xperion has entered into an agreement to develop a new line of 3M-branded compressed natural gas (CNG) tanks for use in the heavy-duty transportation industry. The tanks will integrate 3M’s Matrix Resin technology with xperion’s engineering and proprietary design technology. A new xperion facility, currently being constructed near Columbus, OH in the city of Heath, will deliver production of these new tanks starting later this year.
“Our mutual goal is to bring superior value to customers in order to accelerate the industry’s adoption of CNG,” said Rory Yanchek, Vice President and General Manager for 3M’s Aerospace & Commercial Transportation Division. “Many other companies in this space have limited capabilities, but xperion brings broad composites experience and deep manufacturing knowledge on a global scale.”
“The location of this new facility is significant – it will be the closest source of supply of Type 4 tanks for multiple heavy-duty OEM manufacturers,” said Sean Ellen, General Manager of xperion. “Combine this dedicated facility with 3M’s pipeline of materials and technologies and our skilled engineering and design team in Kassel, Germany, and we believe we have a solution that will deliver superior value to customers.”
3M and xperion plan to continue to address the light-duty CNG segment as well, where 3M commercially introduced its first CNG tank early last year and xperion introduced its XSTORE ® CNG tank in 2008. The two companies will collaborate to provide similarly sized tanks in this space, now using the xperion X-STORE cylinders. 3M and xperion will work to incorporate 3M’s proprietary nanoparticle resin into the design of X-STORE tanks.
“We’re excited to bring 3M innovation and technology together with our extensive CNG tank manufacturing expertise,” said Ellen. “As a Tier-1 supplier to many European automotive OEMs, we have completed rigorous qualification procedures and, along with 3M, have the understanding and experience needed to bring continuous innovation to the CNG category over time.”
3M’s and xperion’s announcement follows another recent announcement regarding 3M’s agreement with Rush Enterprises to provide enhanced CNG fuel systems, distribution and service support. Together, these companies now look to offer a complete back- and front-end CNG solution.
Yanchek finished, “We want to bring a holistic approach to the CNG space. Working with two other like-minded companies is a game-changing alignment in terms of quality, value and service.”