LAVONIA, Ga. -- TI Automotive Ltd. plans to produce 700,000 Ship in a Bottle fuel tanks annually at its new plant here.
Ship in a Bottle is what TI calls its new fuel tank system technology. With Ship in a Bottle, some components normally found outside the tank have been moved inside. The plastic tank is molded around the components. Any leaks that could seep from joints or seals are held inside, rather than escaping into the atmosphere.
TI of Oxford, England, says the system meets the toughest U.S. fuel-emission standards.
By April, a machine that molds plastic will join a production system already in place on an adjacent line in the plant.
"Nowhere in the world can we make more (partial-zero-emission-vehicle) products than we'll be able to do right here," said TI global fuel systems President Howard Duxbury during a visit to the plant this month.
"These two lines here will be a fabulous, fabulous opportunity."
TI created and began producing Ship in a Bottle tanks in its Rastatt, Germany, operation. It also has made a small number of them at its Ossian, Ind., plant. The Ossian plant, south of Fort Wayne, used extensive hand labor to prepare the interior assemblies and the equipment to mold around them, said Manouchehr Kambakhsh, vice president of global advanced engineering.
While beefing up its capabilities in the United States, TI plans to open a tank-manufacturing plant in Thailand to supply Asian customers. And TI has launched a brake and fuel line operation in Turkey.