Ibiden, a joint venture between the Japanese company Ibiden and the French supplier Saint-Gobain, is building a new plant in Hungary.
Ibiden plans to manufacture around 1.5 million filter components for diesel engines in 2005. This also includes production in Nagoya, Japan, and Courtenay, France. Around 900,000 units likely will be supplied this year.
Competitor NGK has recently started pre-series production of filter substrates at its 90 million-euro plant in Gliwice, Poland. Series production start-up should be in the spring of 2005.
The Japanese supplier hopes to increase its production to about 2 million units by 2006.
So far, only Ibiden and NGK are able to manufacture the fragile honeycomb-shaped components made from silicon carbide, which is required by the auto industry. Delivery bottlenecks are the result.