News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

November 11, 2017

GRI to open Sri Lanka radial plant in January

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 5:55 pm

Global Rubber Industries Pvt. Ltd. (GRI) is prepared to bring on stream in January the radial agricultural and construction tire plant it is building in Badalgama, north of Colombo. Located next to its existing solid industrial tire factory, GRI broke ground on the $40 million facility in late 2016.

The 1.25 million sq.-ft. plant will have a rated capacity of 25 metric tons a day, making it the largest factory in Sri Lanka dedicated to making specialty tires and the first to produce radial agriculture tires, according to GRI.

All the products made at the new plant will be destined for export, the company said.

Referenced article found here.

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Himadri Speciality looks to invest ₹628 crore for brownfield expansion

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 5:22 pm

Himadri Speciality Chemical Ltd, a Kolkata-based integrated specialty carbon company, is looking to invest ₹628 crore for brownfield expansion of its carbon black and advance carbon material units in West Bengal.

According to Anurag Choudhary, CEO, Himadri Speciality, the details regarding the proportion of debt and equity for the capital expenditure would be finalised within a month.

The estimated investment for scaling up its carbon black unit by 30,000 tons a year to 1.5 lakh ton would be close to ₹148 crore. The remaining ₹480 crore (out of ₹628 crore) would go towards 20,000 tons a year capacity addition at its advance carbon material unit.

Referenced article found here.

Grace Announces 2018 Price Increase for Silica-Based Materials Technologies Products

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 4:52 pm

W. R. Grace & Co. has announced a six percent price increase for silica-based and molecular sieve products sold through its Grace Materials Technologies, effective January 1, 2018.

This pricing action will enable Grace to sustain investment in the best-in-class manufacturing capabilities, increasing regulatory compliance requirements, and R&D demanded by customers across the broad spectrum of industries the company serves.

Read the press release here for a full list of affected products.

Cancarb names COPCI as distributor for France

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 3:45 pm

Cancarb Ltd. has chosen COPCI S.A.S. as its authorized distributor for Thermax brand thermal carbon black in France, effective Feb. 15.

“Our new partnership with COPCI S.A.S. will re-energize our efforts in marketing Cancarb’s Thermax® products in France,” said Ken Tate, Cancarb President. “COPCI will offer Cancarb’s customers a superior customer service experience, as well as technical assistance and complementary products. COPCI is owned by Cancarb’s German distribution Nordmann, Rassmann GmbH providing the advantages of a more pan-European presence.”

Read the full press release here.

November 2, 2017

Cabot Corporation to Acquire Tech Blend

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 8:52 am

Cabot Corporation has announced it is purchasing Tech Blend, a producer of black masterbatches based in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, for approximately $64 million. The acquisition extends Cabot’s global footprint in black masterbatch and compounds; provides a platform to serve global customers and grow in conductive formulations; and offers Tech Blend resources and capabilities to support growth.

The company will be managed as part of Cabot’s global specialty compounds business within the Performance Chemicals segment.

“This bolt-on acquisition is a great example of our ‘Advancing the Core’ strategy,” said Cabot President and Chief Executive Officer Sean Keohane. “This acquisition will not only strengthen our global leadership position in black masterbatches and compounds and provide a platform from which to better serve global customers, but it will also support our strategy of driving application innovation with our customers.”

Read the full press release here.

China moves toward uniform tire labelling

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 8:22 am

With the EU introducing plans in 2012 to inform consumers about a tire’s noise, wet-braking and rolling resistance performance, and Japanese, South Korean and US variants following shortly after, China, the world’s largest tire market is close to releasing its own labelling system. The question is which system? Two versions of labels were seen at the recent Tire+ exhibition in Shanghai, and there may be others.

While China has decided to gradually introduce uniform tire labelling, in practice this means the implementation of a voluntary labelling system in 2017, with some sources reporting that it will become mandatory in 2018. While the government might want labels on tires by the end of 2018, a definitive label has not yet been chosen.

As with all international tire labelling systems, Chinese labels must overcome obstacles in terms of legal definition and testing regime. The China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA) sponsored label, by validating definitions and standards that already exist, is the most direct approach. If a product qualifies for a European tire label, this data can then be used on the Chinese tire label. Since the CRIA is the domestic industry’s largest and most influential association and is quasi-governmental, it is most likely to set the new standard.

While the layout and criteria for the Chinese label resembles the European label with the addition of the CRIA logo, the Chinese label adds a QR code. This allows consumers to access further information using their smartphones, and can be updated in real-time, especially helpful for recalls and other related road safety issues.

A second version of the Chinese tire label is from China Great Tire Rating Assessment (CGTRA) and also features a QR code. The CGTRA design also features treadwear as a fourth category graphically displayed on the label.

So which label will win?

The costs associated with Chinese labelling depend very much on which option you go for. If the label variant requires its own testing, this is clearly a far more expensive option. However, the CRIA system – which is based on validating existing tire label test data – will inevitably be more much affordable. Add in the fact that this association-based system has integrated links to industry and it seems likely that that this label will prevail ahead of its one or two competitors.

Sourced article found here.

Konimpex opens new logistics center in Poland

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 7:28 am

Konimpex Ltd., a distributor of raw materials and chemicals for the tire and rubber sector, has opened a new logistics center in Kolo, Poland.

“The logistic operation supports the supply of black and white parts, for carbon black and other materials respectively,” said Konimpex. An ‘up-to date’ decanting station is already in operation along with other enhanced materials-handling and warehousing capabilities, added a company statement.

Established in Poland in 1989, Konimpex is a distributor of products including carbon black and synthetic rubber, serving the global tire and rubber sector.

Recently the company has started offering new logistics services, in addition to its distribution activities, including the delivery of fillers for the tire industry.

Referenced article found here.

November 1, 2017

Trelleborg launching smart wheel for agricultural equipment

Filed under: Run-flats, Tires — Notch @ 10:35 am

Trelleborg Wheel Systems has developed a sensor-based smart wheel called ConnecTire that it said enables data-sharing at multiple levels, reducing the risk of tire slippage on the rim.

ConnecTire monitors two key variables—tire pressure and temperature—in real time and relays the data to both tractor and farm mainframes via Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, Trelleborg said.

“ConnecTire is about ensuring efficiency and sustainability,” said Piero Mancinelli, research and development director at Trelleborg Wheel Systems. “Tires are required to work intelligently and to be at the right pressure at all times.”… “Being able to be in control of these allows farming operations to reduce inefficiencies,” Mancinelli added, noting that the system allows operators to set their target tire pressure and then monitor how that pressure deviates from the target and act accordingly.

ConnecTire will be on display at Agritechnica 2017, Nov. 12 to 18 in Hanover, Germany.

Read the full press release here.

China’s pollution crackdown has global impact

Filed under: General — Notch @ 10:27 am

China’s winter pollution shutdown, which began in September and is scheduled through March, is set to continue, according to environmental minister Li Ganjie. “This is not a one-off, it will continue in the future,” Li said.

“These special campaigns are not a one-off, instead it is an exploration of long-term mechanisms. They have proven effective so we will continue with these measures.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for China to become an “ecological civilization.” Chinese cities have a deadline of the end of the year to meet clean air goals set five years ago. Mr Li said the progress made in addressing air pollution was not enough and China’s energy mix was “still dominated by coal” and the proportion of heavy industry too high.

The impact is being felt across China. Entire industrial regions are being temporarily shut down, as inspectors go into the factories to monitor compliance with the environmental laws.

Australian iron ore and coal exports, as well as steel mills and cement makers, are feeling the impact of the slowdown in Chinese demand since the crackdown.

The timing of the shutdowns will also impact supply chains producing goods for the upcoming Christmas season in the U.S.

The hope is that enforcing the laws will not only bring blue skies to China, but that “[F]actories will be better, more sustainable, and more socially responsible after being inspected,” according to Archie Liu, general manager of MKT & Associates, “It’s better for our supply chain. Then we can tell Walmart, Costco, and other retailers of ours that we’re qualified and that everything we make for Americans are environmentally friendly.”

Read referenced articles here and here.

October 19, 2017

Michelin to double capacity at India manufacturing plant

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 12:52 pm

Michelin has inaugurated a new production line at its Chennai plant that will help double the current capacity of the facility by 2018. The company projects to raise capacity to over 30,000 tons per year and increase employment at the facility to about 1,000 people, up from 850.

During the inauguration ceremony of the new production line, Mr. Jean-Dominique Senard, Chief Executive Officer of Michelin Group said: “India is a priority market for us and growing demand for our products in the country reaffirms our commitment to keep innovating for our customers here. In a very short time, our Chennai plant has evolved to become one of our most advanced manufacturing facilities globally. The purpose of this plant was to cater to the needs to the Indian market and I am happy to see that we are on target in this journey. The MICHELIN X® Guard™ was conceived to address the Indian market’s need for a tire that is fuel efficient, safe and lasts longer and to this end we adapted the very best of Michelin technologies to produce a premium tire at an affordable price.”

The sourced article can be found here.

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