Solvay and Penso successfully developed the composite design, material and manufacturing technologies required to create a modular, multi-material Body-In-White structure suited for large production volume.
The consortium was awarded a multi-million pound grant in 2017 by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) for the Flexible Lightweight Architecture for Volume Applications (FLAVA) automotive project. With clear recognition that this project would help to accelerate positive change, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK also quickly became a project partner.
The project, through the manufacture of composite intensive vehicle prototypes, demonstrated the technical and commercial solutions required to meet emission legislation with design flexibility, structural integration, lightweighting, vehicle assembly and logistics simplification.
FLAVA contributed to establishing a composite supply chain able to offer manufacturing processes that meet Automotive OEM quality, serial production rate and total cost of ownership requirements in standard OEM production facilities.
“Solvay, through FLAVA, was able to further demonstrate composite part manufacture process readiness for large scale production by investing in R&D (product development and automation), industrialising our composite manufacture and contributing to establish a supply chain for end-customers. FLAVA is a stepping stone for Solvay on our industrialization roadmap” said Gerald Perrin, Automotive Global Growth Director for Solvay Composite Materials Global Business Unit.