News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

February 16, 2018

Tire Technology Expo is coming next week to Hannover

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber Chemicals, Silica — Notch @ 4:11 pm

Next week is the annual Tire Technology Expo in Hannover. This is one of the best tire conferences in the world, with a huge trade show and a full 3 day conference of papers. Notch will present a paper during Stream 2, “Business Strategy” on Wednesday, February 21 at 11:00 am. The paper is entitled, “Outlook for Reinforcing Fillers and Rubber Chemicals,” and it covers carbon black, precipitated silica, and rubber chemicals (antidegradants, antioxidants, accelerators). See you there!

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February 8, 2018

Thailand asks farmers to cut down rubber trees to boost prices

Filed under: Rubber — Notch @ 10:59 pm

Thailand, the world’s largest rubber producer and exporter, has launched a program to encourage farmers to cut down rubber trees earlier than the 25-year life cycle to reduce total annual output by 5 percent by the end of April, in a bid to support falling rubber prices.

To reach the target, the Thai government has earmarked 80 billion baht ($2.5 billion) to compensate those who participate in the program, which is not mandatory.

Thailand has previously used similar “cut-down” measures in coordination with Indonesia and Malaysia, the second- and third-biggest rubber producers in the world, respectively, but the policies were backed up only by verbal interventions, rather than specific action, and failed to have a major impact on prices.

Narongsak Jaisamut, director of the Rubber Authority of Thailand’s Production Development Department told the Nikkei Asian Review on Wednesday that the government will offer farmers 4,000 baht per rai (or 0.16 hectare) to rev up the plan to cut down rubber trees.

“We target to cut as much as 50% of 400,000 rai a year by the first quarter of this year. That would help cut supply by 5% and should help support price,” Narongsak said.

An excessive supply of rubber at a time when global consumption has been weak has dragged down the price of benchmark export grade rubber sheet to around $1.70 a kilogram. The government also plans to spend an additional 3 billion baht to pay farmers to cut down rubbers trees covering an additional 300,000 rai, or 48,000 hectares, by the end of this year. However, that plan has yet to be approved by the Thai cabinet, according to an official at the Rubber Authority of Thailand. Narongsak said the additional measure is expected to cut rubber supply by 20 percent this year and help support prices.

Apart from the measure to cut down rubber trees, the government is promoting their use in other ways in order to help create added value.

Referenced article found here.

Henkel launches rubber adhesive for intelligent tires

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 10:34 pm

Henkel Adhesive Technologies has launched the latest in its series of Loctite rubber adhesives, dubbed Loctite SI 5930 FIT, for in-tire bonding applications. The product, Henkel claims, would pave the way toward “next-generation tires” with low cavity noise and improved sensor technology. At the same time, there is a growing demand for in-tire bonded sensors to measure performance parameters such as tire pressure, tread depth or contact area.

“A critical requirement of these functional tire designs is the long-term reliable bonding strength of the adhesive material even under severe road, driving and weather conditions,” says Wim Boone, Senior Sales Engineer for Henkel. “Our Loctite SI 5930 FIT product has successfully demonstrated its adhesion performance from the tire production line to over one million kilometers of severe road testing.”

Loctite SI 5930 FIT (for Fix In Tire bonding of acoustic foam and sensors) is a one-component room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone rubber adhesive supplied as thixotropic black paste with a tack-free time of ≤15 minutes, depending on ambient humidity. The material offers excellent adhesion on all common tire rubbers used in the automotive industry, including mixtures for trucks and two-wheelers.

Read the full press release here.

Bridgestone announces new global sustainable procurement policy

Filed under: Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 10:19 pm

Bridgestone has announced a new Global Sustainable Procurement Policy to help identify and evaluate qualified suppliers, promote best practices, and serve as a communication and improvement tool for the industry. The policy is applicable to all purchased materials and services, as well as all suppliers globally.

Guided by Bridgestone’s “Our Way to Serve,” the new policy aligns with Bridgestone’s goal of using 100% sustainable materials* in our products as the long-term vision by 2050 and beyond. It combines previous company guidelines into a single document that sets minimum requirements to conduct business with Bridgestone, as well as preferred practices that can contribute to faster realization of sustainable supply chains. As a large user of natural rubber, the policy describes Bridgestone’s expectations with respect to critical issues within the complex global natural rubber supply chain. An extensive document, the policy addresses four major areas of focus:

• Transparency – including traceability and good governance;

• Compliance – adhering to laws and regulations in the countries and regions in which Bridgestone conducts business;

• Quality, Cost and Delivery (QCD) & Innovation – ensuring high quality materials and services are delivered on time and at reasonable costs, while also pursuing innovative technologies that support improvements across global communities;

• Sustainable Procurement Practices – incorporating environmentally responsible procurement, such as compliance with environmental laws and regulations, respect for human rights, water use, land use and conservation, health, safety, disaster prevention and resilience.

*The Bridgestone Group defines sustainable materials as materials that “1) that come from resources with a guaranteed continual supply, 2) that can be used as part of our business over the long-term, and 3) that have a low environmental and social impact over the lifecycle from procurement to disposal.”

Read the full press release here.

Orion increases price of specialty carbon black

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 1:25 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons announced that it began implementing price increases on all Specialty Carbon Blacks worldwide beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

The increases vary depending on the grade, the sales region, and the end market. These price increases support Orion’s ability to maintain the service levels and technical support required for high quality Specialty Carbon Blacks for its customers.

Himadri Specialty Chemicals to invest in carbon black capacity expansion

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 1:01 pm

According to the investor report, Himdari’s Q3 2018 sales were up 42 percent YoY mainly backed by pricing gains, partially offset by slightly lower volume. Though raw material costs surged, EBITDA/ton was sharply up by 84 percent YoY on account of better pricing trends for carbon black and CTP (Coal Tar Pitch).

EBITDA margins expanded by 156 bps YoY (204 bps QoQ) reflecting healthy operating leverage. Moderate increase in depreciation and other expenses helped net profit growth of 128% YoY.

While the company reiterated setting up 20,000 MT capacity for advanced carbon material in West Bengal, it revised its capacity expansion plan for carbon black. Instead of 30,000 MT capacity expansion earlier announced, it is now looking for 60,000 MT additional capacity. This would take its total carbon black capacity to 180,000 MT. For the new capacity expansion plans (carbon black & advanced carbon material), the funding requirement would be Rs780 crores.

Read the full press release here.

February 2, 2018

GRI opens tire factory in Sri Lanka

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 1:43 pm

Global Rubber Industries Pvt. Ltd. (GRI) officially opened its specialty tire manufacturing plant in Badalgama, Sri Lanka on Jan. 25, 2018. Located next to its solid industrial tire factory, GRI broke ground on the $40 million facility in January 2017.

The 1.25 million sq.-ft. plant has 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. Ag tires will comprise approximately 70% of the state-of-the-art, highly automated plant’s production. The remaining output will consist of pneumatic construction tires and forklift tires.

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

Maxion Wheels to open new aluminum wheel plant in India

Filed under: Auto — Tags: — Notch @ 1:13 pm

Maxion Wheels will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on 19 February for its new light vehicle aluminum wheel plant in India. The company has secured property in Pune, India and will initially build a 25,000 square meters manufacturing plant with annual capacity of two million wheels beginning production expected for the third quarter of 2019. Additional land was also purchased for a plant expansion that will increase annual capacity to four million wheels in the coming years.

“Maxion Wheels is committed to serving its customers’ growing demand for light vehicle aluminum wheels, especially in India where market growth is outpacing available capacity,” said Pieter Klinkers, Chief Executive Officer, Maxion Wheels. “We’ve been in India for more than 20 years, providing original equipment manufacturers with light and commercial vehicle steel wheels. We’re pleased to satisfy our global customers’ growing request that we bring our recognized global aluminum wheel expertise to India, and we are excited about the opportunity our new plant will afford us to strengthen our global footprint and strategically expand our presence in the region.”

Read the full press release here.

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