News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

October 31, 2018

Solvay Silica wins Michelin Supplier Award 2018

Filed under: Silica, Tires — Notch @ 10:58 am

Solvay has won the Michelin Supplier Award 2018 for supplier excellence in quality, innovation and corporate social responsibility, underlining the strong partnership between Michelin and Solvay. Solvay manufactures and supplies highly dispersible silica for energy saving tires.

Solvay, selected from about 40,000 companies worldwide, received the Award from Jean-Dominique Sénard, CEO of Michelin, at the company’s headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

“Solvay’s Silica teams are geared towards finding out and knowing what customers value, to deliver the innovations that meet their demands for safe, fuel-efficient tires and through all this, build a relationship of trust. We are proud that Michelin, with this Award, recognizes our collective dedication and know-how and the contribution we’ve made to sustainable value and mobility,” said An Nuyttens, President of Solvay’s Silica Global Business Unit.

Presented for the fourth time since its creation in 2011, the Michelin Supplier Awards recognize suppliers that are exemplary in meeting the company’s high standards and in their commitment to building a genuine partnership.

Read the full press release here.

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October 29, 2018

European Union issues definitive anti-dumping duties on Chinese truck and bus tires

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 11:19 am

The European Commission has published definitive anti-dumping duties on new and retreaded truck and bus tires imported from China that are measurably lower than the duties proposed in May.

A 50-page document, signed Oct. 18 by EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, lists the duties as: Hankook Tire Co. Ltd., 23.41 percent; Giti Group, 29.56 percent; Aeolus Group and Pirelli (Prometeon), 37.29 percent; other cooperating companies, 32.3 percent; and Xingyuan Group and all other companies, 55.07 percent.

The EC noted in the document that after considerable input by all parties involved and careful consideration, it determined both dumping margins and injury margin, the latter defined as the “margin adequate to remove the injury” to the collective European Union industry.

The EC began looking into possible antidumping measures against Chinese truck/bus tires in August 2017 in reaction to a complaint lodged by the “coalition against unfair tires imports.”

The regulation is set to take effect the day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and remain in place for five years.

Read the full document here.

Michelin upgrading Canada plant to support winter tire launch

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 10:44 am

Michelin North America Inc. plans to unveil a new line of winter tires for the North American market in 2020. The company will build those tires in Granton, Pictou County, Nova Scotia. That same plant will be the first on the continent to install an innovative semi-finished manufacturing process.

“New to North America, this innovative process allows us to produce semi-finished materials needed for tire-building right here at home,” says Jeff MacLean, president of Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. “These investments allow us to remain competitive in the marketplace, while continuing to build our future here in Nova Scotia.”

Combined, the new tire line and manufacturing process represent a $21 million investment in the plant, one of three Michelin production facilities in Nova Scotia.

Read the full press release here.

Bridgestone building $45 million warehouse at Quebec tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 10:17 am

Bridgestone Canada Inc. plans to build a $45 million automated warehouse in Joliette, Québec, adjacent to its passenger and light truck tire plant there, increasing its ability to serve North American customers.

With a maximum storage capacity of 500,000 tires, the new building will utilize fully automated technology to store the tires manufactured at the Joliette plant. The new facility is expected to open in early 2020.

Read the full press release here.

October 19, 2018

Evonik opens precipitated silica plant in South Carolina

Filed under: Silica, Tires — Notch @ 11:26 am

Evonik Industries has opened a precipitated silica plant in Goose Creek, South Carolina. The $120 million investment comes in response to increasing demand from the North American tire industry for precipitated silica, which Evonik said can help improve the rolling resistance and the wet grip of tires.

The South Carolina site will also manufacture the recently developed Ultrasil 7800 GR silica, which Evonik said is suited to extra-large tires, which support the growing SUV market in the U.S. Due to its larger specific surface area, Evonik claims, Ultrasil 7800 GR is said to gives a tire’s tread compound more rigidity without negatively impacting its processability.

“The opening of the new production plant is an important step in strengthening our position as a global partner for the tire industry,” said Harald Schwager, deputy chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries. “In the expansion of our silica business we’re following a clear strategy. In addition to taking over the activities of Huber Silica we’re continually expanding our capacities for silica.”

Read the full press release here.

Yokohama launches procurement policy for sustainable rubber

Filed under: Rubber, Tires — Notch @ 10:31 am

Yokohama Rubber has launched a new procurement policy aimed at sourcing rubber more sustainably, amid concerns around deforestation in southern Asia where it is farmed.

The policy outlines how the company will source natural rubber without causing deforestation or harming biodiversity.

The policy also calls on suppliers to do the same, but adds that the company would take steps to support them in doing this, such as promoting the latest efficient farming techniques and investing in initiatives to search for materials which could replace natural rubber.

The company said it was participating in the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative, an inter-governmental organization made up of rubber producers and consumer stakeholders, which aims to fight unsustainable rubber farming.

Of the world’s natural rubber resources, 90 percent is farmed from trees in forests between India and Vietnam, as well as in southern China and Indonesia, according to WWF.

Yokohama said that growth in demand in recent years has “increased concerns about a host of problems, including unlawful deforestation, land exploitation, human rights violations and adverse effects on biodiversity.”

October 12, 2018

Cooper Tire to consider ceasing light vehicle tire production at England site

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 9:37 am

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe Limited, a subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., has announced that it will enter a ten month consultation period to explore ceasing light vehicle tire production at its Melksham site in Wiltshire, England.

According to Jaap van Wessum, General Manager, Cooper Tire Europe,
“It is essential for Cooper to be globally competitive in the tire industry. To deliver on our strategic growth objectives, we must produce quality light vehicle tires in high volumes and at a competitive cost. Unfortunately, the Melksham site is an older, smaller facility that does not offer economies of scale and it is the highest cost facility in the global Cooper network. Due to facility age and location in the center of town, it is our current view, subject to consultation, that it is not economically feasible to modernize or expand there for light vehicle tire production.”

Read the full press release here.

October 9, 2018

SRI doubles plant expansion in Brazil; launches plant in South Africa

Filed under: Tires — Tags: , — Notch @ 11:21 am

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. is doubling the scale of an ongoing expansion project at its tire plant in Fazenda Rio Grande, Brazil, to 1,000 truck tires a day to meet “steadily growing” demand for truck/bus tires in the country.

Meanwhile, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (PTY) LTD (SRSA), manufacturer of Dunlop, Sumitomo, and Falken tire brands, officially launched its new, state-of-the-art truck and bus radial (TBR) factory in Ladysmith, Kwazulu-Natal on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI), has tire manufacturing plants in Japan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Turkey, USA, and South Africa.

Read the Brazil press release here.

Read the South Africa press release here.

China’s JGST to build tire plant in Thailand

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 10:19 am

Jiangsu General Science Technology Co. Ltd., reacting to increasing international trade barriers, plans to build a passenger and truck/bus tire plant in Thailand’s Rayong Industrial Zone and is committing up to $300 million for the project. JGST first proposed building an overseas plant in April, in Cambodia, but has decided to change its location.

The plant is designed with capacities of 6 million passenger tires and 1 million truck/bus tires annually, the company said. Construction is slated to take 15 months, and the plant is expected to generate $36 million annual net profit on $320 million in revenue when on full stream upon the third year of its operation.

Among tire makers already manufacturing in Thailand are Bridgestone Corp., Michelin, Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. and Qingdao Linglong Tire Co. Ltd., JGST said.

Sourced article found here.

Synthetic rubber prices likely to remain volatile

Filed under: Rubber, Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 10:04 am

Prices for synthetic rubber and petrochemical feedstocks have been “incredibly volatile” and are likely to remain so for a while, according to Bill Hyde, executive director-olefins and elastomers at IHS Markit, a speaker at the International Tire Exhibition & Conference in Akron Sept. 11-13. “Energy- and economy-related fundamentals in the synthetic rubber market are encouraging, but risks abound,” he said.

Meanwhile, natural rubber pricing is largely to remain soft because of oversupply and the need for small farmers to keep on earning a living, according to Hyde.

Spokespersons for various industry sectors generally agreed with Hyde, especially in his assertion that ethylene is the main driver of pricing in the petrochemical and SR world.

“Ethylene is the center of the petrochemical universe,” he said. “It has a lot of co-products, most importantly butadiene. Ninety percent of all the butadiene produced in the world is a co-product of ethylene.”

Read more here.

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