Plastic Omnium invests €20 million in its global Research and Development center in Lyon

Plastic Omnium is taking action on multiple fronts to position itself on the vehicle of the future for the long term. lt is now launching an ambitious program to expand and digitize ∑-Sigmatech, its global R&D center for exterior components and modules located in the Lyon region.

Plastic Omnium invests €20 million in its research and development center in Lyon

It will be investing €20 million to equip ∑-Sigmatech with new mechatronics, virtual reality and robotized tool resources. The investments will also serve to promote teamwork and exchanges between employees, who will increase in number from 550 today to 700 in the future. Following completion of the work in 2020, the Group will have reached another technology milestone in its contribution to the automotive revolution currently underway.

The global ∑-Sigmatech R&D center for external body parts and modules opened in 2003 in Sainte-Julie (Ain). In addition to design offices, the 16,000 m2 site includes a pilot factory where all of the new parts developed for automakers are tested before going into production. ∑-Sigmatech has 550 engineers and technicians representing 11 different nationalities. These employees work closely with the additional 10 automotive development centers for automotive exterior parts which are located within close proximity of our customer decision-making centers. 

The first part of the expansion project will consist in adding nearly 4,000 m2 to the existing 8 000 m2 in the industrial park. The project will equip the site with new capabilities for mechatronics, ADAS tests, virtual reality and collaborative robot resources to increase the company’s ability to respond to the new challenges of connected, autonomous and cleaner vehicles. 

Additional office space will be built and dedicated to collaborative work and the current service area will be modernized. Lastly, a “life center” building will be added, which will include reception, restaurant and meeting areas as well as sports facilities. The total area of the site will increase to 23,000 m2 and 8,000 m2 of office space will be updated for a total investment of €20 million. The site will be enriched with new skills by increasing the workforce to 700 people. Recruiting will begin with 120 new positions, of which 30 will be added immediately. 

The major expansion and digitization program for the working site will run from early 2018 through mid-2020. 

The investment is part of the Group’s strategy to build its innovation capacity by expanding its fields of expertise and increasing R&D excellence. It follows on recent announcements about the construction of Δ-Deltatech, a new innovation and advanced research center in Brussels dedicated to new energy sources, an investment in Ξ PO-CellTech in the fuel cell industry, and an investment in a capital risk fund specialized in energy transition and the mobility of the future.  

Companies: Plastic Omnium

Industries: Automotive and Road Transportation

Terms: Business, News Worldwide

This article has been edited by Basalt.Today
This article has been written on JEC Composites Magazine
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