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05/30/2016

International EDAG PS project team paves the way for the first carbon fibre factory in China

The Chinese are always interested in new trends and drivers, and for years now have been experiencing enormous economic growth.

The first carbon fibre factory in China

Chinese vehicle manufacturers have also increased their market share in 2016. As far as is known. So it was really only a matter of time until the material of the future had to be taken into account. But what might the first carbon fibre factory that meets Chinese demands actually look like? This question also interested the EDAG PS Asia Logistics team, who carried out a feasibility study for the first factory in China to produce carbon fibre components for electric vehicles.

The logistics team at EDAG PS Asia in Shanghai was awarded the contract for the development of a feasibility study for the first factory to produce components for electric-powered vehicles by the Kangde Investment Group, which has its registered office in Beijing. The Kangde Investment Group pursues the vision of becoming the global company for hi-tech composite materials. The Kangde Investment Group's "carbon fibre" division spans the entire industrial value adding process, starting with the raw material, through carbon fibre manufacture, and ending with the carbon fibre component. The idea behind this extensive construction project is to create another significant milestone, namely a factory capable of handling both carbon fibre production and the construction of carbon fibre components. The intended location for this project is Langfang in China.

Initial contact between representatives of Kangde Composites and EDAG PS was established in Germany in June 2015, when a possible cooperation was discussed. The contents and scope of the feasibility study for EDAG PS included the development of a logistics concept and the creation of the process layout for the construction of the factory in Langfang for carbon fibre components for electric vehicles. Thanks to EDAG PS's international network, it was quite easy to define local contact partners for EDAG PS Asia and to discuss the possible scope of services. An international project team for this task was quickly established.

Feasibility study for the planning and construction of China's first carbon fibre factor

For the EDAG PS team, the focus of the feasibility study was on the analysis of the basic logistics data, material supplies planning according to lean logistics principles, logistic equipment planning, container planning, the IT infrastructure, and the development of the logistic layout. The first stage in the development of the process layout was the analysis of the requirements for production and the factory, followed by the analysis for the component and the production process for the carbon fibre component. The process layout for the carbon fibre manufacturing process and the production process for the carbon fibre component was prepared on the basis of the results of these analyses, geared to a lean layout structure and a lean manufacturing process.

Working on the basis of the basic logistic data and Kangde Composites' first block layout, the EDAG PS project team began to analyse the layout with regard to storage space requirements for production tools, the carbon fibre weaving mill, and storage space for semi-finished and finished carbon fibre products. Following this, the logistic process was defined and the storage areas and buffer zones required throughout all stages, from delivery of the raw material, through carbon fibre weaving, and finally production of both the semi-finished and finished carbon fibre products, calculated.

Throughout the process, (partial) results were always discussed with the customer and further defined in joint workshops. At the end of two months, 4 weeks of which were spent in on-site concept workshops with Kangde Composites project teams and EDAG PS at the Kangde office in Langfang and the other 4 weeks in project work at the EDAG PS office in Shanghai, the results of the analysis were presented and handed over to the Kangde Composites management team.

The feasibility study, which was fully accepted by Kangde Composites, is now being used for the advanced planning and construction of China's first carbon fibre factory for electric vehicles.

EDAG PS thanks Kangde Composites for being given the opportunity to apply our logistics knowledge and experience in such a first-class project, and for the excellent cooperation during the development of the feasibility study. The whole team is looking forward to providing future support on the way to the first carbon fibre factory in China.