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2nd November 2017, Coventry, UK

New UK composite car body plant

In what will be one of the largest press facilities in the UK, Coventry-based Penso has started construction of a new automated composite body assembly plant. It will support the FLAVA – flexible lightweight architecture for volume applications – the project involving Bentley and Solvay and supported by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

Photo: (C) Expert Tooling & Automation LtdPenso is FLAVA’s lead engineering partner and is working as part of the consortium to enable the UK’s low-to-medium volume auto sector to implement and integrate carbon composite multi-material flexible modular solutions within Body-in-White structures.

In 2011, Penso completed its first complete composite vehicle programme – Jaguar’s hypercar C-X75 – and has now successfully developed four key material processing technologies: Hot compression moulding; High pressure RTM; Cored press forming; and Hollow press forming.

Each technology enables composite components to be manufactured in a matter of minutes and with a better cost performance compared to traditional industry methods. Penso’s technologies allow lightweight structures to be produced for the high volume market.

Photo: (c) Penso.

The company has a portfolio of lightweight vehicle designs and many incorporate mixed material, composites and metallic body structures. Over the last five years, Penso has designed, engineered and prototyped six composite-intensive vehicles for three global OEMs.

 “Our new automated lightweight composite assembly plant, is really taking shape and already attracting lots of attention,” said Penso sales and marketing director Michael Collins. “Penso is in a very good position to cater for the industry’s drive for lighter vehicles to address the CO2 reduction targets. Our new facility will be capable of building lightweight vehicle structures and we are already seeing lots of interest from within the UK and overseas.”

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