18 October 2002

Ibiden Co, Saint-Gobain (Ceramics & Plastics branch), and Toyota (Toyota Industries Co.) announced the launch of mass production of particulate filter substrates for diesel engines at their newly opened subsidiary—Ibiden DPF France SAS—located in Courtenay, Loiret, France.

Ibiden DPF France SAS is the first production site in the world to be entirely devoted to production of diesel particulate filter (DPF) substrates. Since 2000, the PSA Peugeot Citroën group has fitted more than 200,000 diesel vehicles with a DPF system utilizing the Ibiden substrate and has announced its intent to employ the DPF technology across its entire diesel line. The Ibiden substrate is a porous wall-flow, honeycomb-type monolith made of silicon carbide (SiC).

Approximately 6 million light diesel vehicles (passengers cars and light utility vehicles) are produced annually in Europe. Within the next ten years, 50% of all new cars could have diesel engines.

Ibiden DPF France SAS represents an industrial investment of 60 million Euros. The industrial site of Courtenay is designed to reach a production volume of 300,000 filters per year for one production line. By the end of 2002, the site will employ 90 people.

The Japan-based Ibiden Co, which has a turnover of 1.9 billion Euros, specializes in microelectronics, housing materials and technical ceramics. Ibiden Co employs more than 5,000 people and has production units in Asia and the United States. Ibiden DPF France SAS has production equipment which is identical to that already used in Japan.

Saint-Gobain is a worldwide producer of high technology materials. With a presence in 46 countries, the group has a operating capital exceeding 30 billion Euros and employs more than 173,000 people. The Ceramics & Plastics branch of Saint-Gobain possesses considerable expertise in the manufacture and processing of silicon carbide. The company’s Norwegian silicon carbide production plant supplies Ibiden DPF France with the fine silicon carbide powders required for the manufacture of particle filters.

Source: Ibiden