Auto parts companies place importance on Chinese R&D

trelleborgSWEDISH anti-vibration products supplier Trelleborg recently inaugurated its R&D centre in Shanghai. It will be used to develop noise and vibration-damping brake solutions for passenger vehicles. Meanwhile, Japanese company Tokai Rubber Industries is spending US$623,000 in an R&D centre in China. To start-up by 2012, Tokai’s technical centre will support Tokai’s automotive activities, which include producing anti-vibration rubber products, hoses and soundproofing/interior parts.
Both the companies are investing in high-tech equipment with Tokai adding that it will also use the centre to explore rubber and plastics technologies for use in Chinese automotive projects. It is the fourth technical centre for Tokai that has others in Japan, the US and Thailand.
Trelleborg’s technical centre, which started up recently, facilitates controlled testing of brake and engine noise. For example, simulation of brake noise can be conducted here under various driving conditions and at temperatures varying from -30° to +45°C. The R&D centre also has a laser scanner that facilitates measuring of vibration levels for various engine components
Trelleborg says China is its most important market and it has six wholly owned production plants: two in Shanghai, two in Wuxiom, one in Qingdau and one in Xingtai. It has 1,700 employees in China and its sales last year amounted to nearly SEK1 billion.