News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

August 14, 2020

Continental invests $4 million to expand Indiana site

Filed under: Auto, General, Rubber, Tires, Uncategorized — Notch @ 12:48 pm

Rubber & Plastic News reports that Continental A.G. is planning a $4 million expansion of their Auburn, Indiana facility, transforming the facility into a research, development and technology hub for its ContiTech Vibration Control business.

The $4 million investment will not only upgrade the facility, it will bring more than 45 new jobs to northeastern Indiana, according a joint news release issued by Continental and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. It also will allow ContiTech to consolidate its vibration control technical center operations, currently in Michigan and Canada.

The Indiana facility should be fully operational by 2024.

Michelin launches fuel-efficient trailer tire

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 12:48 pm

Rubber & Plastic News reports that Michelin North America Inc. has unveiled the Michelin X One Line Energy T2 tire, targeting the dry-van truck load, refrigerated truck-load and tanker segments. The tire offers 11% lower rolling resistance when used in the trailer position, according to Michelin.

“Michelin is committed to investing in our X One technology. This new Michelin X One Line Energy T2 product delivers both improved tread wear while providing fuel and weight savings, lowering the total cost of ownership for fleets, especially during this economically challenged time in the trucking industry.”

May 12, 2020

Cabot reports Q2 FY 2020 results

Filed under: Carbon Black, Coronavirus/COVID-19, Uncategorized — Notch @ 12:04 pm

On Monday, Cabot Corporation reported results for its Q2 FY2020. Net sales declined to $710 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 from $844 million in the same quarter of FY2019, a drop of 16%. In Reinforcement Materials, volumes decreased 14% year-over-year as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted demand. The impact was most pronounced in Asia but impacted both Americas and EMEA demand at the end of the quarter. Offsetting the lower volumes were higher margins due to pricing and mix benefits in both the tire and industrial product lines. Net sales in the Reinforcement Materials business totaled $355 million for 2Q FY2020, down 20% from $445 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Changes in Reinforcement Materials volumes (Q2 2020 YOY change):

  • Global: -14%
  • Asia: -20%
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa: -13%
  • Americas: -8%

Performance Chemicals saw net sales of $245 million in Q2 FY2020, down 3.5% from $254 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Cabot held its earnings conference call on the results earlier today.

April 16, 2020

Conti restarts some tire and MRG production in Romania

Filed under: Carbon Black, Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Rubber, Tires, Uncategorized — Notch @ 10:07 pm

Continental A.G. restarted its tire plant in Timisoara, Romania on April 7, a company spokesperson announced. The plant was idled on March 25. Another plant in the same town producing belt and air conditioner lines was restarted on April 10; the plant had been idled March 30. ContiTech hose plants in Nadab and Carei, Romania remain idled, and most of the company’s administrative and R&D staff continue to work from home.

March 30, 2020

Conti, Goodyear continue to offer commercial tire services through crisis

Filed under: Carbon Black, Rubber, Tires, Uncategorized — Notch @ 12:44 pm

This article from Tire Business suggests that commercial/truck tires and retreading will be a relative bright spot for the tire industry during the current downturn:

Continental Tire the Americas and Goodyear are keeping their respective U.S. truck care networks open during the COVID-19-induced economic slowdown to support the trucking industry help deliver needed products like medical supplies and groceries.

March 25, 2020

Orion withdraws guidance for 2020 financial performance

Filed under: Carbon Black, Coronavirus/COVID-19, General, Uncategorized — Notch @ 6:00 am

On March 23, Orion Engineered Carbon filed an 8-K report with the SEC announcing that it was withdrawing its full-year 2020 guidance issued on February 20, 2020. The move came in response to the “ongoing uncertainty surrounding the duration, magnitude and geographic reach of COVID-19.” The company also announced several actions to maintain and strengthen its financial flexibility, including bolstering its cash position to approximately $100 million and suspending its dividend. Orion plans to provide an update as to the estimated financial impacts of COVID-19 during the company’s first quarter earning conference call in May 2020, to the extent that available information permits.

November 28, 2019

PolyOne introduces new color concentrate using recovered carbon black

Filed under: Carbon Black, Recovered Carbon Black, Uncategorized — Notch @ 11:25 pm

Plastics News has a writeup on PolyOne’s latest product introductions based on sustainable materials, including the following:

OnColor-brand Recovered Carbon Environmental Black. A new color concentrate derived from end-of-life tires, which officials said is a sustainable alternative to those based on virgin carbon black. The material creates a smaller carbon footprint than virgin carbon black because it uses 90 percent less water and 61 percent less electricity while emitting 90 percent less carbon dioxide in its manufacturing process, officials said.

November 26, 2019

Bridgestone brings first at-scale use of recovered carbon black to tire market

Filed under: Carbon Black, Recovered Carbon Black, Tires, Uncategorized — Notch @ 1:49 am

On November 20, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. announced the industry’s first at-scale use of recovered carbon black (rCB) in the tire market as part of its long-standing partnership with Delta-Energy Group, LLC.

The move to at-scale commercialization of D-E Black®, Delta-Energy Group’s proprietary rCB product recovered from EOL tires, marks a significant milestone in achieving Bridgestone Group’s long-term environmental vision of targeting 100% sustainable materials – and contributing to a reduction of over 50% CO2 emissions – by the year 2050 and beyond. The process by Delta-Energy Group to extract materials produces 81% less COper ton as compared to virgin carbon black. The investment also serves Bridgestone’s larger mission to drive toward a circular economy that eliminates waste through the continual use of resources, according to the company.

Bridgestone began evaluating Delta-Energy’s materials in 2007 and became an equity partner in late 2014. Since that time, the use of D-E Black as a partial replacement for vCB in new tires has undergone extensive testing to ensure compliance with the high standards and superior quality and performance for which Bridgestone tires are known. To date, Bridgestone has purchased approximately 235 metric tons of rCB, the equivalent of more than 70,000 EOL tires, resulting in the reduction of approximately 765,000 pounds of COemissions, compared to using vCB. By the end of 2020, Bridgestone plans to increase the use of D-E Black to 6,800 metric tons, equivalent to about 2 million EOL tires and a reduction of about 24 million pounds of carbon emissions.

Bob Genovese, Delta-Energy CEO, said in the press release that Delta-Energy has plans to build several more plants in North America over the next few years to produce D-E Black. Bridgestone is using D-E Black in high-quality tires for agriculture and passenger applications across multiple plants in the Americas, including the Bridgestone Des Moines Agriculture Tire Plant, Aiken County Passenger Tire Plant, and the Bridgestone Cuernavaca Tire Plant. The company is currently evaluating new opportunities to expand its usage of D-E Black into additional plants and product lines.

November 18, 2019

Birla Carbon and CHASM Advanced Materials announce carbon nanomaterials joint development agreement

Filed under: Carbon Black, Uncategorized — Notch @ 11:03 pm

On November 18, Birla Carbon (Mumbai, India & Marietta, GA) and CHASM Advanced Materials Inc. (Canton, MA) announced a new joint development agreement focused on the development of novel nanomaterials to benefit various market segments including high-performance tires, novel coatings and next-generation batteries. CHASM Advanced Materials is a producer of printed electronics materials and battery materials based on proprietary carbon nanotube and ink/coating technologies. 

Through this joint development agreement, the two companies will share research and engineering resources to develop and manufacture hybrid nanomaterials based on carbon substrates and carbon nanotubes. These hybrid nanomaterials will combine CHASM’s nanotube enhanced carbon (NTeC) technology with Birla Carbon’s expertise in commercialization and manufacturing. In so doing, the companies anticipate jointly developing novel carbon nanomaterials tailored for performance in a wide variety of demanding applications.

Here is the press release.

September 18, 2019

Impact of Saudi drone attack on downstream markets

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 11:27 am

Rubber & Plastics News has a useful article on the potential impact of the drone attack on Aramco’s facilities in Saudi Arabia on downstream markets, particularly polyolefins.

Over the weekend, a number of companies announced feedstock supply disruptions as a result of the Sept. 14 attacks, which forced Aramco to reduce crude supply by around 5.7 million barrels per day, or about 50 percent of its total production.

Key producers, including Saudi Basic Industries Corp.; Sahara International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem); Advanced Petrochemical Co.; National Industrialisation Co. (Tasnee); Yanbu National Petrochemical Co. (Yansab); and Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co., all disclosed “curtailment” of feedstock supply, ranging between 30 percent to 50 percent.

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