Warren, Mich. — Toolmaker and processor Proper Group International Inc. is continuing to advance the use of lightweight automotive components through its partnership with German machinery maker Krauss-Maffei Corp. At a Sept. 25 technology event, the two companies showed off an injection molding work cell using Krauss-Maffei’s FiberForm process, which combines the thermoforming of composite sheets and injection molding in one step, resulting in fiber-reinforced plastic components that are lightweight yet maintain a high level of strength. Throughout the event, Krauss-Maffei’s 450-metric-ton GXW injection molding machine was producing center console armrests using the FiberForm process. Proper built the mold and worked on the product design and development. “FiberForm … is a technology that Germany has been working on for quite a long time, and it’s just now getting into production in the marketplace,” said Paul Caprio, president of the Florence, K.y.-based North American operations for Munich’s KraussMaffei Group GmbH. “The advantage of having Proper build a mold is our North American customers do not have to go to Europe for a mold becau...