News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

July 4, 2018

Evonik plans 1,000 job cuts by 2020

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 2:17 pm

Evonik plans to cut up to 1,000 administrative and sales positions globally by 2020 to meet its cost reduction target, according to a June 27 press release. In the fall of 2017, Evonik set itself a target of permanently reducing administrative and selling expenses by $231.1 million worldwide.

“Our goal is to build a best-in-class specialty chemicals company,” said Christian Kullmann, Chairman of Evonik’s Board of Management. “To get there we need three things: a balanced portfolio, leading innovative capability, and a new, performance-oriented corporate culture. To this end, we are now making a big step forward on the cost side. We want to accelerate decision-making and strengthen cost-awareness.”

The first $57.8 million of the permanent savings will be achieved this year and will mainly comprise material costs.

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Wanli puts U.S. plant plans on hold

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 12:58 pm

China’s Guangzhou Vanlead Group Co. Ltd. has put on hold indefinitely plans it announced a year ago to invest $1 billion in a tire plant in South Carolina.

Guangzhou Vanlead, a China state-owned entity that controls Wanli Tire Group, had proposed building a tire plant in Orangeburg County, S.C., capable of producing 6 million consumer tires annually in the eight-year project’s first phase.

Sources at the Orangeburg County Development Commission (OCDC) confirmed recently that the project is in “neutral,” although the OCDC hasn’t ruled out completely that it may still come to fruition. The commission has begun showing other prospective clients the as-yet unidentified plot of land that the Wanli plant was supposed to occupy.

A Wanli source in China confirmed the project’s status, saying the company is evaluating alternative locations in Southeast Asia and Middle/Eastern Europe.

Referenced article found here.

Bridgestone announces hybrid-polymer breakthrough

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 12:04 pm

Bridgestone Corp. has announced it has developed a way to bond rubber and resins at the molecular level into a hybrid polymer, a development that shows promise for reducing the amount of polymeric materials needed in tires.

The new polymer, “high strength rubber” (HSR), is described as a hybrid material: bonding synthetic-rubber components such as butadiene and isoprene with resin components such as ethylene at the molecular level. Bridgestone claims it offers “unprecedented durability” with crack-resistance of over five times greater, abrasion resistance over 2.5 times greater, and tensile strength more than 1.5 times greater than natural rubber.

The production process uses Bridgestone’s proprietary gadolinium (Gd) catalyst via copolymerization. The company said it developed the polymer by “further evolving” Gd catalyst technologies used to synthesize polyisoprene rubber.

Target applications, noted Bridgestone, include tires with higher performance and less material than current-generation tires.

The company also anticipates that HSR will help it meet its goal of converting to 100-percent sustainable materials set for 2050.

Read the full press release here.

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