News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

June 12, 2019

Orion expanding gas black capacity in Germany

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 3:48 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons announced today that it will expand its production capacity for Gas Blacks at its Cologne (Kalscheuren) plant, Germany through a debottlenecking project. Gas Blacks are a type of premium specialty carbon black used mainly in high-end coatings, including high jet automotive OEM and refinish paints, antistatic coatings, and packaging and UV curing inks. Orion’s press release pointed to greater demand for waterborne and solventborne coatings as the main driver for the expansion. According to Orion, Gas Blacks feature excellent fineness and a very narrow particle size distribution to provide the deepest blackness Specialty Carbon Blacks available on the market.

June 7, 2019

Orion announces change in fuel oil index for European carbon black pricing

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 3:52 pm

Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. announced today that it is adopting the Platts North West Europe 1% Sulfur fuel oil index (FO 1%S FOB NWE) for contract pricing in Europe replacing the 1% Sulfur Rotterdam fuel oil index (FO 1%S FOB ROT) in Europe as of July 1, 2019. According to the company’s press release, the 1% Sulfur Rotterdam fuel oil index is no longer functional, does not trade forward and does not track other 1% indices anymore. FO 1%S FOB NWE is currently functioning and therefore is the appropriate index at this time, according to Orion. The company said it uses low sulfur carbon black oil (CBO) grades in Europe.

“Orion values our European customers and strives to work with them in a highly transparent way,” said Erik Thiry, Senior Vice President Rubber Carbon Black, said in the press release. “Orion will continue to closely monitor CBO market changes with the upcoming IMO Marpol 2020 regulations. We will keep our customers updated if further required changes are needed due to changes in feedstock markets. We look forward to growing our customer relationships with the reliable supply of value-added carbon blacks.”

June 6, 2019

Lion Elastomers acquires SBR site from Firestone Polymers

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 3:42 pm

Lion Elastomers has acquired a styrene-butadiene copolymers production site owned and operated by Firestone Polymers in Orange, Texas.

The plant manufactures SBR compounds under the Stereon, Diene and Duradene trade names. According to the company, these products are complementary to Lion’s current portfolio and will further strengthen Lion’s ability to support the synthetic rubber industry once the deal has closed.

This purchase marks Lion’s second strategic acquisition in less than five years and is in line with Lion’s initiative to expand its business and provide greater value enhancement to its customers.

Read the full press release here.

Michelin, GM move forward on airless wheel concept with Uptis

Filed under: Run-flats — Notch @ 3:29 pm

Michelin, in partnership with General Motors Co., presented a new generation of airless wheel technology for passenger vehicles — the Michelin Uptis Prototype (“Unique Punctureproof Tire System”), at the Movin’On Summit for sustainable mobility in Montreal this week.

The Uptis is based on the fundamentals of Michelin’s Tweel. Like the Tweel, the Uptis uses resin-reinforced fiberglass spokes as load-bearing elements. The wheel hub is integrated and the rubber tread is molded onto the circular platform that attaches to the end of the spokes.

The companies intend to validate the Uptis Prototype with the goal of introducing Uptis on passenger models as early as 2024.

“Uptis demonstrates that Michelin’s vision for a future of sustainable mobility is clearly an achievable dream. Through work with strategic partners like GM, who share our ambitions for transforming mobility, we can seize the future today,” said Florent Menegaux, chief executive officer for Michelin Group

“General Motors is excited about the possibilities that Uptis presents, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Michelin on this breakthrough technology. Uptis is an ideal fit for propelling the automotive industry into the future and a great example of how our customers benefit when we collaborate and innovate with our supplier partners,” said Steve Kiefer, senior vice president, global purchasing and supply chain, General Motors

Read the full press release here.

June 4, 2019

Clariant opens new black masterbatch facility in China

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 11:54 am

Clariant has launched a new facility in Guangzhou, China, dedicated to the manufacturing and supply of specialty black masterbatches, to address the fast-growing China market.

With Black PET/PA masterbatches for fiber developing into a sizable business in China and some other Asian countries, the new production facility in Guangzhou will supplement existing supply from Clariant’s facility in Taiwan, which has been fully utilized, to jointly deliver product and services in the Greater China Region.

“Since 2016, we’ve been increasing our investments in equipment upgrade and facilities expansion to boost capacities and capabilities of the Clariant plants in China, Singapore, and the US. The expanded new production line here in Guangzhou, with a CHF 5 million of investment volume, will enhance our full range service in supplying specialty black masterbatches products for the market of packaging, consumer goods, fiber, automotive, and E&E. It also allows us to better serve local expectations and continue our commitment to main local customers in the segments,” said Bernd Hoegemann, Clariant’s Head of Business Unit Masterbatches.

Read the full press release here.

UK car production plummets in April as Brexit shutdowns strike

Filed under: Auto — Notch @ 11:27 am

UK car manufacturing output fell by almost 50 percent in April, for the 11th consecutive month of decline in automotive production.

Just under 71,000 cars rolled off the line in the month, down -44.5% year on year, attributed to large-scale factory shutdowns, which normally are scheduled for the summer holiday but were brought forward and extended due to Brexit.

“[These] figures are evidence of the vast cost and upheaval Brexit uncertainty has already wrought on UK automotive manufacturing businesses and workers,” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.

The UK was expected to withdraw from the European Union 29 Mar, but the departure date has now been extended to October 31.

Referenced article found here.

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