Israeli kibbutz drives new U.S. composites technology


A company owned by an Israeli kibbutz of 100 families is the force behind a new carbon composite processing technology that could dramatically change automotive design and manufacturing.

Kibbutz Sasa, located near the Lebanese border, was established by members of a North American Zionist youth movement in 1949, soon after the Israeli War of Independence. It was a farming collective that invested in vibration molding equipment to make large produce containers.

Sales were under $1 million annually and the business was losing money. In 1985, the kibbutz hired a young architect in Tel Aviv named Dani Ziv who had no plastics experience in an effort to turn things around. He dumped the vibrational molding business and decided to focus Sasa's business, called Plasan Sasa, on plastic composites.
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