Plants: Yanfeng strengthens presence in Serbia; Röchling sets up 3D printing centre

Yanfeng strengthens presence in Serbia

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI), the global leader in automotive interiors, has opened its new plant in the Šumadija district, Serbia. As a new employer in the region, the company is looking to recruit up to 800 new employees over the next few years.

“With this new plant in Serbia, we are expanding our manufacturing capacity in Eastern Europe’s growth markets and responding to our customers’ increasing presence in the region,” said Tony Elenbaas, Vice President & General Manager, Europe & South Africa at Yanfeng Automotive Interiors.

The company manufactures automotive interior components in a production area of approximately 18,500 sq m and has already created approximately 180 new jobs in the region. The plant is designed for up to 800 employees. Employee numbers are to be gradually increased year after year.

This is the company’s first plant in Serbia.

The good infrastructure in place and the availability of skilled workers in the Kragujevac region were key to selecting this location. Other factors included its central location in Southeast and Central Europe and proximity to other YFAI plants in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Established in 2015, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is a joint venture between Yanfeng, one of the largest automotive suppliers in China and Adient, the global leader in automotive seating.

Röchling sets up 3D printing centre

In other news, Germany-based components maker Röchling Group is exploring new horizons in manufacturing with the set up of an additive manufacturing technology (3D printing) centre in the German state of Baden-Württemberg (district of Freudenstadt).

“Additive manufacturing at the Waldachtal site will help significantly advance the Röchling Group as the company heads into its third century, since it gives us the unique opportunity to manufacture complex components and entire series quickly and cost-effectively,” said Professor Hanns-Peter Knaebel, CEO of the Röchling Group. Given the wide variety of possibilities and material combinations as well as the almost limitless design freedom, additive manufacturing at the Röchling Direct Manufacturing Center (RDMC), which will be opened in spring 2020, is the perfect means of furthering Röchling’s strategic positioning as a leading provider of technology solutions in all three of the company’s divisions (Industrial, Automotive and Medical).

Covering an area of 500 sq m, the RDMC’s aspiration from the outset is to make efficient use of available technologies. However, there is also a focus on collaborating with customers to define the application area of additive manufacturing and expand it in the interests of delivering technology for the Röchling Group. Moreover, the cooperation with machine manufacturers, service providers and scientific partners will be steered with the objective of developing technologies and materials for the customized products of tomorrow.

The Waldachtal site offers a broad portfolio of relevant manufacturing processes in the areas of plastics and metals. The RDMC is intended as a hub for the comprehensive transfer of additive manufacturing to all Röchling Group sites. The aim is to enable the available expertise to be harnessed equally worldwide for the purpose of optimising products and production.

“Additive manufacturing makes it possible to completely re-imagine conventional products and manufacturing processes,” said Sebastian Koller, Head of Innovation & Product Development at Röchling Medical in Waldachtal, where the RDMC has been set up. And Dr. Axel Höfter, General Manager of Röchling Direct Manufacturing GmbH together with Jens Harmeling, added, “In the future, it will be possible for the technologies to be reliably deployed there under controlled ambient conditions in order to create high-quality products. The RDMC enables holistic and pioneering solutions that boost our customer’s success in all areas around the world.”


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