News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

March 8, 2019

Algeria tire plant completes first test phase

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 11:00 am

Six years after the Michelin Group closed its plant there, tire production returns to Algeria. The Iris Group announced the successful completion of the first test phase of the company’s new tire factory in Setif, Algeria.

Production of 1 million passenger car radial (PCR) tires is planned for the first year, followed by 2 million units of both PCR and truck and bus (TBR) tires in the second year.

Kordsa and Continental join forces to offer eco-friendly adhesion system

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 10:04 am

Continental and Kordsa have together developed a new sustainable adhesive technology standard for bonding textile reinforcing materials with rubber compounds. Reinforcing materials of this kind are used in the tire industry, as well as in the production of mechanical rubber goods like hoses and conveyor belts. The new technology enables the bonding activation of textile reinforcing materials without the use of resorcinol and formaldehyde. Continental intends to manufacture the first series-produced tires using this technology in 2019.

The two development partners are offering the new bonding system technology to all other tire manufacturers and the supplier industry as an open source solution under the brand name ‘Cokoon’. Free licensing will be handled by the independent law firm Advinno. Continental and Kordsa have chosen to waive development or licensing fees. In return, they expect licensees to make their patents concerning the further enhancement of this technology available to the other partners free of charge via a licensing pool. Interested companies can request first lab samples now.

Read the full press release here.

February 28, 2019

Linglong touts promising results of graphene tire development

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals, Tires — Notch @ 11:02 am

Chinese authorities have audited and approved research by Linglong Tire into the “large-scale application” of graphene rubber composites in tires, according to Shandong Linglong Tire Co. Ltd.

The research was conducted jointly by Beijing Tiancheng Linglong Tire Co. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Linglong Tire, and Beijing University of Chemical Technology. An audit was conducted by Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission along with other Chinese technology institutes.

Led by South China University of Technology professor Guo Baochun, the team completed trial production of graphene-enhanced tires at Linglong’s Zhaoyuan factory. This involved a graphene ‘pre-treatment’ technology that enables tires to be made without changing existing manufacturing processes or equipment. Linglong did note, however, that the technology required some adjustments to the process to help ensure the feasibility of production.

The graphene tires, Linglong said, showed promising results in several areas including fuel-efficiency, safety and anti-static, and energy-saving. More specifically, Linglong said a fuel-efficient grade of its graphene tire was close to a grade A rating under EU tire labeling regulations.

Read the full press release here.

Nokian to begin hiring at Tennessee tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 10:33 am

Nokian Tyres is on target to complete construction of its $360 million tire plant in Dayton, Tennessee later this year and has posted a “Help Wanted” sign. In the first phase of the hiring process, Nokian said it is seeking skilled production workers, manufacturing operations professionals, and maintenance technicians, and plans to hire up to 50 production employees during the first quarter of 2019.

“Our new team members will work in one of the most advanced tire manufacturing facilities in the world,” said Nokian Tyres Dayton Factory Operations Director Peter Chia. “We are committed to giving our workers everything they need to succeed, including in-depth training, competitive wages and a positive workplace culture.”

Nokian will begin producing tires at the Dayton factory in 2020. It will hire and train approximately 150 by year-end 2019. The plant is expected to employ around 400 at full capacity of 4 million tires per year.

Read the full press release here.

January 30, 2019

Michelin to buy Indonesian tiremaker

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 2:04 pm

Michelin is acquiring tiremaker Multistrada Arah Sarana to boost production in Indonesia. Founded in 1988, Multistrada had an annual production capacity of more than 180,000 tons in 2017 and generated sales of $281 million.

Michelin will pay $439 million for 80 percent of the Multistrada shares, subject to certain closing adjustments. Michelin will then launch a public offer for the remaining outstanding shares.

Michelin expects to reap synergies of $70 million annually within three years of completing the purchase, in production, sales, and purchasing. To strengthen sales operations, the French company will also obtain a 20 percent stake in Indonesian tire retailer Penta Artha Impressi.

Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard said in a statement Tuesday: “The acquisition of Multistrada represents an excellent opportunity for Michelin to expand its operations in Indonesia, the most populous country in Southeast Asia, and immediately gain competitive, good-quality production capacity without having to create any new manufacturing facilities.”

Pieter Tanuri, Chief Executive Officer of Multistrada, said: “We are very proud of what we achieved with Multistrada and we are confident Michelin is the ideal partner to take Multistrada forward into a new era of growth and success for the benefit of all stakeholders and employees.”

Read the full press release here.

Giti to relocate Hefei tire plant by 2021

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 1:23 pm

Giti Tire Group is planning to relocate its passenger and truck tire plant in Hefei, China in alignment with a “greener Yangtze River economic belt” initiative. The greener Yangtze River economic belt initiative was launched by China’s central government in 2016. Giti is pushing forward the relocation plan to improve its environmental impact.

Giti has spent more than $3 million since 2017 to address the odor emission problem at the plant. The company also has been running at low utilization rates of 40 percent for truck and bus tires and 20 percent for passenger car tires.

The Hefei plant, opened by Singapore-headquartered Giti in 1993, produces car, light truck, and medium truck tires. Capacity is listed as 23 million units annually.

The new plant’s location will be determined by year-end 2019, with regulatory approvals and construction plans in place by 2020. The company will break ground on the new plant in 2021 and start facility relocation by 2023.

Giti Tire Group has five other plants in China as well as a joint-venture plant in Indonesia and one in the U.S.

Referenced article found here.

Strong fourth quarter demand helps lift 2018 European tire sales

Filed under: Tires — Notch @ 12:28 pm

According to the latest European Tire & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association figures, the strong fourth quarter demand for replacement tires throughout Europe helped boost overall 2018 car and truck tire shipments over 2017 levels. Fourth quarter shipments of replacement consumer tires rose 2.8 percent to 48.5 million units, boosting annual shipments of car and van tires 1.2 percent to 207.5 million units. Fourth quarter replacement truck/bus tires demand jumped 16 percent to 2.78 million units, helping push annual shipments up 8.8 percent to 10.6 million units. Shipments of OE truck/bus tires rose 4.3 percent to 6.35 million units.

However, shipments of OE consumer tires and replacement agricultural and two-wheeler tires fell short of 2017 shipment levels. Shipments of OE consumer tires fell 3.6 percent to 83.7 million units. Shipments of replacement agricultural tires fell 3.5 percent for the year at 1.24 million units, despite a 10-percent shipment gain in the fourth quarter. Shipments of replacement motorcycle/scooter tires fell 1.8 percent for the year to 8.97 million units, again despite a fourth gain of 8.4 percent.

“All in all, the 2018 figures confirm a stable market evolving according to expected trends, welcoming the continued increase in winter and all-season tires adding to the safety on our roads,” ETRMA Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp said.

The ETRMA’s data cover 29 European countries, stretching from Ireland in the west to Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states in the east.

Referenced article found here.

January 2, 2019

Marangoni Tread North America expanding Tennessee plant

Filed under: Rubber, Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 5:48 pm

Marangoni Tread North America is expanding tread rubber capacity at its plant in Madison, Tennessee to meet growing demand for its products.

“With unit sales up this year, production had to be increased right away. Independent retreaders’ business remains strong and we expect demand to continue to increase as we move into 2019. We will be adding additional capacity to manufacture the XP Extreme Performance wide-base Ringtread here in the US,” said Bill Sweatman, president and CEO of Marangoni Tread North America.

The new production line, expected to be in operation in the second quarter of 2019, will produce spliceless Ringtreads up to and including 500mm widths.

The project will boost the 14-year-old plant’s overall capacity by 20 percent, Marangoni said, and expand the workforce by 10 percent.

Marangoni Tread North America is a subsidiary of Rovereto, Italy-based Marangoni S.p.A., which recently disclosed plans for a global partnership with Borrachas Vipal S.A. of Brazil in what Marangoni said could become the largest global independent player in the retreading sector.

Referenced article found here.

BKT seeks site for first U.S. tire plant

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 5:27 pm

Off-highway tire manufacturer Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) announced in November 2018 that it is budgeting $100 million to build its first tire plant in the U.S.

Minoo Mehta, president of BKT USA Inc., said 40 sites in several states are being considered, including sites in Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina, states where several plants have opened recently or are under construction. Sites in Alabama, Indiana, and Kentucky also are being considered.

The site will be chosen in January, according to Rajiv Poddar, joint managing director of BKT. He expects site preparation to take three to four months from the day they select the land. The target date for the plant to open is 24 months from the groundbreaking, likely the second quarter of 2021.

Bridgestone to invest $100 million to upgrade Mexican plant

Filed under: Tires — Tags: — Notch @ 1:45 pm

Bridgestone de Mexico S.A. de C.V. is planning to invest $100 million over the next two years to upgrade manufacturing capabilities at its car and light truck tire plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

The investment will support innovative processes and new technologies, while also building the plant’s capacity to produce high value-added tires such as run-flat tires and reduced rolling-resistance Ecopia models.

The 38-year-old plant in Mexico’s Morelos state has an installed capacity of approximately 25,000 tires per day, serving original equipment customers and the Mexican aftermarket as well as exports, Bridgestone said.

The Cuernavaca plant is one of two Bridgestone plants in Mexico. The other plant is in Monterrey. It opened in 2007 and produces car and light truck tires, largely for export.

Referenced article found here.

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