Zurich, Switzerland; CEO: Michael Koch), and will include the addition of 5,000-metric ton press machines, which are among the largest in the world and are scheduled for operation in 2023.
CPC conducts business as a CFRP mold manufacturer mainly for luxury vehicles. It has complete in-house manufacturing capabilities that cover the molding, processing, painting, and assembly of CFRP, as well as know-how for reducing the number of parts and vehicle weight using design and simulation technologies.
This investment will add to CPC’s large press machines, which will increase the company’s molding capacity by three times for large structural parts that are difficult to mold, such as complex car bodies. The funds will also be used to install cutting-edge CNC machines and enhance a paint factory with automatic painting lines and assembly lines. Through this investment, MCC will strengthen its supply chain in Europe to meet the increasing demand for CFRP products that are used in electric vehicles and next-generation mobility.
Demand for lower weight in mobility segments such as aerospace and automobiles is increasing, driven by CASE and environmental regulations. Greater usage of CFRP, which makes possible the opposing features of light weight and high strength, is expected. Furthermore, new concepts of body design based on untraditional ideas are being studied in the next-generation mobility segments, including autonomous driving cars and flying cars. This has led to even greater attention to CFRP with its low weight and molding capabilities.
The MCC Group is building a supply chain of sustainable materials in Europe—a region which leads the world in automotive technology—through its acquisition of prepreg*1 manufacturer c-m-p GmbH and carbon fiber recycling company CarboNXT GmbH, both in Germany, as well as the construction of a carbon fiber sheet molding compound (CF-SMC*2) factory next to CPC.
The MCC Group’s comprehensive strengths include its carbon fiber and intermediate materials R&D and production bases in Japan, the United States, and Europe, as well as CPC, with its high design and molding capabilities. Going forward, the MCC Group will tap into these strengths to continue actively expanding its business and providing the best solutions in a timely manner to the mobility market, where remarkable technical innovations are happening.
*1 Prepreg: A sheet form of carbon fiber intermediate material impregnated with resin
*2 CF-SMC: A type of intermediate material for CFRPs and a sheet-shaped material in which carbon fibers cut into several-centimeter lengths are dispersed in resin