Corning, based in Corning, N.Y., U.S.A., is investing USD100 million to increase production capacity of its DuraTrap® GC gasoline-particulate filter (GPF) product line in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and Shanghai, China. The investment in these two facilities will enable Corning to address growing demand from automakers for filters that help them comply with new Euro 6c and China 6 emissions standards, which are slated to go into effect in 2017 and 2020, respectively.
Several global automakers have already announced plans to equip vehicles with gasoline-particulate filters to meet the Euro 6c regulations. Based on its filter design, range of system configurations, and strong technical support, Corning has won a major share of gasoline-particulate filter platforms to date.
Sales are expected to begin ramping in 2017, as the company seeks to build another significant business within its automotive market-access platform.
Demand for gasoline particulate filters is being driven by new regulations in Europe and China, which established more stringent emissions limits and address particulates released by gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engine vehicles. GDI engine vehicles are increasingly popular as consumers demand better fuel economy without sacrificing engine performance.
As a result, the market for vehicles with GDI engines has grown rapidly, to about a quarter of worldwide passenger vehicle sales, with the rate of sales growth in the high teens percentage annually. However, these engines produce a high number of fine particulates that impact air quality and have been linked to negative health effects. DuraTrap® GC filters feature a new, patented cordierite-based material composition with an innovative engineered ceramic microstructure designed to trap fine particulates, while maintaining engine performance with low engine back pressure.
“We see the development of this significant new gasoline-particulate filter market opportunity as an exciting new chapter in Corning’s 40-plus year history of serving the auto industry and global clean-air initiatives,” said Hal Nelson, vice president and general manager of Corning Environmental Technologies.
“Investing in our Kaiserslautern and Shanghai facilities demonstrates our commitment to helping our customers
meet evolving emissions regulations with innovative emissions-control products and reliable supply.”
Corning’s Kaiserslautern facility, which has been producing diesel particulate filters since 2011, will expand its footprint with new production lines and state-of-the-art equipment dedicated to DuraTrap® GC filters. New assets will begin running early next year with completion of the entire expansion project by early 2018, quadrupling the facility’s filter manufacturing capacity. These investments are supplemental to facility upgrades currently underway that will be on line in early 2017, and are part of the capital expenditure plan under Corning’s Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework, announced in October 2015.
The Shanghai facility expansion is also on track for completion in early 2018. This is the first step of a phased investment approach for DuraTrap® GC filter production in China. The Shanghai facility has been at the forefront of meeting the Chinese market’s demand for light-duty substrates and filters since 2001.
“In Shanghai, we are adding capacity to lead production of gasoline particulate filters for local Chinese and global automakers,” said Wu Dan, general manager, China, Corning Environmental Technologies. “This is the first step in our plans for production of DuraTrap® GC filters in China and we look forward to continuing our commitment to customers with this investment.”
Corning is a leading supplier of advanced cellular ceramic substrates and particulate filters for the world’s major manufacturers of gasoline and diesel engines.