Michelin ... Nizhnekamskshina ... Goodyear ... Bridgestone ... Pirelli ... UK scandal ... US vs China ... BMW / Bridgestone ..
Listing of latest news stories and related developments from the tire sector in European and worldwide:
In the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) rankings, Michelin has scored Industry best in six categories including innovation management, product stewardship, climate strategy and environmental management. The DJSI ranking recognises its sustainability strategy and efforts to reduce use of raw materials and increase tire retreading and tire recycling as well as projects to find new uses for end-of-life tires and develop bio-sourced rubber.
Michelin North America Inc.’s Louisville-based American Synthetic Rubber Co. manufacturing facility has won a Resources Caretaker Award. The award was in recognition of its transformation of a former landfill site into a 75-acre habitat that is home to four natural environments, including forest, wetland, wildflower and prairie. ASRC staff and employees volunteered time to ensure the success of the project.
Goodyear's air maintenance technology (AMT) for commercial vehicles will begin testing on US trucking fleets in the next few months, as part of a research project supported by US dept of energy's (DOE) office of vehicle technology. AMT can aid in fuel savings and carbon dioxide reductions while potentially improving tire life, casing durability and safety and eliminating need for manually inflating tires.
Russian tire maker Nizhnekamskshina recently produced the 2 millionth all-steel radial truck tire – a Kama NF202, size 315/70 R22.5 – at its dedicated radial plant in Nizhnekamsk. The factory was commissioned in early 2011 after a two-year, $575m construction project. The plant, which has capacity for 54 sizes of tires for trucks, buses and semi-trailer equipment, has an annual nameplate capacity of 1.2 million units. It also produces Continental-brand tires at the plant under an off-take agreement
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s global headquarters in Ohio has earned a ‘leadership in energy & environmental design (LEED) gold’ rating from the US Green Building Council. The programme promotes the conservation of energy, water and other resources and the safety and health of occupants. Features of the Akron HQ include a triple-gas blend within the layers of glass walls to save energy, incorporating wood veneer from 100-year-old logs dredged from the Ohio River, and recycling 95 percent of construction waste.
Bridgestone’s flagship winter tire for SUVs, the Blizzak LM-80 EVO received a “very recommendable” rating from Autobild ALLRAD for, among other features, its performance on snow. Another tire, the Blizzak LM-32s winter touring tyre also earned Autobild’s recommendation.
In the UK, Pirelli has been crowned Tyre Manufacturer of the Year at the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) annual awards. Since its foundation in 1930, the NTDA has promoted best practice and innovation in the tire wholesale, distribution and retail sectors of the automotive aftermarket industry.
Nearly two thirds of UK garages have been asked to illegally dispose of old tires which are eventually burnt for fuel, according to a study by Business Waste. As reported by the edie newsroom, the waste management firm discovered that around two thirds of traders had been asked to dispose of tires illegally, and almost a third had given it consideration. Many such tires, it noted, are shipped to emerging nations with less rigid environmental controls.
The US Dept of Commerce’s international trade administration has postponed a decision on an antidumping duty investigation against Chinese passenger and light truck tires from 1 Dec to 20 Jan, 2015. “Because of the extraordinary complexity of this case and the number of firms we must investigate, including over 80 separate rate applications, it is not practicable to complete the preliminary determination by the current deadline,” the agency said in a notice.
Bridgestone has been awarded the BMW supplier innovation award 2014 in the category 'efficient dynamics;, in recognition of its new ologic technology for C02-optimised tyres developed for the BMW i3 electric vehicle. Bridgestone was selected exclusively to develop tires that complement the dynamic handling and sustainable performance of the i3. The ologics have especially large diameters and narrow treads, which reduce tire deformation and loss of energy during driving, helping to reduce rolling resistance without impacting safety levels.
BMW has awarded Pirelli this year’s annual BMW supplier innovation award in recognition of its ‘real dynamic curing’ technology for the tire vulcanisation process. The technology employs a thermal sensor to determine the optimal degree of vulcanisation for each tire. The prize for ‘the best innovation in quality’ was collected by Maurizio Boiocchi, Pirelli’s general manager technology. Pirelli has more than 200 homologations for the BMW Group.
Professional truck drivers travelled 421.3bn miles of road in the US last year, consuming more than 52bn gallons of fuel, notes Goodyear – citing data from the American Trucking Associations to support the launch of a fuel-efficient long haul drive tire. The new Full Max LHD G505D, it claims, improves fuel economy by, on average, 2 percent compared to the Michelin X Line Energy D; 1.3 percent compared to the Continental EcoPlus HD3; and 0.9 percent compared to the Bridgestone M710 Ecopia.
Marangoni Retreading Systems has updated its range of cold-retreaded winter tyres, for 2014/2015, to cover all needs: from all-season profiles to patterns suitable for wet roads, snow and ice. New offerings include the new Ringtread Blackline WS101 – a bi-directional tread pattern with a variable block arrangement and deep 3D siping with interlock technology. The square tread profile means “an exceptionally wide footprint” that maximises grip on the road, allowing the tread to adapt to continuous changes in both road and weather conditions during operation for enhanced control on wet, snow-covered surfaces.
Chinese tyre maker Chengshan Group is to exercise its rights to take over the tire plant it jointly owns withCooper Tire’s largest factory, the Financial Times has reported. The decision ends a long battle that, last year, scuppered a £2.5bn takeover of Cooper by Apollo Tyres of India, as workers at state-owned Chengshan rejected the deal. According to the FT report, that the company is offering $285m for Cooper’s controlling 65 per-cent stake in the JV.
Leicester, UK-based haulier JC Trans (UK) has recorded an 88 percent reduction in tire failures per quarter, after adopting a full Michelin tire policy for its 15-strong fleet. The company had suffered an average of 16 tire failures per quarter, which has since reduced to two. The policy sees all the firm’s tractor units fitted with X MultiWay 3D XZE multi-position tires on the steer axle, and X MultiWay 3D XDEs on the drive axles.
Around 120 international exhibitors are lined up for Reifen China at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre on 3-5 Dec. Exhibitors will include the 15 largest tire makers in China, such as Double Coin, Shandong Linglong Tyre, the China National Tire & Rubber Corp. Running in parallel, Rubber Tech China will relate to the stage before tire production: featuring around 500 exhibitors. Both events aim to jointly cover the complete value added chain of the tire: from raw material processing via manufacture and trading right up to recycling. Around 15,000 visitors are expected.
Oversupplied and overstocked, the off-the-road (OTR) tire sector is now a buyer's market, according to Mike Baggett, national OTR sales manager for Yokohama Tire Corp. Mining – a key market - is suffering a decline now, with no end in sight, he said at the recent International Tire Exhibition & Conference in Orlando. However, small OTR tires are enjoying an upswing, said Aaron Murphy, VP of CMA LLC/Double Coin: “[They] have the right production flow and the right inventory levels, and sales are strong,” he said.
Polyurethane tire developer Amerityre Corp. has posted a net loss for the fiscal year ended 30 June 12-percent deeper than in the year before despite 19-percent higher sales. For the year, the net loss was $1.29 million on sales of $4.32 million – taking cumulative losses over 18 years to $64.4m. The Boulder City, Nevada-based company linked the decline to a reconciliation of assets, trademarks and patents and the sales gain to the recovery of business in hand-truck and wheel assemblies.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is marking the 70th year of its San Angelo tire evaluation centre, which plays a key role in its product and technology development work. On- and off-road testing at the facility supplies the company’s technical teams with data and information for predicting product performance in real-world conditions.
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