Innovating the Way You Move: Kautex’s Compression Molding Line in Pinghu, China


Commissioned in 2022, Kautex’s compression molding line in Pinghu is a 5,500-ton compression molder capable of handling a variety of fiber-reinforced plastics. This compression molder is the second purchased by Kautex, the first of which resides in Bonn, Germany, at the company’s global headquarters. It was from there that German engineers and technicians worked remotely (due to Covid-19 travel restrictions) with the team in China to complete the initial setup and commissioning of the Pinghu machine and assisted with the initial trials and development activities.  

“Over time, we have established a team of experts in Pinghu,” said Ulf Recht, senior manager, manufacturing processes, in Bonn. “Even though restrictions have lifted in China and we are now able to travel, we still rely heavily on the systems, processes and partnership that bought us great success during the pandemic. Today, we have a very good and valuable relationship and learn from each other. It’s been a terrific collaboration.”

The machine was purchased to complete the sampling and development activities of several local customers, but it has served to increase Kautex’s capability and expertise in compression molding processes. Kautex also produced its own housing (nicknamed Project Horizon) for two of its three demonstrator vehicles now on the road in Germany and the United States.

"Since composite battery housings are a relatively new product, we decided years ago to develop production-ready designs and manufacturing concepts at Kautex” states Guido Schäfer, manager, product development. “In order to prove to our customers we could simulate and test housings that would pass ECE/R100 or GB38031 standards and manufacture parts that were “road-worthy,” we’ve purchased three vehicles and retrofitted their existing housings with Pentatonic components. The housings for the first two demonstrators were manufactured at our facility in Bonn and at the facility of a local compression molding partner. The third was manufactured at our facility in Pinghu.”

As with its fuel tank business, Kautex is prepared to install such production lines in all regions worldwide, based on customer demand.

Project Horizon is manufactured in a one-shot process, with some final assembly and machining steps completed in Bonn (these will later be transferred to the Pinghu line as well). The system has already successfully passed internationally recognized standards for shock, crush and external fire as determined by the ECE R100 and the GB30831. By installing Horizon in test vehicles, the company can also demonstrate the long-term durability of its products.

But Kautex hasn’t stopped learning – and perfecting its methodology for its customers. Currently, the team is conducting various samplings and testing procedures for numerous customers in China and across the globe. But with more than a year of experience under its belt, the team is well-versed in the process and is deepening its understanding and capabilities. As a result, the team in Pinghu is well-versed in the compression molding process and the associated maintenance requirements. The team also helps to identify the key process parameters that need to be monitored to ensure consistent, high-quality parts.

Want to learn more about the Pentatonic Battery System or our vehicle demonstrators? Visit our website or contact a battery systems expert.

About Kautex

At Kautex, we are driving the future. As a Tier One automotive supplier with more than 30 plants in 13 countries, Kautex designs, develops and manufactures traditional and hybrid fuel systems, advanced cleaning solutions for assisted and autonomous driving, engine camshafts and plastic industrial packaging solutions. A pioneer in the design and manufacture of automotive plastic fuel systems, Kautex is expanding its portfolio to offer smart products and data-driven services to our customers, including thermoplastic composite and composite-metal hybrid battery systems. From a lightweight battery system to a hybrid fuel system to autonomous drive vehicle cleaning systems, Kautex is committed to pioneering solutions for the era of new mobility.

Our employees are part of a global community committed to solving customer needs, leveraging diverse skillsets, making sustainability a differentiator, embracing the diversity that is part of a global, multi-industry leader and creating an environment where employees can build a dynamic career. Together, we are reimagining the future of mobility.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

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