News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

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.

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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.

September 11, 2018

Pirelli sells Venezuelan tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 4:32 pm

Tire Business reports that Pirelli & C. S.p.A. has “disposed” its tire plant in Guacara, Venezuela, to a consortium of South American entrepreneurs and a company called Sommers International. Pirelli ceased operations at the plant in late August. Pirelli deconsolidated its operations in Venezuela in 2015. The plant produces passenger car and light truck tires.

August 30, 2018

Michelin restarts production of OTR tires at Starr, SC plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 4:00 pm

The Anderson Observer reports that Michelin is restarting production of large OTR tires at its facility in Starr, South Carolina. The company held an event at the plant today, Thursday, August 30, to officially reopen manufacturing. The factory began production in January 2014 but production was idled in 2015 due to a downturn in global demand for large OTR and mining tires. The factory produces Michelin’s largest tires, including “the Earthmover,” which can stand up to 13 feet tall and weigh up to 5.5 tons. Roughly 80% of plant output is exported.

July 27, 2018

Bridgestone to invest $12 million in Illinois tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 3:52 pm

Bridgestone is investing $12 million to expand off-the-road production at its plant in Bloomington, Ill. The plant will produce multiple sizes and patterns in 29, 33 and 35-inch OTR tires, which until now have only been produced by Bridgestone in Japan.

This investment also includes increasing the workforce at the Bloomington plant by 30 employees. The last major investment in the plant was $48 million for a radial and giant loader expansion in 2011 and 2014.

“This investment is about increasing our flexibility to produce high-quality radial or bias tires — whatever our customers demand,” said Monty Greutman, plant manager at Bloomington. “It will allow us to deliver on our global commitment to develop innovative new products that will meet our customers’ needs, but it wouldn’t be possible without the outstanding teammates we have here today— some of whom have worked here for decades.”

Read the full press release here.

July 12, 2018

Linglong breaks ground on 4th tire plant in China

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 11:22 am

China’s Shandong Linglong Tire recently held a ground breaking ceremony for its fourth facility at its Hubei Linglong Tire 247-acre site in China.

Its projected production capacities are 12 million passenger tires, 2.4 million truck/bus tires and 60,000 OTR tires.

Yantai, China-based Linglong announced its plans for the $875 million project last March.

According to Linglong, the plant will integrate intelligent manufacturing, product lifecycle management, industrial big data application and a high-end brand. The company wants to “break through regional restriction” and serve customers at zero distance, while improving market share and reducing logistics costs.

Referenced article found here.

July 4, 2018

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.

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