Sumitomo Bakelite said it would open a new manufacturing line to produce epoxy encapsulation composite materials for automotive applications at its Belgian production subsidiary, Vyncolit.

The investment would provide local manufacturing capacity for specialist encapsulation materials in the automotive and new mobility fields in Europe, with the company aiming to reach sales in the encapsulation compound market of JPY12bn by the 2025 fiscal year.

Due to the recent rapid adoption of electric (EV) and hybrid (HV) vehicles, coupled with increasingly complex IT systems in new mobility solutions, the company is now expanding their production capacity to meet the increasing demand for epoxy encapsulation materials in automotive applications.

The company's encapsulation range covers a wide array of eDrive applications such as high speed permanent magnet rotors, stator insulation and coil impregnation.

These all contribute to increased efficiency resulting in a better power to weight ratio and performance.

With significant demand for these new encapsulation material applications coming from OEMs and Tier 1s in Europe, Sumitomo Bakelite will place its newest manufacturing line in Belgium, at its Vyncolit NV subsidiary.

Local production capacity and prototyping facilities will enhance the automotive materials offering and the development of bespoke customer products.  

The new European production line will come online for industrial supply in early 2022, with a production capacity of several thousand tonnes per year.

"I am delighted to confirm that we will add dedicated epoxy encapsulation material production at our Ghent facility. This new capacity, positioned close to our leading European customers, broadens our material portfolio and will allow us to tailor encapsulation solutions specifically for each customer," said Pieter Vanderstraeten, general manager and director, Vyncolit.