Plastic parts for charge air lines, which were formerly purchased, are manufactured here using blow molding. "This allows us to boost our share of the value added chain and combine our market leadership in elastomer charge air hoses with a forwardlooking technology that has a considerable edge over metal in terms of weight and cost," points out the general manager of ContiTech Fluid Technology, Günter Frölich, explaining the investment, which is good news for the future of the plant. At the same time he underscored the numerous advantages for customers: "This puts us closer to the market. In the future we can thus work directly with our customers in advancing development, without having to finalize things with any third parties. What's more, since everything stays inhouse, we can make better use of our geometries."
That also works out because ContiTech relies on the latest technologies in Waltershausen. The plant has, for example, a system at its disposal that is fully automated yet energyefficient. The plant is tailored specifically to ContiTech's requirements - from the fullyautomated material feed to the postprocessing by robots and a printing station that labels each part so that quality can be traced back precisely. "We have assembled the best individual solutions and tools to create an ideal system, which ensures maximum quality," summarizes project leader Charles Bavoux.
The plastic parts made in Waltershausen are then assembled further in Hann. Münden or Carei, Romania, where the hoses for the turbocharger lines are made. BMW is the first customer to be served with charge air lines equipped with plastic parts from Waltershausen. Before long, blow molding will be used for other products as well. "There is an increasing market demand for wholly plastic or plastic/elastomer solutions," says Hannes Friederichsen, head of the Heating, Cooling and Turbocharger segment. Because plastic is not only a relatively inexpensive material, it is also a light material. The weight reduction that vehicles can achieve with these parts lowers their fuel consumption, contributes to the protection of the climate and environment, and thereby meets the requirements of sustainable mobility.
In Waltershausen a workforce of some 770 makes cooling water and AC hoses, printing blankets and compounds.