Responding to the growing demand for fuel tanks that meet increasingly stringent clean air standards, Walbro Engine Management recently opened a new multi-layer fuel tank blow-molding plant in Chonburi, Thailand.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony in Chonburi was attended by over 90 people, including ranking government officials, Walbro customers and top Walbro executives. While the ribbon cutting marked the official opening of the facility, it is already running production quality parts.
The 20,000 sq. ft. (1,880 sq. meter) facility was established in support of Walbro’s global customers in the Asia-Pacific Region. Walbro will supply several customers from the facility, which is designed for future expansion with room for additional molding machines.
Walbro multilayer fuel tanks are used in lawn and garden, recreational and marine applications ranging from small tanks for hand-held trimmers to larger tanks for riding mowers and recreational applications such as ATVs, two-wheeled vehicles and snowmobiles.
“Evaporative emission regulations are growing more stringent around the globe,” says Tony Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walbro Engine Management. “Enforcement is being stepped up as well. Walbro’s multilayer fuel tank technology provides our customers with a reliable solution that ensures compliance to the end of a product’s life cycle, using a variety of fuels.”
The Chonburi facility is Walbro’s second fuel tank production facility. Walbro’s first facility in Cass City,MI, was recently expanded to accommodate a fourth blow-molding machine.
The success of Walbro’s fuel tank line is based on six-layer construction with a vapor barrier that effectively contains hydrocarbon emissions, allowing it to meet strict evaporative emissions standards. In addition, Walbro’s multi-layer tanks are virtually unaffected by ethanol, an important durability issue as the use of ethanol fuels increases in the coming years.
“Multilayer tanks are a well proven technology,” notes Christopher Quick, General Manager of Global Fuel Systems, Walbro Engine Management. “Millions of multi-layer tanks are used in global automotive production annually, with a proven record of safety, emissions and durability, over a vehicle life of up to 150,000 miles or 15 years.”
“Multi-layer tanks are a cost effective and reliable solution to meet product end-of-life requirements within the markets we serve,” notes Quick. "An extremely robust technology compared with other approaches, multilayer tanks eliminate a lot of worry and uncertainty in terms of long term durability compliance. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air resources Board (CARB) permit Walbro’s multilayer tank technology products to be certified without the need for extensive, costly and time-consuming testing.”