Italian-German Astra Operation

Parts for the new 5-door Opel Astra are being made at San Salvo and finished at two of Pilkington's German plants. Backlight encapsulation is taking place at Wesel, where controls and drives on the line have been updated to cope with the manufacturer's specifications.

New stacking systems have also been installed to hold parts during the process following the introduction of two new materials.

The high-performance encapsulation material now being used needs to be put aside to cure for a short time during processing. And parts are also stored at the end of the process, for application of a new long-life primer with a three-month shelf-life. Previously, primer has had to be applied by the manufacturers immediately before the adhesive, which holds the part to the car body.

The primer is also being used at the Braunschweig plant, where the Opel Astra windshields are being processed on the new extrusion line, installed in September 2003. Rain sensors are also being attached.

Pilkington will begin work on the Astra estate version later this year and on the three-door model in 2005.

600450 Italian-German Astra Operation glassonweb.com

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