IAC will invest 58 million Euros to build a new greenfield manufacturing facility in Bals, Romania, in the southwest Oltenia region. The state-of-the-art facility will produce instrument panels, door panels, headliners and various other interior trim components to support Ford Motor Company's production of two new passenger cars (B-Max) at its plant in Craiova, Romania. "KraussMaffei impressed us with their outstanding expertise in injection molding and polyurethane technology. We're sure that the collaboration between IAC and KraussMaffei on this project will be characterized by mutual trust and successful outcomes - possibly extending beyond the scope of the project, commented Maurits Willaert, Vice President Operations at IAC Europe while the contract was being officially signed in Munich. "We're delighted with the trust that IAC has demonstrated by placing this major order with us. We see it as further confirmation of our industry-leading competence as a supplier of technologies, processes and solutions, explained Dr. Karlheinz Bourdon, head of Injection Molding Machinery at KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH.As sole contract partner for plastics technology, KraussMaffei will be supplying the new IAC production plant in Bals (Romania) with 28 injection molding machines (500 to 3,200 tonnes clamping force, plus automation), systems for polyurethane foaming and punching and the required tooling. KraussMaffei will also support the development, planning and design of product elements and provide a number of services. "The fact that IAC has chosen KraussMaffei as system supplier for the new plant is more than simply a confirmation of our Technology3 approach to delivering application-specific process solutions; added Dr. Bourdon, "The order also highlights our expertise in machine quality and our ability to deliver integrated production concepts. "At an early stage, we worked with IAC to analyze the planned process sequences and now, in the implementation phase of the production plant, we're in a position to coordinate machine technologies, process sequences and materials for optimal outcomes, explained Frank Peters, head of Reaction Process Machinery at KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH. Our highly effective project management is based on seamless coordination of technology and know-how from our plants in Munich, Viersen and Harderberg to supply the injection and reaction machinery and systems, together with customized automation solutions. "KraussMaffei pursues a One-Face-to-the-Customer philosophy with very positive and advantageous results. Although products and services are sourced from across the whole KraussMaffei Group, the customer has just one knowledgeable and reliable contact person to deal with, emphasized Willaert. Peters pointed out that, "Molds and tooling make up a substantial share of this order; this reflects the huge expertise of the responsible division, Automotive Component Systems (ACS) in Viersen and Harderberg (Germany) and also indicates that the recently completed doubling of the production area of our plant in Harderberg was a good strategic move. IAC is the first automotive supplier to set up a greenfield facility in Romania to support Ford's operations in Craiova. IAC intends to employ approximately 400 personnel at the Bals facility with an output of interior parts for 300.000 when fully operational. "I am very proud to announce this key investment for IAC in Romania, said Jens Höhnel, IAC Group President and CEO of Europe. "This strategic expansion allows IAC to support one of its important global customers, Ford Motor Company, as it continues to expand globally. Furthermore, it strategically positions IAC to support other automotive customers in the region. The Romanian Government supported this investment project with state aid worth 17 million Euros. This state aid will be granted in various installments and will add to the 58 million Euros IAC plans to invest in Romania. This investment will have a multiplying effect by developing other related industries in Romania. "We hope the IAC Group investment in Bals will become, in time, an important factor for the economic development of the southwest Region of Romania, stated the Romanian Minister of Public Finance, Gheorghe Ialomitianu. "Many new jobs will be created and state-of-the-art technologies will be transferred to our country. This is a major contribution to the development of our automotive industry. At the same time, with IAC's support and the overall contribution of the Ford project, we expect to see major investments in human resource training, as well as research and development programs in partnership with regional universities.The 15,000 square-meter facility that IAC will establish in Romania will be a manufacturing center of competence for IAC. In this capacity, the company will work with regional universities and technical schools to jointly develop curriculum and training programs to help educate the workforce and develop commercial and technical talent for the region.