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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November 2, 2017

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.

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.

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.

Bridgestone invests in European plant expansions

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 12:36 pm

Bridgestone Corp. has announced a $315 million, five-year investment program in Europe to upgrade and expand capacity by approximately 20 percent at tire plants in Burgos, Spain and Poznan and Stargard sites in Poland. The projects are expected to be completed by early 2022.

“Increasing demand from our replacement and original equipment partners for our outstanding and diverse range of premium tires drives this investment”, explains Paolo Ferrari, CEO and President of Bridgestone EMEA. “This next step enables us to bring our products even closer to our partners and further strengthens Bridgestone’s footprint in the region.”

Read the full press release here.

Hankook opens first U.S. manufacturing plant

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 12:24 pm

On October 17, Hankook Tire America Corp. held a grand opening ceremony for its first U.S. manufacturing facility. The $800 million plant in Clarksville, Tennessee is expected to bring 1,800 jobs, according to a company press release.

The plant, Hankook’s eighth facility worldwide, will produce 5.5 million units annually in its first phase. When the second phase of development is complete, Hankook Tire will double its production capacity to 11 million units annually.

“The new Tennessee plant signifies Hankook Tire’s growing business in the United States and our continued journey toward being a global leader in the tire industry,” said Seung Hwa Suh, Global CEO of Hankook Tire. “The investment in the U.S. is part of our ongoing commitment to innovation, state-of-the-art technology and service for our customers. This high-tech, sustainable facility will enable Hankook Tire to execute every phase of our business in the U.S., from R&D to production and sales.”

Read the full press release here.

Conti’s Mississippi plant construction on schedule

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 12:03 pm

Site clearing for Continental A.G.’s $1.4 billion commercial truck and bus tire plant near Clinton, Mississippi is nearly finished, keeping the project on schedule to begin tire production by year-end 2019.

The plant is projected to produce 750,000 truck and bus tires annually in the first phase, Conti said, starting with approximately 500 employees. Full projected employment of 2,500 won’t be reached until 2028.

Referenced article found here.

October 9, 2017

Conti, Kordsa partner on adhesion system

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 11:11 am

Continental A.G.’s tire division and Kordsa Inc. recently entered into a joint initiative to develop a sustainable adhesion system standard for bonding textile reinforcing materials to rubber-based compounds.

The two companies aim to have a free licensing concept and replace resorcinol and formaldehyde with more eco-friendly chemicals for adhesion. Continental and Kordsa worked together previously on other projects in the tire textile reinforcement market.

“Continental has to build and test the new technology according to a complex and extensive approval process in tires to ensure that the latest status of technology can be offered without compromising any performance,” said Boris Mergell, Conti senior vice president of research and development for passenger and light truck tires.

Further details will be presented at Tire Expo 2018, which will take place in February in Hanover.

Referenced article found here.

October 5, 2017

Giti ribbon cutting marks start of production at South Carolina plant

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 11:09 am

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Walmert President and CEO, Greg Foran were present to help Giti Tire Group mark the start of production at the firm’s $560 million, 1.7 million-sq.-ft. Richburg tire plant and distribution center on October 4.

Originally announced in early 2015, the plant is scheduled to produce several hundred thousand Dextero-branded passenger tires for Wal-Mart in the remainder of 2017. Giti Tire hopes to ramp up production to several million passenger and light truck tires in 2018.

The plant’s first-phase nameplate capacity is 5 million tires.

A second-phase capacity expansion will be market-driven, the company said.

Read the full press release here.

October 2, 2017

Toyo Tires to expand tire production capacity

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 5:29 pm

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. plans to expand tire production capacity in the U.S. and Malaysia, and is considering additional capacity expansions at new and/or existing plants to fulfill its growth expectations.

Toyo is budgeting $125 million for the U.S. plant in White, Georgia, which will increase capacity by 2.4 million passenger tires a year, and $187.5 million for the plant in Perak, Malaysia which will add 4.8 million tires a year.

Read the full press release here.

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