July 2, 2022

Alice-in-chains

Automotive forever

New Teijin factory in Seguin making beds for Toyota Tundra

SEGUIN — Jorge Aponte spoke beneath a three-tale molding press as a robotic arm placed a sheet of composite material into the push at Teijin Automotive Technologies’ new manufacturing plant in Seguin. Another robotic pulled a black truck mattress out of the push and sent it to the following action of assembly.

Staff and automated equipment whir with each other in a substantial-tech symphony at Teijin’s plant off Interstate 10, the latest in a sequence of auto manufacturers to set up shop in the San Antonio area, which has progressively develop into an automotive hub. Previously this yr, the reborn DeLorean Motor Co. founded its headquarters at Port San Antonio, months right after Tesla Inc. started manufacturing at its $1.1 billion factory exterior Austin late past yr.

Teijin’s facility has been earning plastic truck beds for the redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup since November, when Toyota Motor Producing Texas Inc. started generating the new truck model from its plant on the South Aspect. Prior to this 7 days, Teijin hadn’t mentioned what it was manufacturing at the Seguin plant.

Teijin broke ground on the 700,000-sq.-foot manufacturing facility in drop 2019, and because then, it has hired a lot more than 200 workers at the plant and invested $65 million to establish it. Teijin gained a grant worth $783,000 from the Texas Enterprise Fund in exchange for creating the plant in Seguin.

“You want to be as shut to (Toyota) as you can but at the exact same time be in a community that supports you and in a state that provides some advantages and a great workforce,” Teijin Automotive CEO Steve Rooney explained following a ribbon-cutting Tuesday.

Aponte, a high-quality engineer from San Antonio, reported the plant runs a few shifts and generates a person truck mattress each and every minute. The plant has a 5,200-ton compression molding push, which is so huge that during building, engineers experienced to stabilize it in a pit 15 ft deep. Teijin explained that in the U.S., it is the biggest molding press west of the Mississippi River.

The plant was crafted quickly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And because November, it has delivered 56,000 truck beds to Toyota’s plant — a ramp-up period, stated Bruno Santillan, the plant’s manager.

“It’s not straightforward for a brand name-new facility to be introduced,” Santillan stated. “I grew some grey hair for the duration of this interval.”

Teijin has provided parts for Toyota because 2004, when it started constructing truck beds for the midsize Toyota Tacoma in Tijuana, Mexico, wherever Toyota has had a manufacturing unit because 2002. Santillan, a Tijuana indigenous, arrived to Seguin to deal with the plant following doing the job at the web site in his hometown for 18 years.

Toyota’s $400 million enlargement, which it not too long ago done at its South Facet plant, was the impetus for Teijin’s new manufacturing facility. Toyota introduced creation of the redesigned Tundra late past 12 months, and it strategies to start out making the whole-dimension Sequoia SUV this summer season.

The aged variation of the Tundra had a bed manufactured of metal. But the new Tundra takes advantage of the identical light-weight-body weight fiberglass and resin material that Teijin has manufactured for the Tacoma’s mattress considering the fact that 2004.

The composite materials does not rust, and it eliminates the need to have for a mattress liner, according to Teijin Automotive.

The Teijin plant bolsters a robust production sector in Seguin.

Major-tools manufacturer Caterpillar builds engines at a plant there, and Tyson Foodstuff final calendar year invested $58 million to expand a poultry processing center in the city. In nearby Cibolo, transmission maker Aisin AW completed perform on a $400 million plant last drop.

Far more than 8,200 persons had been doing the job in the producing market in Guadalupe County at the close of the final year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was just about a quarter of the personal sector workforce in the county. By comparison, manufacturing employment account for about 5 % of work in Bexar County.

The regular once-a-year pay back for production workers in Guadalupe County was virtually $62,000 final yr. Countywide, the common yearly fork out was $50,000 in 2021, in accordance to the BLS.

“Seguin is the No. 1 production location in the state of Texas,” said Donna Dodgen, the town’s mayor since 2020.

Teijin Automotive Technologies is a component of Teijin Ltd., a Japanese conglomerate of 169 providers about the earth. Teijin Ltd., founded in 1918 and section of the Mitsubishi UFJ Economic Team, has 3 most important businesses — in overall health treatment, information technological know-how and components.

“This is a superb organization,” Dodgen claimed. “They have carried out a ton for our group.”

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