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Accelerating plans to mass-produce new, plastic fuel tank systems

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Windsor-based Kautex Corp. is working with mechanical, chemical, material and electrical engineers at the University of British Columbia (UBC), McGill University and the National Research Council to optimize a process that will manufacture a complete fuel system in just one production step. This Canadian first is expected to produce a new generation of tanks within five years that meet North America's most stringent emission standards.

The three-year collaboration, supported with $932,000 in funding from Automotive Partnership Canada (APC), will give Kautex Corp. a competitive advantage in selling its Next General Fuel System (NGFS®) technology for use in hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and standard vehicles with stop-and-go systems that automatically switch the engine off when the car is idling.

"NGFS lowers emissions, weighs less and frees up more packaging space. You can also add solutions that reduce the noise from fuel slosh, and stiffening solutions that make the tank strong enough to handle the higher internal pressure from hybrid electric vehicles," says Haile Atsbha, Manager, Computer Aided Engineering at Kautex Corp., which manufactures plastic gas tanks for Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota. The company employs nearly 200 workers in Canada and 5,400 employees worldwide.

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