Page 1

Vol No 3 Issue No 5

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012 US$20

150

Tarmac

Scorchers

BAINITE RELOADED: DYNAMIC,VIBRANT DN Suvarna, Managing Director, Bainite

Also in this issue

SELF INFLATING TYRES Frantisek Hrabal, Chief Executive Officer, Coda Development

Nano balance technology David Stinissen, Marketing Manager Benelux, Toyo Tire

Alternatives to remain niche Nick Peksa Director, Business Development, Mintec

Coos Spanjer: Driving force behind VMI Coos Spanjer, former CEO, VMI


Vol No 3 Issue No 5

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012 US$20

150

Tarmac

Scorchers

BAINITE RELOADED: DYNAMIC,VIBRANT DN Suvarna, Managing Director, Bainite

Also in this issue

SELF INFLATING TYRES Frantisek Hrabal, Chief Executive Officer, Coda Development

Nano balance technology David Stinissen, Marketing Manager Benelux, Toyo Tire

Alternatives to remain niche Nick Peksa Director, Business Development, Mintec

Coos Spanjer: Driving force behind VMI Coos Spanjer, former CEO, VMI


rni no. MAHENG/201034042

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012

rni no. MAHENG/201034042


i n si d e 9

Editorial

The labelling challenge

10

Mail Box

12 14

16-17 Yoichiro Hibiya

Aparna Khurana

David Stevens

News scan-Asia News scan-World Spotlight

Cooper names Jeff Schumaker Sales and Marketing Director for Europe; Niraj Ishwar Thakkar becomes President of AIRIA; Hankook America appoints Shawn Denlein as SVP, Marketing; Paul Fitzhenry named SVP, Global Coomunication, at Goodyear; Two great losses - Dr Alan Gent and Robert (Bob) Newton

18

Straight talk

20-25

Perspective

Guayule is for real Michael R Fraley, CEO, PanAridus, stresses that guayule is for real and on the way towards commercialisation

Small-scale tyre plant package Yoichiro Hibiya, Representative Consultant & Managing Director, ETIC Inc, on how small scale plants work better for tyre industry Wheels slowdown Louis Rumao reviews the American automobile scene

28-33

Focus

Rolling the silica way Aparna Khurana, Commercial Leader for XIAMETER, Dow Corning, on silica technology solutions Return via retreads David Stevens, MD, TRIB, on the increasing relevance of tyre retreading

36-41

Rubber

Alternatives to remain niche

Nick Peksa, Business Development Director, Mintec, on the future of rubber industry growth NR is green business Dr N Yogaratnam, Chairman, Tree Crops Agro Consultants, Sri Lanka, bets on rubber plantations’ eco relevance

44-53

Cover Story

56-69

Technology

Bainite reloaded: Dynamic, vibrant Bainite Machines Private Limited, Mumbai-based leading machinery makers, has achieved remarkable growth, expanding its horizon from being a producer of critical spares for tyre manufacturing machines to become one of Asia’s biggest producers and suppliers of sub assemblies and subsequently full-fledged machines. The recent launch of the Twin Screw Sheeter was the latest in a long line of top quality products Bainite has been offering the industry

Nano balance technology David Stinissen, Marketing Manager Benelux, Toyo Tire, talks about Toyo’s NanoEnergy range and studless winter tyres Productivity Innovation The Indian rubber industry is facing the problem of lack of technical inputs by qualified technologies, says Manu Patel of Mumbai-based Polymer Processing Academy (PPA) Self-inflating tyres Frantisek Hrabal, CEO, Coda Development, on the efforts to introduce his Self Inflating Tyre technology in to the global market Testing times all the way The challenge for testing companies is to answer the increasing needs of tyre manufacturers, says Harri Eskelinen, Managing Director of Finlandbased Test World

72-73 DN Suvarna

2

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

Race track

Tarmac scorchers Infinity Tyres and AMD, the team it sponsors at the British Drift Championship, have reasons to cheer after the team’s impressive show in the 2012 season

Special


October/November 2012 Vol 3 Issue No 5

76

Company watch

78

Product watch

80

Auto Watch

82

Calendar

84-91

Events

93

Remembrance

Coos Spanjer: Driving force behind VMI rise

95

Limelight

97

Techview

98

Tyrecare

99

Technotes

102

Rearview

103

Treadmarks

104 105 106

Reflections Random thoughts Ad Index

Special Supplement

Special Supplement

Manu Patel

Special Supplement

Special Supplement

Harri Eskelinen

Special Supplement

Special Supplement Special Supplement

Special Supplement

107-127 Special Suppliment: EU Tyre Labelling

CONTENTS

1. Image makeover/ The EU tyre

6. Helps pick the best/ Ed Pike,

2. Challenge for all/ ETRMA

Mukhopadhyay, Director, Hasetri

3.Leading the pack/ Interview with

with Dr P Thavamani, Director, IRMRA

PE, a well-known researcher in energy efficiency and sustainability issues

labelling, which comes into effect on November 1, is an important mandatory rule that will have a cascading effect across the world

7. Innovation opportunity/ Dr R 8. End users to benefit/ Interview

Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp

9. Brand role/ Interview with

Wilko Fong, Managing Director, Reliable International Exhibition Services

4. Challenges and opportunities/ Neeraj Kanwar, Chairman, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association

5. Deadline pressure/ Alfred

Dr Sridhar Balasubramanian, Roy and Alice H Richards Bicentennial Distinguished Scholar, Associate Dean, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

10. Information accessibility/

Graham, President of UK-based Imported Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA)

Florian W. Fischer, Director Business Developmnet, VMI, Holland

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

3


Editor’s Letter

Vol 3 Issue No 5 October/November 2012 Editor Kurian Abraham Executive Director John S. Powath Associate Editor KS Nayar Executive Editor P Raghava Varma Assistant Editors Prof T N Kalamani A Saj Mathews P Venugopal Vice Presidents (Marketing) Antony Powath Vijay Kurian Abraham Asst. Marketing Manager Anil Panicker

t last, the ambitious and much-awaited tyre labelling project is becoming a reality. The EU legislation on tyre labelling officially takes effect on November 1, 2012. It’s only a question of time before it became an accepted global practice. The new legislation is expected to put all tyres on a level playing field and bring more competition and transparency in the European market.

Editorial Office Dhanam House 29/609, Cheruparampath Road, Kadavanthra, Cochin - 682 020, India Phone : 91-484-2315840, 2316494, 3297806 Fax : 91-484-2317872 E-mail:dhanrubber@eth.net, danam@satyam.net.in

What’s in it for the consumer? Will it impact considerably the profile and profitability of tyre manufacturers? Will it bring in more transparency and customerfriendly initiatives in the global tyre trade? These are some of the issues hotly debated by various stakeholders in the industry across the globe.

Mumbai 501/502, Imperial Plaza, Corner of 27th & 30th Road, Near Nilgiri Garden, Bandra (W), Mumbai - 400 050 Phone : 91-22-2640 0829, 2640 0735 Fax : 91-22-2641 1894 E-mail: johnpowath@hotmail.com, johnpowath2008@gmail.com New Delhi N. Kunju, 42-B, Pocket-I, Mayur Vihar New Delhi-110 091, Phone: 91-11-22755357 E-mail: janunkunju@sify.com US Correspondent Dr Louis P Rumao 621 Lockmoore Court, Rochester Hills, Michigan 48307-4229, Tel: +1 248 852 6634 Email: louis.rumao@yahoo.com European Representative John Stone 73 Chaney Road, Wivenhoe Essex, CO79RR, England Sapphire Media, Tel: +44 (0) 1206 822320, M: + 44 (0) 7769 675232, Email: john.stone@sapphire-media.co.uk Australia Jacob Cherian, Ausker Pacific Pty. Ltd. Suite 1, 1401 Burke Road, East Kew Vic 3102 Melbourne Australia, Phone: 61 3 9859 8922 E-mail: ausker@auskergroup.com.au South East Asia Esther Goh Mobile : 6019-272 0997 E-mail: esthergoh2004@yahoo.com Thailand Ms. Somruetai Patana-anek (Mott). Managing Director, Busgum Co. Ltd., 1093/115, 21st Floor, Central City Tower, Bangna-Trad Road (K.M.3), Bangna, Bangkok 10260, Thailand Phone: +66-2-3993946, 399-4374, 399-3896 Mobile 66-1-8429105, Email: somruetai.patana-anek@busgum.com Sri Lanka Pritha Fernando, Ceyexxe Limited, 366/3 Avissawella Road, Wellampltlya. PO Box: 2122, Colombo, Sri Lanka Phone: +94-11-4 891 085 E-mail: cxib@lankabiz.net Subscription rates 6 issues : Rs. 800, 12 issues : Rs. 1,600, 24 issues : Rs. 3,000, S. copy : Rs. 150 / US $20 Overseas: 12 issues : $200, 24 issues : $400 Printed by Five Star Offset Printers, Kochi 682016 for Raskin Arts, 3 Papa Industrial Estate, 1st Floor, 40, Suren Road, Near Cinemagic Cinema, Opp. Residency Hotel, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400 093, Edited by Kurian Abraham and Printed and Published by Antony Powath, 19 Vaikunth Apartment, Mount Mary Road, Bandra (West) Mumbai 400 050

The labelling challenge

A

The new label will rate fuel-efficiency, wet grip performance and the exterior rolling noise of tyres. It will provide end-users with clear and important information about their purchase and thus help change the consumers’ purchasing behaviour. The new law will be a boost to green tyre makers as a key aim of this regulation is to achieve CO2 reductions, forcing the market to change towards more environmentfriendly tyres. The regulation poses a big challenge to tyre manufacturers who have to ensure that the new tyres carry performance data in respect of noise, wet grip, rolling resistance etc. There is also a huge challenge for retailers who have to apprise the customers of the implications of various parameters mentioned on the label and advise them on the best tyre to choose from. Leading tyre manufacturers are all set to offer ‘labelled’ tyres to the European market. Indian tyre majors like Apollo, who both manufacture and export to Europe, too are fully geared to meet the labelling challenge. However, the regulatory bodies in India have not yet taken a call on introducing such labels on tyres sold in the country. Once labelling is implemented in Europe, other countries are expected to follow suit. The US is ready with draft legislation on labelling. China has roped in the services of LANXESS in the drafting process for the development and implementation of tyre labelling in the country. But the moot point is: Is the label a comprehensive measure of a tyre’s performance? It’s vital to choose a tyre offering the right balance of performance. Apart from the parameters mentioned on the label, there are other factors to be taken into account such as the tyre longevity, braking on dry surfaces, resistance to aggressive surfaces, load capacity, traction and total cost of ownership. Criteria like mileage, handling and life are not covered by the tyre label, but are important when choosing tyres. Similarly, the label does not currently include information about how easy it is to retread the tyres – which is essential for trucks – nor does it make any specific reference to the criteria needed to judge winter tyres. So, the correct advice from specialised dealers is still important when it comes to matching a tyre with a customer’s expectations. Thus the label can be considered only as an “initial reference point” that should be supplemented with advice from specialists. It appears that the authorities, tyre makers and dealers have not done much to educate fleet operators about the new legislation. Some recent surveys reveal that the majority of drivers in Europe, when questioned about the new tyre labelling law, admitted they knew nothing about it. This underlines the need to have a sustained campaign to educate the public about the new legislation and its benefits.

Kurian Abraham POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

9


Letters

RNI No. MAHENG/201034042

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012

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POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA

Road to Green Planet

O

ne must say BKT’s strategy planners have done a wonderful job by concentrating on a segment – OHT - that poses big challenges RAISING BENCHMARKS and offers equally big returns (Raising Benchmarks, August/September, 2012). Everything about Off Highway Tires segment is big – as big as the tyres that are used in it. Production costs are high, volumes are low, technology needed is high cost and complex. Many big names in the global tyre industry have tried their hands in this segment and left it, failing to produce consistent results. This is an Vol No 3 Issue No 4

SPECIAL EdITION

CHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS AND ADVANCEMENT

Strategic advantage

Arvind Poddar, Chairman & Managing Director, BKT

NEW SPIN ON TyRE TESTING

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Dr Jim Cuttino Head of Camber Ridge Project

CLEAN, qUIET ANd SAfE

Jens Haala, Head of Product Management, ATE Ceramic

ORGKHIM’S ALL ‘GREEN’ SOLUTION

Nikolay Khodov, CEO Trade House ORGKHIM

BET TING ON BRANd POWER

Anant Goenka, Managing Director, CEAT

Brand matters

C

ongratulations to Anant Goenka for taking over as MD of CEAT (Betting on Brand Power, Aug/Sept, 2012). Everything, including his youthful vigor, augments well for the company to achieve bigger success. His focus on enhancing CEAT’s brand power is spot on. This is a very timely move because the future of tyre industry will see a battle of brands, particularly when there is going to be a level playing ground for all the players. Once the new laws bring all tyres under the same parameters of quality and excellence, then all tyres will become equal. The “more equal” will be those who succeed in selling their brand value better. Anant is right when he says “brand pull and brand recall value will be the key drivers for the new age passenger vehicle customers.” It is the name that lingers, not the technical specifications, no matter how important that is to a discerning buyer. A brand becomes successful only when it assures quality excellence and value for money by the mere mention of its name. Any compromise on these factors can boomerang, destroying the brand once and for all. CEAT is a very popular brand in the market. I don’t know if the name is

10

exclusive segment that offers very good results if the challenges are well met. BKT has proved it that it is a winner. The focus on OHT has made it one of the most popular global brands. It is a proud moment for the company, now celebrating 25 years of leadership in its chosen area. The plan to strengthen its infrastructure facilities and expand production capacity will certainly increase BKT’s global presence. An important part of any tyre manufacturer is the importance it gives to technology development and R&D operations. Both these areas are only to become more significant when new rules and regulations will bring the industry under watch.

a synonym, but the name sounds very good and easy to recognise. It is India’s fourth largest tyre maker. With other major companies like Apollo and MRF leading the field and several international players entering the scene, the market is now crowded. This is a huge challenge for CEAT to improve its position and become the leading one. But with a young leader like Anant at the helm, I am sure they can do it. Ketan Misra New Delhi

The wells dry up

L

ouis P Rumao’s article on “Alternative Power Plants” (Aug/Sept, 2012) throws light on how keen the world’s leading nations are on depending less on fossil fuel and bring in nature more into the production of energy. He says that the US needs over 19 million barrels of crude oil every day and that about 10 million of

barrels are imported. This is an alarming figure. One can imagine how much of oil is used a day all over the world and how fast the oil wells must be drying up. It is high time alternative energy sources are tapped to end this craving for oil. While all countries are looking for alternative energy sources, the stress on research and development in this

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

Arvind Poddar, Chairman & Managing Director, had made an important observation when he says that the reason for BKT’s focus on Western markets is the level of development in the farming sector. He talks about high powered machines and larger agricultural fields in the West while in India the fields are smaller and the machines – tractors etc – are primitive. How true. This only highlights the overall neglect the Indian agricultural sector has been receiving from the government. BKT’s bigger focus on Western markets than in India must be a message to the Indian government. Kailas Yadav Lucknow, India

area varies. I feel there has to be a unified effort by all the leading countries, probably under an international organisation like the UN, to combine the forces and come up with some new cost-effective method. There simply is not much time. John Kipler Ohio

Labelling and after It was interesting to read John Stone’s comments on the arrival of the European tyre labelling legislation in November. He says European tyre industry is in for a major impact from the legislation. I

am not sure how aware customers are about the new law and how to make anything out of those labels on tyres. This is going to need a thorough training on what these labels mean and how to understand the quality of the tyre from the figures and numbers on the label. There are thousands of tyre retailers where hundreds of people work. Who is going to teach them about the label? The whole thing looks quite vague. One hope the labelling will ultimately ensure good quality tyres in the markets. Daniel Jacob Benjamin Liverpool


Omni United (S) Pte Ltd 1 Raffles Place #30-03 One Raffles Place Singapore 048616

Main:(65) 6423 1431 Fax:(65) 6423 0938

info@omni-united.com www.omni-united.com www.radartires.com


NEWSSCAN - ASIA

AEOLUS OPENS NEW PLT PLANT EYEING US TYRE MARKET

C

hina’s fifth largest tyre company, Aeolus Tyre Co. Ltd., has built a new plant to produce passenger and light truck radial tyres (PLT), adding to its existing product lines of truck and OTR tyres. The company is currently the 20th largest tyre maker in the worldwide. Aeolus Chairman and General Manager Feng Wang said the aim is to get to the 10th position. The company sold more than $1.5 billion in the US in 2011 Aeolus has two plants in Jiaozuo, China, in the Henan province. The newest plant is 100% radial. Aeolus is the country’s largest producer of OTR tires and the third largest producer of TBR tyres. The company has plans to export passenger and light truck radials (PLT) to the US. The factory is currently producing 8,500 tyres per day and aims to increase capacity to 15 million PLT tyres per year. Currently, 40% of Aeolus’ tires are exported, with 10% going to the US market.

YOKOHAMA RESTRUCTURES OPERATION IN VIETNAM

Y

okohama Rubber has ended its joint venture in Vietnam for the last 15 years and intends to integrate this into its local subsidiary. The company announced that the three joint investors in Yokohama Tire Vietnam Company (YTVC) – Yokohama Rubber, Southern Rubber Industry Company (Casumina), and Mitsubishi Corporation – began preparing to end the joint venture company in August as part of what Yokohama Rubber calls the “enhancement” of its tyre manufacturing and marketing operation in Vietnam. YTVC will be integrated into Yokohama Tire Vietnam Inc., a 100% owned subsidiary of Vietnam Rubber. This move is described by Yokohama Rubber as an “operational unification” that “further enhances its tyre manufacturing and marketing operation in Vietnam, upgrading its presence in the local market.” At the same time, Yokohama Rubber shares that it plans to “streamline and strengthen” Yokohama Tire Vietnam Inc. as a base for supplying mini-spare tyres worldwide. The joint-venture company was founded in November 1997 and produces cross-ply tyres for motorcycles and light commercial vehicles. Yokohama Tire Vietnam Inc., was established in June 2006 in order to meet growing demand for tyres in Vietnam. The subsidiary constructed and operated an integrated plant near Ho Chi Minh City, and since February 2008 the company has manufactured and marketed cross-ply motorcycle, light commercial and industrial vehicle tyres, as well as mini-spare tyres.

INDIAN TYRE INDUSTRY AWAITS WATCHDOG PROBE REPORT

T

yre industry in India eagerly watches the progress of the probe launched by the Competition Commission, which has found evidence of cartelisation in the country’s tyre manufacturing industry. According to a senior official, an order on the functioning of the industry was to be announced soon. Cartelisation generally refers to companies entering into deals whereby they decide not to compete on price or product or customers. Since this impacts the competition in the market, cartelization is prohibited under the Competition Act.

12

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

However, the tyre industry has denied charges of caterlisation. Industry sources said any penalty would impact business adversely. The Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) Director-General Rajiv Budhraja was quoted as saying that “the tyre industry is showing sluggish growth and demand outlook is bearish. In such a scene, the penalty would be an added burden.” The Commission has the mandate to eliminate practices that have an adverse impact on competition and protect the interests of consumers.

HANKOOK’S JAVA PLANT ALL SET TO come ON STREAM

H

ankook Tire is all set to get its plant in Indonesia on steam in October. The $1.1 billion production facility is located in Cikarang, West Java and the product is mainly for Hankook’s overseas markets in the US and Middle East. “Our factory is ready to start production next month. Indonesia is very important to us, not just as a market but also as a production base,” said Jae Bum Park, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Southeast Asia. The Cikarang plant is the seventh in Hankook’s production hub portfolio. The others are two in South Korea, one in Hungary and three in China. It will have an annual production capacity of 4.5 million units in 2012 and will increase to 6 million units annually by 2014 and 17 million units per year by 2018. According to Park, about 80% of the production from the Indonesian plant will be exported to the US, Australia and Middle East. The new facility will also help the company to increase its sales in the Indonesian market by 30% in 2018 in order to meet growing demand for car tyres. “Indonesia’s car industry is growing rapidly. The total amount of car production in Indonesia this year may reach 1 million units. Indonesia is stepping into a new era and it holds great potential.” Hankook plans to open up to 100 Hankook Masters distribution outlets across Indonesia by 2013, 10 of which will be opened this year.

CONTINENTAL TIRES PLANS EXPANSION IN INDONESIA

C

ontinental’s Indonesian operation is eyeing expansion of its product range as well as distribution network. According to a senior official, the tyre maker is targeting high-end consumers. At the Indonesian International Motor Show 2012 in September, the company introduced its new premium Conti Sport Contact 5 tyres for sedans and sport utility vehicles. Continental, which markets its tyres through its subsidiary Continental Sime Tyre, currently has nine dealers in Indonesia and aims to have two more by the end of this year, the official said. Sime Tyre specialises in producing high quality Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tyres as well as tyres for Agricultural, Mining and Industrial use. The company’s research and development (R&D) activities are being carried out by Continental Sime Tyre Technology Centre Sdn Bhd, which transmits Continental’s latest tyre technology to CST factories in Alor Star and Petaling Jaya. Indonesia’s growing economy and rising middle-class have boosted demand for cars, and subsequently for tyres. Foreign tyre makers are keen to tap the rapidly growing market.


NEWSSCAN - WORLD

US MARKET AWAITS POSSIBLE CHINESE TYRE RUSH

W

ith the US government ending the 25% import tariff on Chinese tyres for the first time in three years, Chinese tyre makers are on a bullish mode to step up export to the US while major global tyre makers based in the US are preparing to face the impact when there could be a flooding of cheap Chinese tyres, sparking increased competition and even lowering of prices if it comes to that. Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co., China’s largest tyre maker, has already announced said that it is ready to boost exports to the US. “We’ve been preparing for the tariff expiration for some time,” Hangzhou Zhongce’s Ni was quoted as saying in the media. Chinese companies faced a 35% duty in 2009 that was lowered by 5% points each year. Now that the tariff has been removed, ensuring a level playing field for all, they are now eyeing to raise exports and make up for the past. Meanwhile, world’s biggest tyre company Bridgestone has said it is aware of what to expect in the coming months, Yuki Kawasoe, Bridgestone spokesman, said: “There will be an impact on the entire market…We will work to boost efficiency and cut costs to maintain competitiveness.”

MICHELIN GETS TOP SLOT CONSUMER REPORT TESTS

M

ichelin and Continental led the field in Consumer Reports’ latest tests for all-season and winter replacement tyres. A total of 78 models of all season and winter tyres were tested, including 20 T-speed-rated (118 mph) all-season tyres, 20 H-speed-rated (130 mph) and 22 V-speed-rated (149 mph) performance all-season tyres, and 16 winter tyre models. It was Michelin’s Defender that came first in the test for all T-speed-rated all-season tyres. The tests found that it had very good tread life. It also performed well in dry braking, wet braking, handling and hydroplaning, according to the report. Continental’s ProContact EcoPlus was a close second. In the performance all-season H-speed-rated category, Michelin’s Primacy MXV4 received highest rating, followed by Conti’s PureContact. According to the report, Defender did well in most weather tests. It offers a comfortable, quiet ride and has low rolling resistance. The Continental was impressive in the wetbraking test and has a good balance of all-weather performance and tread life.

MOST AMERICAN DRIVERS FOUND TYRE CONSCIOUS

A

ccording to the Hankook Tire 2012 Fall Gauge Index, 70% of American drivers were confident in changing a flat tyre, while 71% know how to change a flat tyre – 93% are males and 48% females. The survey finding says that more than half of respondents (53%) said they learned how to change a tyre from their dad, distantly followed by 7%, who picked up the skill in a class.However, not many are keen to stop and help someone with a flat tyre crisis. The Hankook study says 61% have never stopped to help someone change a tyre and only 29%of those aged 18-35 have stopped. The survey also found that what distracts American drivers most while at the wheel is texting on mobile phones. The survey report

14

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

said that 28% of respondents aged 18-35 stated that texting was their greatest distraction when driving, compared to 15% of respondents 35-54 years old, and 7% of those 55 and up.

COOPER’S ‘ART TYRES’ HELP INJURED SOLDIERS

C

ooper Tires has come up with a novel way to reach out to injured soldiers – “art tyres.” Artist John Wilson designed and painted a floral scene on an Avon motorcycle tyre, Richard Rowan created a winter scene on a winter tyre, while Stefan Marner transformed his Avon winter tyre into an oversised engagement ring. Cooper, official supporter of the Race2Recovery team (R2R), auctioned the three unique “art tyres” with all proceeds being donated to Help For Heroes’ recovery centre Tedworth House in Tidworth. The R2R is mostly made up of injured soldiers with a passion for speed who are keen to prove that their injuries will not define their lives. The three tyres – two winter and one motorcycle – were auctioned online on eBay. Sarah McRoberts, Cooper Tire Europe Marketing Communications Manager, said: “It felt only right that we donate the proceeds to a cause which we have worked so closely and one we fully endorse.

CONTINENTAL TO OPEN BUS TYRE RETREADING PLANT

C

ontinental is to establish a new truck and bus tyre retreading plant plus a facility to recycle rubber from used tyres at its Hannover headquarters. It will be the first of its kind worldwide and will make use of the synergies between the retreading and recycling production. An investment of more than ten million euros will go into the ContiLifeCycle plant project, and more than 100 new jobs will be created at Continental’s Hannover-Stöcken site. “In the face of limited raw materials, we see it as our obligation to come up with sustainable solutions in tire production and retreading. We are now able to process used tread buffings and ground end-of-life tyres in such a steered and controlled way, that it can be reused in the production of new and retreaded tyres,” commented Dr. Andreas Esser, head of Continental’s Commercial Vehicle Tires business unit. Continental says it has developed a new recycling process that allows high shares of recycled rubber in compounds for new and retreaded tyres. By implementing Continental’s new approach, the amount of recycled rubber in a tyre can be doubled.

NEXEN N’BLUE HD SCORES IN AUTO EXPRESS TESTS South Korean tyre manufacturer Nexen’s European orientated eco-friendly tyre range Nexen N’Blue HD came third in the most recent Auto Express “Big Tyre Test 2012.” In wet handling and curved aquaplaning tests, the Nexen N’Blue HD was second overall. Auto Express selected eight tyres among the many makes available on the UK market. The tyres were put to nine tests and the winner in each test scoring 100% was picked, with the other seven tyres marked down accordingly. Joo Ho Song, Head of Nexen Tire Europe, said: “We are delighted to have received such an accolade, as we were asked to participate in this kind of test for the first time.”


SPOTLIGHT

C

COOPER’S SCHUMAKER BACK IN EUROPE

ooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe Ltd. has named Jeff Schumaker its Sales and Marketing Director. Schumaker, who will be based in Melksham, UK, returns to Europe after serving since 2009 as General Manager of Cooper Tire’s manufacturing joint venture in Mexico, Corporación de Occidente, and its wholly owned Cooper Tire de Mexico sales and marketing organization. He will now report to Cooper Tire Europe Vice President and General Manager Julian Baldwin. Prior to his service in Mexico, Schumaker was Director of Quality at Cooper Tire’s headquarters in Findlay, Ohio, USA, and Technical Liaison Manager for Cooper Tire Europe, based in Melksham. Earlier in his career with Cooper Tire, he served as a Tire Development Manager for SUV and light truck tyres. A graduate of Kettering University (formerly GMI Engineering & Management Institute) in Flint, Michigan, USA, Schumaker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and Master’s degrees in Operations Management and Manufacturing Management.

I

NIRAJ THAKKAR TO LEAD AIRIA

t is at a crucial time for the rubber industry in India that Niraj Ishwar Thakkar assumes the office of President of All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA). The association, which plays an important role in facilitating steady growth of rubber-related industries, particularly small and medium enterprises, is facing huge challenges such as in the supply of raw materials, issues related to import policies etc. Thakkar, with his dynamic vision and strategic experience, is now in a position where he can define AIRIA’s relevance as an industry growth facilitator. Thakkar, Technical Director of Mumbai-based Precision Rubber Industries Ltd, is now moving up to a position vacated by Vinod Simon, who completed his term after leading AIRIA from the front and successfully bearing the flag of Indian rubber industry at various international forums.

The new leader is quite at home with the responsibilities and challenges because he has been close to the association’s helm as its Senior Vice President and Vice President earlier. A qualified rubber technologist from the IIT, Thakkar’s knowledge about the industry is also boosted by his role as the Editor of Rubber India Magazine. As the president, one of his early platforms to highlight AIRIA’s importance will be the successful organisation of Indian Rubber Expo 2013, which will be held in Mumbai from Jan 22-24. He is the convenor of the event. He started his career working with a finance company as a Finance Executive, managing new projects (IPO) and, subsequently in 1997, established a manufacturing company HOFIL, specialising in injection moulding of various plastic products. Thakkar had worked as a computer programmer from 1993-1995 at University of Connecticut in the Department of Residential Living (DRL) handling programming for maintenance and updation of records and profiles of 20,000 students living on campus.

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DENLEIN TO DRIVE HANKOOK US SALES

ankook Tire America Corporation has a new senior vice president of marketing and sales for the United States - Shawn Denlein. He will lead the company’s strategic marketing moves, including elevating brand positioning, maximising sales and driving Hankook’s plans to expand its market share in the country. Denlein is joining Hankook after leading the consumer division of Yokohama. With over 17 years of experience in tyre industry, he is a proven winner in boosting sales. Denlein also has thorough knowledge about retail and wholesale operations. Soo Il Lee, President, Hankook Tire America Corp., said: “Shawn’s experience and understanding of the US market makes him a valuable addition to the Hankook team. As Hankook continues to grow in the United States, Shawn will take a leading role in our marketing and sales efforts.” Hankook Tire, the seventh-largest tyre company in the world, has a strong base in the US market, which has been growing. An example of its increasing role is its recent tie-up with Chrysler Group LLC to deliver its Optimo H725 touring all-season tyre as original equipment for the 2013 Chrysler 300 AWD models and 2013 Dodge Charger SXT, SXT Plus, and R/T AWD models. The tyres supplied will be for the Pentastar V-6 and V-8 versions of these Chrysler and Dodge AWD flagship sedans in size P235/55R19H. According to Soo Il Lee, “adding these Chrysler Group vehicles to our original equipment activities illustrates our continued commitment to both vehicle manufacturers and consumers.” He added: “Our original equipment partnerships are an important element of our overall strategy for growth in North America and I look forward to a continued relationship with the Chrysler Group in the future.

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POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012


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FITZHENRY JOINS GOODYEAR AS SVP

aul Fitzhenry has been named Senior Vice President of Global Coomunication at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.He will report to Richard J. Kramer, Chairman, President & CEO. As chief communications officer, Fitzhenry will be responsible for leading Goodyear’s global communications strategy and aligning it with the company’s business objectives, global strategy, and corporate mission. He also will oversee the operations of Goodyear’s fleet of world famous airships. “Paul’s experience and proven effectiveness as a global communications leader will be a tremendous asset to Goodyear,” said Kramer. “We are looking forward to him leading our global communications effort to help drive the execution of our strategy.” Fitzhenry, 53, joins Goodyear with more than 25 years experience in key communications roles in leading global companies. Since 2007, he has served as vice president of corporate communications with Tyco International - a $17 billion diversified global industrial company - leading internal and external communications, executive communications and brand strategy as well as Tyco’s global philanthropy and corporate responsibility programs. A native of Brampton, Ontario, Fitzhenry holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario and a master’s degree in public relations from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

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GENT: DEFINING INDUSTRY FUTURE

he demise of Dr Alan Gent, renowned polymer scientist and educator, has been a big blow to the rubber industry and academia the world over. Highly respected for his multi-dimensional contributions to the rubber industry in various capacities such as consultant, academician and scholar of polymers and rubber engineering, Dr. Gent was honored globally with several awards, including the prestigious first Tan Sri Dr B C Sekhar Gold Medal 2010, instituted by Rubber Asia, the Rubber Division’s George S. Whitby Award for Distinguished Teaching and Research in 1987 and the Charles Goodyear Medal in 1990. Ever since he joined the faculty at The University of Akron in 1961, Gent made invaluable contributions to the rubber and polymer industry, pioneering research in the fracture mechanics of rubber and plastics. His research findings have impacted nearly every rubber or plastic product developed today. Gent has published over 200 papers and book chapters on the mechanical properties of rubber and plastics and edited a book titled “Engineering with Rubber.” A co-holder of two British patents and one US patent, he frequently was invited to address universities, corporations, and professional society meetings around the world and served as a visiting professor at Queen Mary College at the University of London, McGill University and the University of Minnesota. Gent remained active with the University of Akron and the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering until his passing. In honor of his international recognition and his service to the University, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the Ohio Research Scholar Professor at The University of Akron and henceforth be named the “Alan N. Gent Ohio Research Scholar Professor of Polymers.”

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ADIOS, BOB, THE RACER!

he racing world will miss Robert (Bob) Newton, the founder and driving force behind Hoosier racing tires, who died at 85 at his home in Plymouth, Indiana. A racer before he was a businessman, he founded what became Hoosier Racing Tire Co. in 1957 to fill what he saw as a need for high-quality, low-cost tyres for dirt and asphalt racers in the Midwest. NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, who had been sponsored by Hoosier Racing Tire for years, said: “The thing about Bob is he always cared about the racers more than he cared about himself. There are a lot of companies that you see in these garage areas that don’t think that way. He was just a great person. He was a great father to his family.” The family-owned company grew to become the world’s largest race tyre manufacturer. It built and supplied tires primarily to the ARCA, ASA and USAC stock car series, the USAC and World of Outlaws open-wheel series, and to the IHRA and NHRA drag racers. It also was active in the SCCA, NASCAR Modified and Rolex Grand-Am Series. Newton began supplying tires to NASCAR’s Nationwide Series in 1991 and to the Sprint Cup Series in 1994, taking on long-time industry giant Goodyear. Geoffrey Bodine won four Cup races on Hoosiers and Rick Mast won the 1994 Brickyard 400 pole on Hoosiers. The company left NASCAR in 1994 after the sanctioning body said it must bring enough tires for every team at every event, even though only a few were Hoosiers. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, four children and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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stRaighttalk It has been an eventful time for guayule, the American desert shrub that shows the way the search for natural rubber alternatives is heading. Michael R Fraley, CEO, PanAridus, the Arizonabased company that champions guayule cultivation in the US, released the first samples of domestically produced guayule rubber to manufacturers at the ITEC 2012 exhibition in Cleveland. Fraley said the company was able to unlock the Rosetta Stone through genetics, agronomics and sustained research. The renowned seedsman says that the entire rubber and tyre manufacturing chain now believe guayule is for real and on the way towards commercialisation Michael R Fraley, CEO, PanAridus

Guayule is

for real By PTA News Bureau

D

oes the recent launching of Apollo Vredestein’s tyre prototype made from guayule and Russian dandelion reflect a new vigor in the research for NR alternatives in the tyre industry?

Historically, there has been an upsurge in interest in natural rubber alternatives when: supply is restricted, demand is up, or petroleum prices rise. We are seeing all of those dynamics playing out today concurrently because of emerging markets, cartels and questionable supplies for light, sweet crude oil. In that environment, it is inevitable for markets to look for cost effective solutions. What is your view on the possibility of guayule cultivation and processing getting more attention? For the last four years, PanAridus has been quietly working to unlock the guayule Rosetta Stone through genetics, agronomics and sustained research. Our announcement of guayule rubber samples at ITEC 2012 in Cleveland has the entire rubber and tyre manufacturing chain believing guayule is for real and on the way towards commercialisation.

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Do you think such efforts can lead to commercial production of tyres made from NR alternatives?

More attention naturally leads to more investment, which leads to new breakthroughs, but the key to guayule commercialisation is making it profitable at the farm gate. That’s how you seed rubber’s future and that’s what PanAridus has been doing at our Arizona facility. What is the progress of your own initiatives in the promotion of guayule? By holding the largest privately owned guayule germ-plasm bank in the world, we’ve been able to cultivate a crop that yields the necessary yield per hectare so farmers will put guayule in the ground because they can make more money per acre growing guayule than they do cotton or alfalfa. You are now more closely involved with the US government initiatives in the area. Do you see more funding and R&D efforts coming into picture? Guayule is a potentially powerful economic development tool for rural and arid communities and is in the best

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

strategic interests of the United States. That’s why the government increased funding for guayule research in both World Wars and why military leaders like Dwight Eisenhower advocated so strongly for a domestic supply of natural rubber. Between a global supply and demand squeeze on rubber and high oil prices, the conditions are ripe for the federal government to back this important domestic industry alternative. People are still unconvinced on the costeffectiveness of such products. What is you perception on this? The historical limitations on guayule were based on a lack of sustained research and yields. Over the last four years, PanAridus has turned this equation on its head, making it far more profitable for farmers to plant hectares of guayule due to the yields created by our genetic research. Do you think Hevea Brasiliensis will ever be able to provide enough of what the manufacturing industry want? Previously, the good news about Hevea rubber was its consistent yields. Now, in a global market with potentially billions of new consumers, Hevea’s consistency is its liability. You can’t harvest more of it per acre today than you could 40 years ago. That’s why guayule’s commercialisation is so important to the marketplace. Our research has shown there are more effective ways to grow this plant to the point that guayule yields per acre are far greater than Hevea.


perspective

Yoichiro Hibiya, Representative Consultant & Managing Director, ETIC Inc.

It is generally said that to be large is a good thing. It may be right when the economy steadily expands year after year, but not when the economic environment is dramatically changing like today. The solution for tyre industry is to respond to such economic uncertainty is by providing with innovative small-scale tyre plant concept, which enables you to invest Just In Time (JIT) under prevailing business circumstances, says Yoichiro Hibiya, Representative Consultant & Managing Director, ETIC Inc. Small is good, he insists

SMALL SCALE TYRE

PLANT PACKAGE By PTA News Bureau

The estimated investment cost to build large scale tyre plant that produces 10,000 units per day could be around $300 million. ETIC’s package plan for a 2,000 units daily production plant costs approximately US $600,000 for the stateof-the-art equipment 20

I

t has been said that optimum daily passenger car tyre production capacity is 10,000 units considering the balance of investment and production efficiency. “However, through our experiences, there is a possibility to have idle capacity for long time since we are inclined to design plant capacity based on speculative sales forecast. It is very much important to synchronise supply capability of tyre manufacturing plant with an actual sales performance of the company as far as possible,” Yoichiro Hibiya, Representative Consultant & Managing Director, ETIC Inc. told Polymers & Tyre Asia.

approximately US $600,000 with its state-ofthe-art equipment, Hibiya said, adding that the capacity may be increased to 2,500 units through improvement effort of production efficiency. It is relatively easy for small scale tyre plant to improve production efficiency, according to him. “In case we increase the capacity more than 2000 units per day up to 10,000 units, we construct small scale plant one by one in a phased manner as per short range sales forecast and long term sustainable financial growth of the company. We can minimise the risk for the investment. On the other hand, there is big risk for one time construction for the large scale plant. We call this small-scale tyre plant construction as JIT of tyre plant investment,” he said.

In this sense the most recommendable scale for passenger car tyre production capacity is 2000 units per day, he pointed out. “ We are able to start up production quickly to full capacity since capacity design is based on predictable forecast or on actual demand. It means that we can get return on the investment very fast. The optimum production scale for truck bus tyre in our package is 1000 units per day.”

Construction, production

The estimated investment cost to build large scale tyre plant that produces 10,000 units per day could be around US $300 million. ETIC’s package plan for 2,000 units daily production plant costs

The construction period for small scale plant, Hibiya said, is estimated to be less than 15 months whereas 24 months or more would be needed for large scale plant. It may be possible for small

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

In small-scale plant, it is noted that small production line will be dedicated to produce a few types of tyres to achieve efficient production.


scale plant to reach its full capacity within three months since the capacity is designed for predicted demand or existing business. The second small plant will be constructed within shorter time period than the first one since most of necessary designs have been finalised for the first plant. “We are afraid that it will take three years or more for large scale plant to be in full production due to its big capacity and when it is based on speculative sales forecast. When market suffers depression, it will become longer than that,” he noted. Hibiya said: “All of our designated high efficient machines installed in small scale plant are simple and small. It makes handling easier. Material flow speed in small scale plant is slower than in large plant. The slower the speed it is easier to produce on-spec-products. In a small scale plant, that much rubber compound and material is produced by our high productivity machines, which can be utilised ,as far as possible, in a day and their flow is quite straight forward from mixing to curing process with no interruption whatsoever, and does not meander. So it does not slow down the flow of processes. As a result, in-process inventory can be reduced to a larger extent. “In a large scale plant, various types of tyres are produced in the same production line. As a result, the process is complicated and has multi-function. It makes operation control more complicated and material flow gets disrupted and causes increase in troublesome in-process inventory and results in high rejection rate.”

Operation & improvement Process is straight, simple and compact and thus it is visible and easy for managers to comprehend the operational conditions in the plant and to manage the operators. Troublesome in-process inventory will be quite less in this small scale plant. These advantages will enhance quality of the product as well. Second, third and fourth small plant can be added one after another to scale up the capacity to meet requirement as per sales and market demand. There are a lot of chances for small scale plant to introduce new technology and new improved machinery to the following line. Also workers and staffs must get used to the construction work quickly to expand the production capacity and can learn the operation in a short period of time, he said.

Toyota Motor recently started to take this concept.” “L” means less equipment. “We should eliminate unnecessary equipment as much as possible. “D” means Direct & Straight Flow of Machinery which makes material flow smooth, efficient and improve the productivity. “C” means compact. We try to use smaller machines to reduce the cost, save the space and to simplify handling process and maintenance. To make the equipment compact, each machine should be connected straight in the process.” In addition to above, ETIC recommends dividing machinery into several units—unitisation, as much as possible. Each unit should be independent, simplified and standardised. Merits of the unitisation are as follows: Easy installation of additional machines and facilities; shortening the construction period for further expansion; easier maintenance and replacement; cost down by standardisation and energy saving.

One of the merits of small scale plant from business point of view is that the amount of investment is relatively small for small scale plant. Thus it becomes easier to judge to go ahead or to go back

“Many plants sank in the flood in Thailand last year. Our partner company tried to dismantle the machineries in the plant to repair. But they found that it was not easy. Unitisation is the solution to make the dismantled work, Replacement work and recovery work are easy. Besides, small and compact machines will greatly help these.

Business point The merit of small scale plant from the business point of view can be mentioned as follows: The amount of investment is relatively small for small scale plant. Thus it becomes easier to judge to go ahead or to go back. “We can invest step by step to expand plant capacity. We have more opportunities to introduce new process to new line and product that meets new market requirement. We can have more small plants in various locations considering supply chain and supply stability because of lighter investment for each plant. It is easier for us to globalise tyre business since investment for each plant is relatively small and we can easily manage the plants outside of the home country because of standardisation of production process and operation manual.”

There might be a question for the capex for small scale plant. Theoretically, the cost competitiveness of small plant looks weaker than large plant’s competitiveness.

ETIC was established in 2005 as a consulting company providing technical expertise in relation to elastomer and tyre industries. It provides tyre manufacturers a package of plant design, production technology, quality system, and machinery in cooperation with the companies who have expertise in plant design, engineering and manufacturing machinery and its maintenance for tyre production.

Said Hibiya: “First of all, we have to reduce the cost of machinery, equipment and construction cost without degradation. Second, shorten the construction period. In addition, we have to focus on strengthening the competitiveness. We call it ‘LDC’.

“Our approach to build a tyre manufacturing plant is to make it small, simple and unitised. We believe that it is the best solution to produce any type, any volume of tyres quickly at any place, Just in Time. The smaller the better!” Hibiya said.

Cost competitiveness

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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perspective

Wheels slow down The economic downturn saw annual auto sales in the US dip below 10 million units during 2009. The anticipated sales recovery, after gains for so many months in 2012, seems to have gone flat for now, and most likely, for the rest of the year! Industry analysts have lowered their 2012 sales volume for cars and light trucks to about 14 million units from 15 million By Louis P Rumao

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FUTURE FEARS: Shaky consumer confidence aggravated by the upcoming national election and the uncertainty about future fuel cost, has not been helping the US automobile industry

he automakers have adjusted their operations to become profitable even at 14 million annual unit sales, with any unit sales gain above that being a bonus. Pent-up demand and an aging used vehicle fleet are expected to keep sales volume spiking upwards. However, shaky consumer confidence, which is further aggravated by the upcoming national election and the uncertainty about future fuel cost, does not help. The November election may provide some direction with respect to taxes, federal spending cuts and managing national debt. Adding fuel to the fire are the European economic crisis and the geopolitical concerns in the Middle East region.

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It is interesting to look back to early 1970’s, when the US auto industry was forced, almost overnight, to transform in the wake of Arab oil embargo. Until that time, the automakers had thrived on marketing bigger and heavier muscle cars, supported by cheap fuel and economic stability, and no foreign competition. However, the oil embargo, and the resulting lines for fuel fill-up, created a glut of large, inefficient vehicles. The politicians reacted by initiating fuel economy standards, which were resented by the automakers as government intrusion. Additionally, American automakers were not nimble enough to gauge customers’

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

demand for higher fuel economy and better quality/reliability. This opened the door for foreign automakers – particularly the Japanese. Consumers began turning to foreign automakers in droves for more efficient vehicles, making Toyota, Honda and Datsun household names in a very short period of time. Ultimately, the foreign automakers, mainly the Japanese, captured over half the American market, by offering higher fuel economy and better reliability. During late 1980’s and early 1990’s, fuel prices had come down and stabilised. This helped make the US complacent, making it more dependent on imported oil, cutting back on oil exploration, and lowering


emphasis on conservation plus alternate energy development. Now, determined to gain energy independence, the US has taken some strong steps. A series of tough new standards for vehicle fuel economy are in place. The average fuel economy for all vehicles sold in 2012 is about 29 miles per gallon

FUEL ECONOMY TARGETS: American automakers will have to achieve fuel economy norms by squeezing every bit of contribution from tyres, lightweight materials, and especially from innovative power plants

to the decade of 60’s? The industry observers do not think so. While the American OEM’s are being profitable in North America, they are losing a ton of money in Europe, and the growing need

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(mpg), as compared to 24.7 mpg in 2007. Further, the fuel economy is mandated to increase to 35.5 mpg in 2016 and, if a proposed regulation is enacted later this year, the standard will be raised to a whopping 54.5 mpg by 2025. The automakers will have to achieve this by squeezing every bit of contribution from tyres, lightweight materials, and especially from innovative power plants – hybrid, electric, and potentially fuel cell. It is a sure bet that the government will encourage this effort through research grants and tax credits. All this begs the question: Will the American auto industry settle down to an extended period of calmness, similar

hile the American OEM’s are being profitable in North America, they are losing a ton of money in Europe, and the growing need for investment in Asia and South America continues. The uncertainties of global economy and competition, rising costs of labour and materials, the fickleness of more highly educated consumers and local politics will test company management like never before, and will separate “men from the boys”

for investment in Asia and South America continues. The uncertainties of global economy and competition, rising costs of labour and materials, the fickleness of more highly educated consumers and local politics will test company management like never before, and will separate “men from the boys”. During the recession of 2008 and 2009, which forced General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy, auto labor union (UAW – United Auto Workers) was forced into making some wage and benefit concessions – an outcome thought improbable only a few years ago. The union has begun demanding lost benefits and is using its political muscle to achieve its goal. This will encourage OEM’s to offshore more of their production. So the union has to tread very carefully and keep the militant faction in check. Another segment directly affected is the automotive suppliers. A survey to gauge this segment’s sentiment remains modestly positive for 2012 and the first part of 2013. The suppliers, just like the OEM’s, are more nervous about Europe’s stagnating economy. This segment hires many times more workers than the OEM’s. OEM’s will be relentless in cost reduction, which, unfortunately falls more heavily on suppliers – it easier to leverage and “squeeze” suppliers, while professing “partnership” philosophy. The Japanese OEMs and their suppliers have worked in partnership, which the American OEM’s would like to emulate, but have, so far, failed to achieve. Hopefully, they are learning! POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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FOCUs

Green tyres are now the talk of the town. In spite of its eco-friendliness and contribution to better fuel economy, they do not generate much excitement in the market because of their high prices. However, they remain on the radar of tyre companies, which in turn will create opportunities for silane and silica technology solutions, says Aparna Khurana, Commercial Leader for XIAMETER from Dow Corning

Leadership Role: Aparna Khurana, Commercial Leader for XIAMETER, Dow Corning

Rolling the silica way By Sharad Matade

“W

e are currently supplying products to a number of tyre companies for their production of green tyres. Others are in the development stage of using silane and silica technology in the making of green tyres. The outlook is good. We are seeing more and more tyre companies looking to start production of green tyres in India soon,” Khurana told Polymers & Tyre Asia. Dow Corning, which specialises in silicones and silicon-based technology, has been supplying silicone solutions in India for the last three decades and that have enabled Indian customers to manufacture worldclass products and succeed locally, as well as

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POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

in international markets. The company set up its Indian operations in 2000 to serve its customers better. Since then, it has developed new products, supplied technical and business support, and offered other innovative solutions to customers in dozens of industries and markets across India. Taking into account of growing demand for green tyres in Indian markets and the changing dynamics such as increasing fuel prices and strengthening of environmental norms, the company sees bright future for its business in the country. “We view any change to be an opportunity for us. Considering the fact that India is increasingly being viewed at as an automotive hub along with the fact that the silicone penetration is very low, there are many avenues that we are considering expansion into. Also, multi-national companies operating in the tyres and automotive parts segment are showing an increasing interest in setting up and expanding their facilities in India. “There is a lot of focus on building better


infrastructure and improving the quality of roads and transportation. We believe this can be made possible by utilising better tyre technology and enhanced features in the automobiles by the use of silicones,” Khurana said.

New alternative Tyre industry has traditionally been relying on carbon black as the reinforcing filler to strengthen properties, and increase wear resistance. According to a technical paper authored by Shawn K. Mealey and Michael W. Backer of the Dow Corning Corporation, there are many different grades of carbon black incorporated into tyres today. However, there is a limit to the optimum balance of properties attainable, even with changes in the structure and surface of the black. The typical properties requiring a balance are rolling resistance (which directly affects the car fuel economy), wet traction, snow traction/ ice braking, and tread wear and one such material that has shown to be beneficial in improving the properties of rubber compounds is precipitated silica. Precipitated silica has a beneficial combination of particle size, structure and hardness. Khurana said: “Around two decades ago when the green tyre concept was emerging, tyre engineers found that if silane-treated silica replaced the traditional carbon black as a reinforcing filler in tread compounds, rolling resistance could be improved and the grip made better on slippery roads. Some studies also showed that silicareinforced green tyres can reduce tyre rolling resistance by up to 20%, which can reduce vehicle fuel requirements by as much as 5%. “Widespread use of these green tyres could save millions of barrels of oil per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions significantly. Additionally, silica-reinforced tyres are more resilient than traditional tyres. This gives them better traction on wet and icy surfaces and can reduce stopping distances by as much as 15 %, making the roads safer for everyone.”

PTC technology However, the higher manufacturing cost of silane coupling agents to produce silicareinforced tread meant higher costs to consumers, which hindered widespread use. Taking this challenge, Dow Corning developed phase-transfer catalysis (PTC) technology. With the help of PTC, the silane needed for the silica treatment

WHERE IT HAPPENS: The Dow Corning Laboratory

component could be made more affordably, Khurana pointed out. Presently, modern phase transfer catalysis techniques for the production of sulfur containing organosilicon compounds in the presence of an aqueous phase have been developed and steadily improved to an efficient and safe process that can be performed on an industrial scale. Dow Corning’s patented PTC process is less costly, uses less energy and is more environmentally friendly than the other methods used to make the same products, she said. The result is more pure silane products for customers in making silica-filled rubber compounds. According to the company, PTC accelerates the reaction time needed for making silanes, thus reducing manufacturing costs and the amount of materials needed. In addition, the company’s PTC technology requires no salt filtration, hazardous solvents, or solvent recovery – moving the green philosophy down the supply chain. Seeing the growing demand for siliconbased products, Dow Corning India recently opened its second applications laboratory in Mumbai. “In December 2005, Dow Corning opened a state-of-theart manufacturing facility in Pune to meet the region’s expanding demand for silicon-

based products. The facility includes an Applications Engineering Technical Services laboratory designed to provide a location for Dow Corning and customers to research, develop and innovate products,” Khurana said. Dow Corning India serves from its Mumbai and Pune facilities and offers application and engineering technical services laboratory that enables collaboration with Indian customers to provide siliconebased solutions that are new to, or customized for India. The company offers innovative solutions and products to industries as diverse as construction, automotive, solar, textiles, beauty and personal care and many others. In India, Dow Corning also has a capital engineering group in Chennai, which works on Dow Corning’s global capital engineering projects. “Dow Corning, equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning Incorporated, provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s Dow Corning and XIAMETER brands,” Khurana said. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States.

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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focus

Return via retreads BY PTA News Bureau

“I

n the commercial trucking industry, users of retreaded tyres can see savings around 60-65% when compared to a new tyre. Then, when you start to add the other benefits of retreading such as: Similar or better performance in terms of mileage, and rolling resistance; and massive environmental benefits from re-using raw materials such as petroleum, steel and natural rubber, as well as keeping tyres out of landfill, and you can see how smart it is to use retreaded tyres,” Stevens told Polymers & Tyre Asia. It is also a fact that despite the advantages, at least in some countries, there is reluctance on the part of passenger car owners to go for retreads. According to Stevens, there are a lot of differences from country to country with respect to the usage of retreaded passenger tyres. “In many places, they are still widely used

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Big Role: David Stevens, Managing Director, TRIB

There is no argument over the fact that with such a lot of rubber burnt every year on and off the roads, retreads have a big role in reducing the harm done to our environment. But what could be the most attractive feature of a retread tyre – cost effectiveness or quality? David Stevens, Managing Director of Tyre Retread & Repair Information Bureau (TRIB), says that the single most attractive feature is cost effectiveness compared to a new tyre

and seen as a cost-effective alternative to new and used tyres, while in other places, retreaded tyres have been negatively impacted by imports of low-cost new tyres and some of the same misconceptions about the safety and quality of retreaded tyres when compared to new tyres. Our association has many members who successfully retread passenger tyres and we still receives calls and emails from all over the world from businesses looking to establish new passenger tyre retreading plants, so there is a demand that exists in the right markets and for the right applications,” he pointed out.

Cost efficiency While cost effectiveness is a major advantage of retread tyres, the retreading industry in itself is highly capital intensive. Stevens says: “Retreading can be a very capital-intensive business and I know from many of the conversations I’ve had with businesses looking to come into this

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

industry that they were often surprised by the start-up costs needed to build a plant. “At the same time, I know the equipment manufacturers that supply the retread industry are constantly innovating to bring lower-cost machinery to the market or drive increased efficiency in terms of operating the equipment to help the plant owners drive down their costs. We’re interested in making sure quality retreaded tyres are put on the roads and to do that, plants need to have quality equipment and well-trained employees.” As in the case of tyre companies, the retread industry is also facing the challenge of coping up with the need for constantly adopting technology innovation processes, he added. “The retread industry is, by its nature very innovative. Whether it’s manufacturers designing innovative new equipment for casing inspection, tyre buffing and building, or rubber compounders and


roads and determined it was from new and retreaded tyres in equal proportion to their service on the roads.” The top causes of tyre failures for all tyres, he says, were: 1) hitting debris already in the road, 2) running under-inflated, and 3) running over-loaded. Failures related to the original new tyre manufacturing process or retreading process were almost non-existent. Adjustment rates for new and retreaded tyres are comparable with each other, Stevens stressed.

retreaders constantly testing new rubber compounds and tread designs, or plant managers looking at how they can redesign plants to drive down costs and increase efficiency… you can see that the industry is keeping up and leading the charge for technical innovation.” Retreading is an all-season, all-segment alternative to exclusively depend upon new replacements, a factor that all tyre companies are aware of. Commercial truck, passenger, off-the-road, aviation, agricultural, industrial, and racing tyres can all be successfully retreaded and there are plenty of companies that are successfully catering to all these retreading needs, Stevens stressed.

EPA move The recent move by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which launched a SmartWay verification programme for retreads, is a significant development related to the industry.

tyre retreads have to comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements for all passenger tyres. “On the commercial truck side, the retread industry has done a good job of self-regulation with training, education and industry recommended practices to ensure we deliver quality products to end users. As a side note to regulations, many people don’t know that in the US there is a Presidential Executive Order that encourages the use of retreaded tyres by the Federal Government in all feasible applications.” According to TRIB head, it is wrong to blame retread tyres more than any other factor for all those tyre debris on highways. He said: “It’s a common misconception that all the rubber on highways is from retreaded tyres. It’s

Aviation tyres are probably the most watched in terms of the performance of retread tyres, obviously because of the element of risk involved. The remarkable credibility of retreads is reflected in the fact that over 80% of commercial aircraft take-offs and landings occur on retreaded tyres and their safety records speak for themselves. “It’s just like retreading on other applications but on a larger scale… you have a quality casing at the heart of the tyre with rubber on the outside that eventually wears down and needs to be replaced. Many aviation tyres can successfully be retreaded as many as 11 times or more.”

Indian scene In India, one of the biggest tyre markets in the world, tyre retreading has gained greater acceptance in the commercial segment, especially truck/bus and light commercial vehicle (LCV) tyres, due to operational savings, according to Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA). It says the share of

Stevens said: “Many of our members in the retread industry have worked with the EPA over the last two years to agree on a standard for testing and verifying retreaded tyres to be a part of the SmartWay programme. It’s a big step forward for both retreaders and end-users since retreaded tyres can still be used by fleets to remain compliant with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations for low-rolling resistance tyres. Otherwise, to remain compliant, many fleets would have had to replace retreaded tyres with new tyres at great expense.” Is there any regulatory mechanism for retread tyres? “It’s hard to answer that question since there are so many differences in regulations from country to country,” he said. “In the US, passenger

simply not true. There have been state studies in Virginia and Arizona as well as a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US in 2008 that looked at rubber on the

passenger car tyre retreading is on the decline due to several factors - fitment of radial tyres as OE fitment giving increased mileage, encouraging owners Continued on page106

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RUBBeR With EU tyre labelling taking effect from November 1, there is a perception that this could push up the price of natural rubber from the current levels as there is no better substitute for rubber derived from Hevea brasiliensis for the manufacture of passenger and light truck tyres. Nick Peksa, Business Development Director of Mintec, a leading independent source of pricing information for commodities and raw materials, believes this may help to push up prices for natural rubber from the current levels in the short term. But the trends in demand for tyres from markets outside of the EU will also be significant and may be more marked, he says

Alternatives to

remain niche BY PTA News Bureau

E

ven as research laboratories and design rooms of global tyre makers work overtime to find solutions to meet the problems arising from natural rubber sector, rubber remains strong for future growth and the forecast is positive, Peksa says. For tyre industry dependence on NR is a constant factor, which defines the sector’s growth imperative.

“Overall the potential growth forecast consensus for rubber sector looks to be between 2% per annum (largely in the West) to 4% (more globally) per annum. This would is based on an overall positive global economic outlook, which despite current difficulties in the euro zone, is likely to show improvement from any current recessionary trends, particularly

in emerging markets, over the next five years. The price is an unknown as this is dependent on so many other factors like weather,” Peksa told Polymers & Tyre Asia in an interview

Pricing issue Pricing remains a sensitive issue when tyre makers are getting used to see falling profit margin despite increasing sales. European tyre labelling law, which is taking effect from Nov 1, is the latest development that keeps them glued to the price ticker. Low-cost manufacturers in Asia are scrambling to produce tyres that are in compliance with the new regulations. The question is whether this would push up the price of natural rubber from the current levels as there is no better substitute for rubber derived from Hevea brasiliensis for the manufacture of passenger and light truck tyres. Peksa said: “All tyres destined to be sold to EU buyers after 1st November, produced after July 1, 2012, need to have an eco-label aimed at promoting low emissions and better road safety. Part of the eco directive is also aimed at extending the tyre’s useful life. This may help to push up prices for natural rubber from the current levels in the short term, but the trends in demand for tyres from markets outside of the EU will also be significant and may be more marked.

Nick Peksa, Business Development Director of Mintec

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POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

“Longer life tyres may work out more economical over the longer term, and there are signs for example in China that the market is shifting here. The overall effect of this legislation may be less pronounced however since some


FUTURE COURSE: Efforts to increase NR yield and at the same time lower the cost of potential alternatives are likely to continue

manufactures already use the EU label on a voluntary basis.” European tyre companies are increasingly experimenting with non-Hevea brasiliensis rubber, such as Russian dandelions and guayule. There is concern, however distant, whether this will have an impact on the rubber market, both synthetic and natural. According to Peksal, alternatives to natural and synthetic rubber, while providing useful avenues for research, are expected to remain niche and relatively small scale as they are generally likely to remain more expensive as potential alternatives within a limited five-year timeframe. “Efforts to increase the yields and lower the cost of these potential alternatives are likely to continue, particularly since there is growing competition (i.e. from palm plantations) for the land that natural rubber is grown on in Southeast Asia. Growers of guayule will probably focus on its higher end medical use (i.e. as an alternative for suffers of allergies to latex) seeing this as a more advantageous market to supply,” he pointed out. The price spiral seen in the crude oil market has always been disturbing as far as rubber prices are concerned. Will the prices go up further in the coming five years? Peksal said: “Price rises, I expect, are likely to be fairly balanced over the long term as the vast majority of the new consumers in emerging markets are likely to be fairly price conscious, at least within the time frame of the next five years. A

short term rise in crude oil prices is likely to feed through to downstream products however particularly where the inventories of these are typically not particularly large and there is growing world demand for their supply. “Over the period in question price rises on the whole though will tend to be demand limiting with any substantial increase in the price of crude oil just as likely to lead to a global economic downturn and consequently less demand to supply.”

Changing perceptions Another development is the growing awareness of environmental issues, which is leading to increasing demand for electric and hybrid vehicles. This could also lead to the need for lighter tyres. The competitiveness of low-cost traditional tyre makers from Asia is being challenged, he said. “The competitiveness of low-cost traditional tyre makers from Asia may be hit if the demand for electric and hybrid vehicles going up means that the need for lighter tyres should rise. However, this is all dependant on having an infrastructure before the electric market can take off. Five years is probably too short a time frame for this to happen. “The increasing development of such new markets however is likely to encourage diversification and increasing competition amongst the current producers for such new markets as emerge. Signs of any growth in demand for a particular product will tend to warrant the investment / diversification into this new area, with

supply quickly tending to follow demand when and where it occurs. In an effort to hold on to market share producers may seek to increase their consumer’s brand awareness and to promote consumer loyalty a rise in marketing and advertising may be seen, he said. “Some producers may opt for labour cost cutting and increasing automation, while other manufactures intent on remaining low cost and producing large volumes are likely to invest in less expensive locations, either internally or offshore. Producers may try to shift production nearer to the source of either their emerging demand or closer to their source of their raw material supply,” Peksal stressed. Mintec has been supporting leading suppliers, processors, retailers, traders and major end-users across a wide range of industrial and consumer goods sectors with statistical information and expert market analysis ever since it was established in 1982. As the principal independent source of pricing information for commodities and raw materials, Mintec has a suite of unique procurement tools and training courses all designed to assist supply chain professionals in their daily tasks of reporting, analysing and interpreting market information. Mintec helps sales and purchasing professionals to support their commodity decisions, by improving efficiency, minimising commodity risk and ultimately gaining a commercial advantage.

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RUBBeR

GREEN ROLE: Rubber trees play an important role in the conservation of soil and water resources.

The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is a unique crop; it yields a major industrial raw material that impacts on modern life more than any other agricultural commodity, its cultivation is environmentally friendly and it provides a source of income for more than 20 million families worldwide, the majority of whom are low income and land-poor, the “smallholders,� says Dr N Yogaratnam, Chairman, Tree Crops Agro Consultants, Sri Lanka

NR IS GREEN BY PTA News Bureau

T

he present pattern of consumption of natural and synthetic rubber remains a relatively constant 40% and 60% respectively, of the total elastomer consumption. The main advantage of SR is that it can be mass-produced to meet a wide range of specifications, although in reality more than 80% of SR products could be produced using NR. Certain industrial products, however,

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BUSINESS require the unique properties of NR with the largest single market being the tyre industry, which accounts for ca. 70% of world NR consumption, Dr N Yogaratnam, Chairman, Tree Crops Agro Consultants IN Sri Lanka, told Polymers & Tyre Asia. NR is the strongest of all rubbers and has excellent dynamic properties (e.g. resistance) which accounts for the fact that aircraft tyres comprise 100% NR.

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

In other aspects such as tolerance to environmental damage (e.g. by ozone and oils) NR competes less favourably with SR. In addition to its unique dynamic properties, NR has the advantage that it is a renewable, non-polluting source of elastomer as opposed to SR, which is manufactured from crude oil, Yogaratnam stressed. Furthermore, in a world where increasing consideration is given to the


environmental costs of production, NR compares much more favourably with SR. “For example, production of one tonne of NR requires 15 to 16 Gj of energy compared to 108 to 174 Gj for SR, depending on the grade of SR produced. In addition to the high energy costs, SR production is also a source of pollution whereas NR cultivation has few detrimental effects on the environment. It is the processing rather than cultivation of NR that has the potential to pollute, although this can be minimised through effective process management,” the agro expert said.

Environmental benefits A wide variety of crops and trees can be found on smallholder rubber plantations, including food, cash and medicinal plants, as well as timber and fruit trees. Many other native plant and animal species have been shown to coexist with rubber and whilst biodiversity may not approach that of tropical rain forests, smallholder rubber plantations do have the potential to support a relatively rich mix of forest species. There has been increasing national and international concern over the accumulation of Green House Gasses (GHG) particularly CO2 and its effect on global warming. CDM of UNFCCC provides opportunity to seek remunerations for the environmental services provided by NR plantations. Yogaratnam said: “Studies done in Sri Lanka indicate that, a rubber tree can fix about one MT of CO2 carbon during its 30-year cycle. A hectare of rubber will therefore provide about 300 MT of CO2 for trade. The total land extent of rubber in Sri Lanka is forecast to increase to 140,000 ha by year 2021 and to 153,000 ha from the present extent of 127,000 ha. Therefore, by year 2021 the total CO2 available for trade in Sri Lanka would be about 42,000,000 MT and by 2031, would be about 45, 900,000 MT of CO2, if all rubber plantations are made eligible to receive credits for the environmental services provided by the rubber industry of Sri Lanka. Also, rubber trees add about 23 MT/ha of CO2 to the soil through annual leaf fall, but part of which decomposes and re-cycled to the atmosphere. About 23 Mt of carbon(84 MTof CO2) are removed from the tree as latex yield in 30 years, most of which are used in value addition and therefore retained and not lost. Unlike hydropower or similar projects for emission reduction, planting trees for CO2

sequestration is subject to environmental changes and hence exhibit some uncertainty. The present market rate for a MT of CO2 varies from US$ 5 to 20.” He added that additional carbon trading benefits from rubber include; a) Rubber wood as a source of renewable energy,

In Sri Lanka, Yogaratnam said, rubber tends to be cultivated on land where few crops, other than tea, can be grown commercially and in the major rubber growing areas as much as 50% of the rubber lands have slopes of between 45 to 60%. Although tea is also grown on steep land, it fails to offer the same degree of protection to the soil as rubber, with an average soil loss of 35 MT ha-1 yr-1 compared to just 10 MT ha-1 yr-1 for rubber.

A

wide variety of crops and trees can be found on smallholder rubber plantations, including food, cash and medicinal plants, as well as timber and fruit trees. Many other native plant and animal species have been shown to coexist with rubber and whilst biodiversity may not approach that of tropical rain forests, smallholder rubber plantations do have the potential to support a relatively rich mix of forest species

In terms of soil conservation, the properties of rubber plantations have been likened to that of native forests. Forests can recycle about 8.33 t of dry litter per year as compared to 3.7 to 7.7 t yr-1 in rubber plantations; it is only in the older rubber lands where nutrient recycling via litter approaches that of native forest ecosystems, he said.

Forest conservation The rapid loss of forest cover in Sri Lanka had been a major cause of concern in terms of the environmental impact. The forested area in Sri Lanka has declined from 70% in 1900 to less than 23% in early 2000, which translates into an annual rate of deforestation of more than 40,000 ha yr-1. This compares with a replanting rate of only 2000 ha yr-1. Parallel with the decline in forested area has been the rapid increase in population, rising from 11.5 to 18.5 million over the same time period.

replacing fossil fuel, provides equivalent CO2 for trading, b) In power generation, 3kg of biomass is required to compensate one kg of fossil fuel. Therefore, the biomass of a hectare of rubber at the end of 30 years would replace 64 MT of fossil fuel, c) The emission reduction potential by biogas generated from rubber factory effluent is around 12,000 MT per year, and d) Power factor correction and factory modernization for electricity saving in rubber processing industries also qualifies for carbon trading by emission reduction.

Soil conservation Trees such as rubber play an important role in conservation of soil and water resources, they not only provide a longterm canopy, which protects the soil from erosion by wind and rain, but they also root over a greater area, depth and

duration than short-term crops and so help bind and protect the soil. Litter fall from trees adds organic matter to the soil, which improves the surface soil properties so that rainfall infiltration is increased and surface run-off is reduced, he pointed out.

According to Yogaratnam, in the wet zone of Sri Lanka, most of the potential areas have already been brought under rubber cultivation but there is still ample potential to utilise the environmental and economic attributes of rubber as a means of protecting the existing forest resources in the dry/intermediate zones of Sri Lanka. “We have been talking about the eco-friendly credentials and carbon sequestration potential of natural rubber plantations, mostly in our own forums, for several years now. But little has been done until now to market the green image of natural rubber for tangible financial gains. Globally, automobile tyres constitute the single largest consumer segment, for NR and therefore the tyre industry stands to benefit immensely by the “ Green” credentials of NR,” he said.

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COVER SToRy

BAINITE RELOA DED DYNAMIC, VIBR AN 44

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012


ELOA DED: R ANT

Bainite Machines Private Limited, headquartered in India’s financial capital Mumbai, is among Asia’s leading manufacturers of customised machinery for rubber and tyre industries. It has been a long journey for the company, which first went on steam in 1983, from being a producer of critical spares for tyre manufacturing machines to the producer and supplier of sub assemblies and subsequently full-fledged machines. The recent launch of the Twin Screw Sheeter was the latest in a long line of top quality products that Bainite has been offering the industry

By Raghav Varma

“O

ver the last two years, Bainite has added two new products annually. We manufactured Sheet Feeder with rotary cutter, Bale Cutter, Bias Cutter, and Lab Mill. We are now on track to deliver again this year the Twin Screw Sheeter already in the market,” DN Suvarna, Managing Director and Promoter, told Polymers & Tyre Asia. These days Bainite takes up multiple technologically challenging assignments after the confidence gained from previous product launches. A visionary leader, Suvarna is a metallurgist by qualification from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, with over 30 years’ experience in

the field of material science and building new machines, maintenance and wear protection of critical components. Suvarna has mentored and developed a competent second line of management to take Bainite to next level. This dynamic and vibrant team led by Prasanth Warrier, Senior Vice President, has already commenced work on their identified strategic growth objectives in line with new vision. Bainite’s new vision is “to pursue excellence to be the world’s premier machinery company offering high quality, aesthetic, durable, and reliable equipment

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COVER SToRy

Home base: Bainite’s headquarters in Mumbai

Prasanth Warrier, Senior Vice President

to the industry. Being premier machinery company does not mean the largest, but it does mean being the best in terms of technology, user value, customer service, and employee talent,” said Warrier, who came aboard in 2010 with extensive commercial and business development experience. He handles the company operations.

at a furious pace to introduce new and improved products into the market consistently. This approach is in line with their new mission - to simplify their customers business through supply of well-researched, high quality, aesthetic, durable, and reliable equipment that will be built with latest technology by passionate employees.

Marketing leadership

FJ Sidhwa, Technical Director, added: “Developing the TSS was a real tough job and our team made it a success.” Sidhwa should know the best. He is a reputed veteran with over 45 years of rich experience in the world rubber industry and is known for his technical knowhow, passion and his eternal love for the industry. Technically trained at Farrel facilities in Italy, USA and UK, Sidhwa has also undergone training at Kobelco, Japan, and VMI, Holland.

While Bainite has a strong market presence in Sri Lanka, they have also identified Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand as potential new markets for growth and are forging local partnerships. The marketing is headed by Alok Tayal, General Manager – Marketing, who is a seasoned professional with 20 years experience. Sukesh Shetty, Deputy Manager, and Souvik Sen, Asst. Manager, completes the frontline marketing team.

Design and technology

FJ Sidhwa, Technical Director

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“We are now working on a high-precision automated extruder-sheeting line that would be delivered to our customer early next year. We are doing this for the first time,” Abid Mohib, AGM – Design, and a veteran in the company, pointed out. The promoters have invested significantly in upgrading the design infrastructure. Bainite boasts of competent and qualified engineers and latest SolidWorks & AutoCAD software with supporting hardware. The company’s design competence is among the best in the industry. The team has been working

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

Manufacturing and quality While design competence is one of the three main pillars of the new, revamped Bainite – the other two being engineering infrastructure and customer service the engineering infrastructure, which has always been good, has also been upgraded even further. According to SJ Shetty, Vice President – Works, “all the conventional machines are replaced with high productive CNC machines, which has given a boost to efficiency and quality of workmanship.” A true tyre manufacturing veteran with experience in top tyre companies like Vikrant Tyres and Ceat International,


SJ Shetty, Vice President – Works

Ketan Malaviya, GM-Finance

Milind Phalnikar (DGM - Materials)

is a Bainite veteran who has seen the company grow to the current form its inception, Gavhane joined recently with vast experience on CNC machines to address new growth requirements. Singh is a certified welding inspector from Indian Society of Nondestructive Testing (ISNT) and a 6 sigma BSI Green belt certified from British standard institute. He came on board from Siemens Wai Technologies to institutionalise the best quality practices across the plant.

Human resources

Planning and supply chain

Abid Mohib, AGM – Design

Shetty is looking after the entire manufacturing process at all Bainite facilities. He has his third angle view (Customers Eye) of the manufacturing process that never compromises on quality. Supporting Shetty in his endeavors is his three trusted lieutenants – Amrut Hegde (Manager – Production), Vilas Gavhane (Manager – Production) and Jagat Singh Chowdhary (DGM – Quality). While Hegde

An ERP suite from Ramco has gone live in July’12 at Bainite. Says Bhushan Chaudhari, Manager – Planning, and ERP project leader: “This will help us drive efficiencies, streamline planning and add more value to our customers by cutting costs through improved operational efficiencies.” Supports Milind Phalnikar, DGM – Materials: “As we progress we will extract more from ERP.” Phalnikar, another veteran in Bainite, plays a key role in establishing the right partnerships with suppliers and vendors, thus optimising the supply chain.

MARKETING TEAM: Aarti (Executive), Alok Tayal (General Manager), Souvik Sen (Asst. Manager), Sukesh Shetty (Deputy Manager)

Over the years, Bainite has grown to a team of over 180 people which requires focused support. Prasenjit Gaikwad, Manager-HR, relies on his extensive past experience to nurture employee friendly environment, training, motivation, and guides management on talent acquisitions and performance management systems. Silently, facilitating the growth since 2001 is VP Shetty, Finance – Controller, A honors graduate with 36 years of extensive banking experience, Shetty leads a competent team hands-on to effectively provide commercial direction and support to the MD.

Way forward “Bainite has ambitious growth plans that includes building higher capacity (440L and above) mixing lines for the tyre industry and launching newer products in extruder and calender segments”, says Warrier. This would need more infrastructure in terms of space and Bainite would need new facility, additional investments in the R&D, machinery and talent acquisition. Assisting the execution of these plans is Ketan Malaviya, GM-Finance. Malaviya, on board since 2010, with his extensive experience and knowledge of Strategic Finance, JV, M&A’s, fund raising in Debt and Equity Finance plans to conclude the fund infusion soon. Emphasizes Suvarna “Going forward customers will turn to Bainite for our technical competence, material technology, turnkey-solutions, prompt customer service and high quality offerings”. With a dynamic team in place and pipeline of contemporary products on the launch pad, the tyre industry is sure to hear more success stories from this vibrant company.

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DN Suvarna, Managing Director, Bainite

benchmark for Quality M

achineries run tyre industry. How do you cope up with the pressure as technology keeps on changing? Technology has always been on the move with the changing requirements and the growing competition among tyre companies for increased market share. This means that there are constant developments in tread design, tyre construction, and input materials being used for compounding. This also means that compound becomes tougher and more difficult to deal with. We recognise this. We try to know these compounds more, understand the compounding needs and customize machines accordingly. Our material selection is the best and tailor-made to the customers compounding requirement and the wear protection techniques ensure long life of Bainite make machines. We manufacture different types of machines. We have both tangential

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and intermeshing type in mixers, hot feed and pin type cold feed extruders, different configuration of calenders, and now even energy efficient TSS. We have also come out with high speed 4-Wing even-synchronous-speed tangential TurboRotors (trademark registration applied). These new generation rotors are designed for high performance and high productivity. TSS, as you know, placed underneath the mixer in the mixing line, is today accepted for master batch mixing. Bainite make TSS are CE certified and can be offered with both basic as well as higher end features depending on customer’s need. Apart from the savings in power and labor, the material self-fed in TSS gives high quality of mix consistently, keeps the environment clean and is also a very safe operation. We have also had good response to our Sheet Feeders with rotary cutters. Sheet Feeders are specifically designed for easy and quick installation onto existing Mixing Mill line or Mixer line. This ancillary equipment

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

As tyre industry passes through a transformation period driven by new priorities like sustainability and changing market environment, Bainite keeps pace with the changes focusing on troublefree performance, improving efficiency of operations, reducing energy consumption, and enhancing user-friendliness of products, says DN Suvarna, Managing Director of the leading machinery manufacturer replaces manual labor with automatic feed, increases efficiency and improves the mix quality through better dispersion of uniformly cut rubber sheets. Please give us an overview of Bainite’s R&D efforts. How big has been your investment in this area? We constantly audit the performance of our machines, keep close contact with customers to gauge their changing requirements, and proactively involve customers in our product developments. These inputs are then considered for the design including simulating them in flow design software and then customise the machine for our customers. This helps us to build machines that are benchmarked to international standards. I am quite satisfied with the outcome of the efforts that my team has made in design and development. For the last two years, Bainite has consistently added 2 new products annually. We manufactured Sheet feeder with rotary cutter, Bale Cutter, Bias Cutter, and Lab Mill. We are on-track to deliver again this year with Twin Screw Sheeter already in the market. The TSS has been technologically challenging and my team did well to capitalize on our investments in latest design software like SolidWorks platform – designing the machine from scratch. We are currently manufacturing a 440L


Mixer with 6 Wing rotors. We now have high speed 4-Wing even-synchronousspeed tangential TurboRotors that are designed for high performance and high productivity. In future, we also would like to invest in a lab facility to study compounding effects indepth. But this would depend on our fund infusion plans that we are working on.

Bainite staff

What is your perspective on the future of rubber and tyre industries and also the machinery industry that sustains it? I believe, there will be 8-9% growth in machinery demand in India primarily driven by infrastructure boom and the radialisation in CV’s. Today, the rising labor cost in China and Rs/USD hovering at 55, does not make the Chinese machines any more attractive here. This offers a significant opportunity for us. I find that customers are also stressed out dealing with multiple suppliers and are now keen to partner with quality suppliers who can offer turnkey solutions to their project needs. This is another area where Bainite offers value – we provide turnkey supply of machinery for complete line, right from Bale cutter, Weighing & Feeding conveyors, Mixer, downstream TSS, and batch-off with wig-wag including complete line automation. And we desire to strengthen our position as a solution provider offering high quality, reliable and durable machinery to the rubber and tyre industry. Machinery industry is a high cost, innovation intense area. What strategies do you adopt to keep your competitive edge? Machinery manufacturing is usually capital and labour intensive. So there is continuous training requirement of skilled labour, investment in high productive machines and tools and also constant monitoring of the productivity and efficiency. We are now arranging funds for our investments in the areas of R&D, plant modernisation, talent recruitment, upgrading systems and enhancing customer service. Going forward customers will turn to Bainite for our technical competence, material technology, turnkey-solutions, prompt customer service and high quality offerings. Bainite today has a wellqualified and competent second line

Bainite factory team

management in place. My management team has refined our growth strategy in accordance with our new mission statement - “to simplify our customers business through supply of wellresearched, high quality, aesthetic, durable, and reliable equipment that will be built with latest technology by passionate employees.” How much of Bainite’s operations are marked for rubber industry? Bainite Machines is today a leading manufacturer of customised machinery entirely focused on the rubber and tyre industry. In comparison to the tyre industry, the rubber industry has lower capital available for investment in machineries. So, many of the high end features that we offer in our mixers, mills, extruders and calenders become unaffordable to them. Hence, Bainite customises these machines for the rubber industry keeping their basic requirements in perspective. We create a fine balance between technology, quality and price exclusively for the rubber industry. Our vision is to pursue excellence to be the world’s premier machinery company offering high quality, aesthetic, durable, and reliable equipment to the industry. Being premier machinery company does not mean the largest, but it does mean being the best in terms of technology, user value, customer service, and employee talent. And hence we hope to continue serving the rubber as well as the tyre industry according to their differentiated needs. Please give an overview about Bainite’s stress on infrastructure developments.

We are working on some major plans at Bainite to facilitate our growth and build new product lines. Funds are being put in place for a new, larger facility on a greenfield site, close to the existing operation in Mumbai. We have already upgraded our design infrastructure with latest SolidWorks platform in addition to AutoCAD and are now working to get the right talent to complement our eight member strong design team. We have also replaced our conventional machines with CNC machines to improve workmanship and quality of workmanship. To further drive down costs and increase efficiencies, we have now implemented an ERP suite – which went live in July this year. Upgrading the skills of the labour and inducting top talent with managerial skills is another thrust area for us. What are the main challenges Bainite faces in the industry? As part of the manufacturing sector in India, I find, we are quite challenged with the environment persisting due to inadequate government support, absence of proper governance, high interest rates, corruption and crippling inflation. The competition on cost from Chinese suppliers continues though has reduced in recent times. The perception with a few people that imported machines are always best is also a hurdle in some projects. Another key challenge is from used-machines that come into India from US and European countries which find lot of takers in our market. Despite these challenges being thrown at us, Bainite has aspirations to grow globally and are exploring right partnerships.

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TSS: Another Bainite ‘A-Team’: Execution Team with the TSS

Sudarshan Bansal, Chairman, SAIPL, with DN Suvarna, MD, Bainite Machines

T

he Twin Screw Sheeter (TSS) that Bainite unveiled in mid August 2012 marks a special milestone in the history of the company. Completely designed, customised and manufactured in-house, TSS is the latest offering from the Bainite stables to tyre industry. The launch of the machinery is another landmark in the company’s drive towards the pinnacle of technological growth.

Bainite ace job and our team made it a success,” FJ Sidhwa, Technical Director, commented on the occasion of the machinery’s unveiling. “Our competency in design and superior engineering infrastructure delivered again. We feel proud to offer a globally accepted technology from our Indian plant to all our quality conscious customers worldwide,” said Prasanth Warrier, Senior Vice President. Bainite’s TSS are CE certified and they

Celebrating the success, DN Suvarna, Managing Director of Bainite Machines, said: “This is a landmark achievement cementing our position as turnkey supplier of automated mixing lines.” TSS, placed underneath the mixer in the mixing line, is today accepted for master batch mixing replacing the dump millsheeting mill arrangement. Apart from the savings in power and labour, the material self-fed in TSS gives high quality of mix consistently, keeps the environment clean and is also a very safe operation. “Bainite’s reputation as a technology player is on the rise. For the last two years, we have launched two new products annually. Developing the TSS was a real tough

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Bainite mixing line

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

currently offer models suitable to match up to 440L Mixer production. Sudarshan Auto Industries Private Limited was the first customer of Bainite’s TSS. Sudarshan Bansal, Chairman of Sudarshan Auto Industries, said: “Bainite has a knowledgeable, dynamic and energetic team. This along with their design and engineering infrastructure made us partner Bainite for our green field tyre project coming up at Kolhapur.”


Sheet feeders: Unique value proposition

Sheet Feeder

Sheet feeders are specifically designed for easy and quick installation onto the existing mixing mill line or mixer line (installed before weighing conveyor line for final mixing). This ensures that space constraint never becomes an issue for the user to extract more out of his mixing operations

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he most common rubber compounding machinery, the batch mixers and its versatile peer, the mixing mills are most vital rubber compounding machines for short production runs because of its broad range of shear capabilities and its acceptance of all feed forms. Users are familiar with their demerits of varying power demand, batchto-batch variation and labor intensive operations. Their efficiency and level of automation could never match its other peers in the rubber compounding machinery viz. Continuous mixers and twin screw extruders. These experiences and performance expectations has changed with the introduction of sheet feeders.

sheets into uniform pieces and these results in better dispersion of the rubber sheets. The rotors in the mixer can perform the reactive, dispersive and distributive mixing of a uniformly cut rubber sheets better than a whole-load of rubber sheet dumped into the chamber. The result is a highly homogenized rubber mix that is independent of the operator efficiency or any variations in weighing of the batch. The quicker mix of the cut pieces also shortens the mix cycle, thereby increasing the productivity of the main equipment.

Sheet feeders are specifically designed for easy and quick installation onto the existing mixing mill line or mixer line (installed before weighing conveyor line for final mixing). This ensures that space constraint never becomes an issue for the user to extract more out of your mixing operations. And since only one person can control the mill (or mixer) and sheet feeder, the operation does not increase your labour cost. While, the traditional method of manually loading the mill compromises on your worker’s safety, Sheet feeder’s with a hugger belt make the loading operation safe because it provides continuous positive feed for the sheets, making the feed into the mill (or mixer) automatic.

According to Sidhwa, “Bainite-make sheet feeders are designed for effortless installation onto an existing mixing line. Its hugger belt provides continuous positive feed for sheets up to 800mm width. The conveyor is driven by a 2.2KW, AC motor while a 7.5KW gear motor with VFD drives the cutter.”

The cutter on the sheet feeder cuts the rubber

Bainite has been producing sheet feeders for mills and mixers with high performance curved profile cutter made of hardened special alloy.

Suvarna, Managing Director, adds: “Sheet feeders, by itself, is a simple machine which when installed to feed the mixing mill line or batch mixers increases efficiency reduces manual intervention and improves consistency of mix. During our discussions with our customers, we observe that at fractional extra power consumption they are a unique value proposition for the rubber and tyre industry.” POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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COVER SToRy

All under

one roof Bainite’s Design and Development Department

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ver since its inception, Bainite Machines has focused on its world class manufacturing infrastructure – one of the main pillars of the company’s remarkable growth. An ISO 9001:2008 and CE certified organisation, Bainite’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant at Navi Mumbai responds to the industry’s growing needs where design, production, service and development centers operate under one roof. Recent upgrades have made the production facility at par with international standards. The facility, with its world class machines, supports Bainite’s leadership position in design, manufacturing and supply of new machinery/equipment, recondition/ rebuild or upgradation of old machinery as well as supply of peripheral machinery, spares and ancillary parts to match existing imported equipments.

270 L Mixer With Pneumatic Ram

The company consults on turnkey projects starting from the initial designing of machine layout plans to the final installation of machineries and their commissioning. The infrastructure and equipments play an important role in paving the way for Bainite to emerge as one of the top rubber processing machinery manufacturers in Asia. The

company’s reputation grew from its capability to tackle many crucial problems encountered by giant tyre companies and polymer processors. The state-of-the-art Design Cell is the nerve center of Bainite’s engineering sophistication. Led by a design director and manned by trained experts, the cell is well-equipped with the latest computers and design software like CAD and Mechanical Desktop. The Design Cell uses computerisation in all design aspects to ensure designing speed, precision and accuracy. The design cell is in constant contact with the company’s marketing team and also customers for continuous update on ideas and technology.

Quality control In terms of manufacture and design, Bainite strictly follows international standards. The company takes complete care in maintaining high standards of quality and service right from the early negotiation of an order to the final stage of smooth running of the machine. Prompt after sales service is provided to local as well as overseas customers by a team of committed service personnel.


Product Portfolio Bainite Machines, with its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant at Navi Mumbai today responds to the tyre industry’s growing needs through

Design, manufacturing, supply, and commissioning of customised new machinery, viz. l Internal Mixers (Tangential & Intermeshing Types)

l Laboratory Mixers and Mixing Mills

l Twin Screw Sheeters (TSS)

l Single Screw Roller-Die Dump Extruders

l Cold Feed Extruders (Pin type & Plain type)

l Hot Feed Extruders

l Two-Roll Mills (Refiner, Cracker, and Mixing plications)

l Calenders for Squeezee, Cushioning, Inner liner and

a)

Sheeting applications

TSS Barrel being machined in Union Make CNC

l Batch-Off Cooling Lines with Wig-Wag, Packer Stacker with automation.

l Tread cooling lines & Calender lines

b)

Recondition/rebuild or upgradation of old machinery

Supply of peripheral machinery, spares & ancillary parts c) including

l Sheet Feeder with Rotary Cutters

l Bale Cutters

l Linear Actuators

l Temperature Controller Units (TCU’s)

l Feeding and Weighing Conveyors

l Packer Stacker Rotor being machined in a CNC

One of seven machine shop bays at the Bainite plant POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

53


Technology

Nano balance

technology

Innovative technology is no more an option for tyre companies. New compounds and new materials play important role in the production process that aims to come up with innovatively exciting products. This is what has made Toyo Tires a top of the line name among global players. The tyre maker has always been using new materials in tyres, like for example recycled polyester cord in the new NanoEnergy range and bamboo and nutshell in its new Observe GSi5 - studless winter tyre, says David Stinissen, Marketing Manager Benelux, Toyo Tire

FUTURISTIC: Toyo presented the first nano energy tyre at Reifen 2012

PTA News Bureau

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oyo has been a trend setter in adopting innovative concepts and launching winning brands, becoming a leader in fitments and dynamic tyre applications. A typical example is what it did in the sport compact tuner market. The company responded to the rapidly growing market with low profile, large rim diameter high performance tyres. Soon passenger car tyre sizes reached 18-inches, something practically unheard of just a few years earlier. Since the late 1990s, rim sizes have continued to grow. Toyo Tires led from the front again in 2008, when it released the first-ever 26-

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and 28-inch passenger car tyres, following it up with a 30-incher in 2009. Toyo has been continuously investing in technology innovation, Stinissen told Polymers & Tyre Asia. At

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012


and assures adequate wear and irregular wear resistance.

Reifen 2012 in Essen, Germany, the company lived up to its reputation as a leading innovator when it presented the first nano energy tyre and also a prototype of airless tyre, showing the shape of things to come in tyre industry in the not too distant future.

T-mode simulation T-mode is Toyo Tires’ latest computer simulation technology to maximise tyre performance. It has been developed on the company’s belief that computer analysis should be fully utilised for tyre development. T-mode not only analyses uneven tread wear, noise generation and a series of other factors in the use of a tyre solely, but also tests vehiclemounted tyres in different driving conditions virtually. Searching for the ideal combination between the results of driving simulation and tyre simulation, the data is best utilised to optimise tyre design and enhance its performance.

Stinissen said: “Different new technologies have been used in the development of this new range of tyres (NanoEnergy 0, NanoEnergy 1 and 2). All these technologies are combined into the new philosophy named Nano Balance Technology, which is based on 4 areas: Research, analysis, design and production. “This is applied in the new NanoEnergy range of premium eco tyres. This is developed by Toyo Tires to ensure the future driving experience. This new technology used in our new eco range helps to reduce fuel consumption, minimise environmental impact, gives the tyres a longer life and ensures a quiet ride.”

With the tyre labeling law coming into force in Europe in November, there has been increased focus on production parameters. The research and development part of tyre production has thus been working overtime to ensure unquestionable quality excellence.

Thermal stability Examples of used technologies in the NanoEnergy range include the use of super active and grip polymers in the compound to improve thermal stability and that of recycled polyester cord (16” and over) to reduce the environmental impact during production, he pointed out.

SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: The prototype of airless tyre that Toyo unveiled at Reifen 2012

The airless tyre prototype that Toyo presented pointed towards a fascinating future for movement in the nonautomotive segment. “I believe this new scope will be for the very near future, but not for automotive use. I believe we will see this more in the domain of small wheel-chair tyres or supermarket trolleys and the like. It will take at least another 10 to 15 years before we will see mass production cars with these new concept tyres. This may have impact on other industries as well (wheel and braking pads,” Stinissen said. Born in Japan, the cradle of computer technology that redefined industries worldwide, Toyo Tires uses super computer analysis to help its tread designers to better understand the detail of the dynamic contact area, which could not have been previously seen, and therefore allowing more freedom to the designer. This innovative approach

enables it to define specific performance targets, and then design a tread pattern to meet the required performance levels. It is the tread design that provides grip in both

T

oyo Tires uses super computer analysis to help its tread designers to better understand the detail of the dynamic contact area, which could not have been previously seen, and therefore allowing more freedom to the designer

Stinissen said: “R&D for Toyo Tire Europe is focused on the new EU tire label. This may have a big impact on the perception of Toyo Tire by consumers. Next to this we are focusing on Original Equipment to expand our existing presence at Audi, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota etc.”

Another factor that drove Toyo’s technology innovation is its close association with motor sport, an area that demands constant product improvement. Toyo began competing in US road racing in the 1980s. By the end of the decade, drivers using Toyo products had captured numerous championship titles.

Track lessons

wet and dry conditions, improves driving stability, prevents or reduces aquaplaning

“We get a lot of knowledge from our presence in motorsport. Our Open Country range (4x4) is one of the best examples,” Stinissen pointed out. “We have different 4X4 pilots who are driving with our Open Country tyres in the most severe situations. Robby Gordon in Dakar and Eric Vigouroux in 24h of Morocco are the best known. Another perfect example is the Extreme High Performance tyre Proxes R1R, which is a road tyre with motorsport Continued on page 106

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

57


INDIAN RUBBER MANUFACTURERS RESEARCH ASSOCIATION (IRMRA) (Affiliated to Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India)

NABL ACCREDITATED LABORATORY (NABL–ISO/IEC 17025:2005) Also Certified by ISO – 9001: 2008, BIS & UL (Underwriters Laboratory) USA

IN THE SERVICE OF NATION FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS “CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR TYRE RESEARCH & TESTING” FACILITIES AVAILABLE FOR TWO / THREE WHEELER / PASSENGER / LCV / COMMERCIAL VEHICLE TYRES AS UNDER:  Tyre Durability Test (Endurance)  Tyre High Speed Performance Test (L/S Test)  Tyre Strength Test (Plunger Test)  Tyre Bead unseating Test  Tyre Dimension (SW, OD and TWI)  Tyre Dynamic Growth Test  Tyre Stiffness Test (Radial / Lateral / Tangential (Cornering Stiffness)  Tyre Rolling Resistance Test (SLR. DLR, Rolling circumference)  Tyre Shearography Machine  Failure Analysis and Compound Development  Digital footprint with pressure distribution  NVH Analysis

(All as per standards, both National, International & customers specifications

Service to:  Automotive Tyre Industries  Major OEM  State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs)  Defence Sector  Auto Rubber Component Sector

For further details please contact: Dr. P.Thavamani, Director Indian Rubber Manufactures Research Association (IRMRA) (Affiliated to Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India) Plot No.254 / 1 B, Road No.16 V, Wagle Industrial Estate, Thane - 400 604 • Telephone : 022-25811348 / 25803753 / 25834650 / 51, Telefax : 022 – 25823910 • E-mail : info@irmra.org • Website :www.irmra.org


TECHNOLOGY

The Indian rubber industry is facing the problem of lack of technical inputs by qualified technologies, says Manu Patel of Mumbai-based Polymer Processing Academy (PPA) and Chief Convener of the International Conference on Innovations Technologies for Processing of Rubber and Elastomers to be held on Oct 26-27. Most of us fail to appreciate this, but now the scenario is rapidly changing. Education in Rubber Technology & Science is a silent revolution, taking place through various educational institutions, he says

Rheometer

PRODUCTIVITY

INNOVATION By PTA News Bureau

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ubber Industries world over have been highly quality/ consistency minded along with competitive prices. This can be achieved on ability to complete on basis of innovations in compounding, processing, attaining good productivity, quality control and use of right equipment, Manu Patel pointed out. The productivity aspect is vital to the final cost of the product. Consistent product, if it can be produced at a faster rate, improves the final cost. Productivity has a direct link to the flow of the compound - it may be compression, injection moulding, extrusion or calendaring, said Patel, stressing that to understand the flow of rubber compound, understanding of Rheology is desirable. Rheology is in fact “flow under heat and pressure.” Many commonly used materials and formulations exhibit complex Rheological properties, whose viscosity and visco elasticity can vary depending on external conditions applied, such as stress, strain, timescale and temperature, he added.

Manu Patel Polymer Processing Academy (PPA), Chief Convener of the International Conference

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POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

Rheological properties are critical as they impact at all stages of material use across multiple industries from formulation development and stability of processing to product performance. The use of Rheological property measurements includes, among other things, in the impact of molecular architecture of polymers on visco-elasticity for processing and end-use performance. Patel pointed out that the rubber compound is one which falls under this category. The characterisation of rubber compound is known as Rheometry or Rheology, which reflects orientation and elongation of rubber molecule. The Rheological study of rubber material exhibits both solid and liquid characteristics. Patel said: “What makes rubber materials interesting in this context is the fact their ‘constants’ for flow are of the same order or magnitude as their processing times for extrusion, moulding etc.

Bound rubber “As we already know that strong interactions between elastomer and filler particles result in the so-called bound rubber (BDR), i.e., the fraction of polymer not extractable from uncured rubber by a good solvent of the GUM Elastomers. BDR is an essential characteristic of uncured compound and key element in understanding the flow properties of such materials. BDR is involved in particular morphology of uncured filled rubber compounds.” BDR results demonstrate how bound


rubber is related with the rheological processing properties of filled rubber. Normally, in Natural Rubbers, the viscosity drops on mastication. This is indicated by the drop of molecular weight. It improves flow but reduces physical properties of the vulcanised products. Hence, he said, over mastication not only goes against dispersion of raw materials and final physical properties of vulcanised products. In synthetic rubbers, this is achieved in raw polymer during polymerisation. The compounding ingredients have sizable effect on these properties. Many commonly used materials and formulation exhibit complex Rheological properties, whose viscosity and visco-elasticity can depending on the conditions, such as stress, strains, time scale and temperature stated earlier. The use of Rheological property measurements includes viscosity profiling for rubbers which are Non-NEWTONIAN materials, in rubbers with both solid and liquid behaviour (visco-elastic) and molecular architecture of rubbers & its impact on viscoelasticity for processing & end use performance.

P

rocessing and productivity connected to Rheology is an important criterion in the development of a compound. We can design a compound with lowest cost and good physicals. But if one cannot either mix easily or mould/extrude, these compounds create more scrap, take more energy to process, hence not suitable in overall cost. Thus we have to find a compromise. That is why rubber compounding is more of an art than science

provide technology edge in the field of polymer processing through scientific and technology innovations.” The Academy is an international body dedicated to the activities related to innovative scientific development and ideas in the areas of polymer processing to focus on finding solution to the world issues, by utilising the best and brightest minds from academia, research organizations and industry. PPA aims to encourage a broad fundamental approach to polymer processing through integration of various engineering and scientific disciplines. It assists programmes encompassing formulations, conversions and shaping operations applied to all natural and synthetic polymeric systems. The Academy has structured training programmes such as short courses, training and technical excursions. Among other foreward looking initiatives to sustain the technological revolution, PPA also forms consortiums with academia, government organizations, NGOs and industries to give impetus to critical areas of research and development.

All rubbers and elastomers need compounding with various ingredients. Unlike water, rubber displays different rheological properties. Rubber vulcanisates display a more or less proper/ideal elastic material. Patel said: “‘In addition to the importance of compounding ingredients, the role of rubber machinery, as well as the test equipments are equally important in productivity achievement. Machinery manufacturers have thus studied the effect of right design, shear and temperature for arriving at right viscosity, dispersions and energy savings. This has helped to increase productivity. To obtain right data, useful data, right test equipments are now available. Rubber industry should make use of these developments, which will be reflected at the conference. Hence one can study, effect of compounding ingredients on processing behaviour, which is important for achieving higher productivity.”

Art and science Processing and productivity connected to Rheology is an important criterion in the development of a compound. “We can design a compound with lowest cost and good physicals. But if one cannot either mix easily or mould/extrude, these compounds create more scrap, take more energy to process, hence not

Mooney viscometer

suitable in overall cost. Thus we have to find a compromise. That is why rubber compounding is more of an art than science,” he pointed out. Patel said that the vision of PPA is “to

The Academy is a self-sustained, nonprofit making and scientific oriented, backed by the industry, according to Patel. “The support we get from the industry is reflected in our holding this rubber industry oriented conference,” he said. POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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Technology

For Coda Development, the Czechbased company, and particularly for Frantisek Hrabal, its CEO, a major milestone has been covered in the quest for technological breakthrough that can revolutionise transportation industry – specifically tyre industry. CODA, which developed the concept of self-inflating tyres (SIT) three years ago driven by the innovative power of Hrabal, has signed a commercial licence agreement with a major Asian tyre producer. The partnership is now all set to introduce this technology to the global tyre market

SELF INFLATING TYRES Frantisek Hrabal, CEO, Coda Development

By PTA News Bureau

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oda’s concept, which was introduced after years of committed research and development, attracted global attention in 2009 when it won the Tire Technology of the Year Award. The award helped the company hasten its search for an ideal partner who can help it take the SIT technology to the market. “We are open to discuss with any Asian tyre producer regardless on region about licensing of our technology. Unfortunately we cannot identify the Asian tyre maker at this point of time, Harabal had told Polymers & Tyre Asia. The partnership “is a major milestone for our company. We believe that our work will soon serve as the single solution, eliminating all the negative consequences of tire under-inflation,” Hrabal commented. The deal grants rights to manufacture and sell SIT technology in specific territories of Asia. When the technology proves viable in the low-purchase power Asian markets, it will become very attractive in many other parts of the world, the company believes.

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Currently Coda is looking for business partners to join the introduction of SIT technology in Asian markets, including Japan and South Korea, as well as in European and American markets.

Developing concept Self-inflating tyres can bring dramatic changes to the industry once its technology is fine-tuned to make it adapt to the customers’ needs perfectly. Developing the concept was a challenge that Hrabal and his company took with total commitment.

Simple solution

facilitated the contract negotiations, commented on the partnership deal.

Safety and fuel economy The SIT is primarily designed to aid safety, fuel economy and tyre longevity. It also benefits drivers by eliminating inconvenient pressure checks and tyre inflation. All tyres gradually leak over time. In average more than 20% of all vehicles ride with at least one tire seriously underinflated. This simple technology addresses all recognised negative aspects of incorrect tyre pressure.

SIT’s key design feature is its simplicity, making it the first tyre inflation system capable of global use across various tyre market segments. The whole system consists of only two key components – the tube chamber serving the function of a peristaltic pump for the tyre, and a managing valve to automatically control the inflation. The SIT System is based on proven, highly reliable peristaltic pump principles. It integrates a tube chamber into the tyre

“Coda Development was found in 2006 and during first two years it had been fully focused on internal R&D. In the second year we discovered and tested two main features of SIT making it technically viable. In 2008 we took the results of our R&D to the public for the first time on Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress in Detroit. SAE is the biggest organisation of automotive professionals worldwide,” Hrabal told PTA in an earlier interview. “The project can be undertaken by tyre producer, OEM, OEM’s suppliers or some individual/s with sufficient expertise and/ or connection in field of tyres and/or wheels. Today we are financially secure. We have access to additional finance in case we decide to cover also rest of R&D from our resources. So we are not looking primarily for money for finalising the R&D but for know-how that we are lacking. This R&D can be then financed from partner’s resources or through our financial opportunities,” he had then said. Hrabal had added: “This product will offer two options, adjusting the current production process which we will try to secure to be minimal or launching it through new facilities. This would actually offer advantage to potential newcomer in the industry, as you can build completely new brand with this revolutionary tire. “The production will depend on the sale strategy. We expect that the rise in the production cost would be marginal (in range of dozens of cents) compared to current tyre price and to value added, so the main impact on the sales will be through the applied margin.” “This novel technology will become the industry standard and change the entire tyre market. Not many inventions have this potential. We are proud that the idea comes from a common Czech and Slovak development team,” says Radomil Novak, President of CzechINVENT Technology agency, a private nonprofit agency which

SIT uses atmospheric air to inflate the tyre automatically when a vehicle is put in motion, compensating for natural loss of pressure and ensuring maintenance-free, constant tyre pressure over the lifetime of the tyre.

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hen the technology proves viable in the low-purchase power Asian markets, it will become very attractive in many other parts of the world, the company believes. Currently Coda is looking for business partners to join the introduction of SIT technology in Asian markets, including Japan and South Korea, as well as in European and American markets

wall. The tube chamber is kept closed at its lowest point by the normal tyre deformation caused by the weight of the vehicle. As the tyre turns against the road this closure moves along the tube chamber, forcing more air into the tyre with each wheel revolution. Simultaneously, it pulls outside air back into the chamber from the other side. The chamber continuously pushes air into the tyre until it reaches its optimal pressure. Then, a managing valve stops the intake of outside air and allows for inside circulation between the tyre and the tube chamber, back and forth. Once the tyre pressure falls below its optimal level, the managing valve disables internal air circulation and opens the intake of atmospheric air to activate the inflation again. The managing valve can be either electronic or purely mechanical. The tyre pressure can be set during regular maintenance or even by the driver. As a result, this solution ensures that all tyres operate at optimal pressure at all times.

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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Technology

SNOW-RICH: Ivalo has one of the harshest winters in the region, providing ideal setting for winter tyre testing

With the European Tyre Labelling legislation all set to be implemented in November, tyre testing business is poised to take the centre stage in the global tyre industry. Quality, safety and sustainability parameters will be strictly under watch, making the role of tyre testing companies bigger and more significant. Harri Eskelinen, Managing Director of Finland-based Test World, says that the challenge for testing companies is to answer the increasing needs of tyre manufacturers

Testing times all the way By PTA News Bureau

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yre testing business will certainly increase and the segment will have more responsibilities. Tyre makers will be forced to test more, not only because of any new regulation, but also because of the increased demand of quality tyres. If you want to produce good tyres, you have to put more effort to R&D and maybe should also think about speeding up the development cycle and launch new models quicker. All that generates more testing needs, Eskelinen told Polymers & Tyre Asia. “The challenge for testing companies is to answer these needs, not just by competing against each other, but also through competing against the tyre manufacturers’ own test departments by offering most cost efficient way of obtaining reliable results,� he said.

Harri Eskelinen, MD, Test World

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Eskelinen heads Test World, one of the biggest winter tyre testing facilities based Ivalo Lapland in Finland - a region where winter is at its harshest, helping the company set up facilities that any tyre manufacturer would like to put his tyres to task.


Tyre testing is an intensely competitive field, now more so with tyre companies having their own testing facilities. The rising benchmark for quality and the need for speed have thus put both the tyre maker and the testing company under pressure to ensure uncompromising standards. Only the best survives. “We want to be fast, reliable and offer the best quality in all our services. Our main idea is to offer ice, snow, wet and dry conditions every day in a year. Our new indoor test facility will make that possible, and give testing new possibilities, even a new way of thinking, that did not exist before,” Eskelinen said. Test World offers different kinds of support to tyre makers, including track and facility rental, on-demand testing by its own personnel, testing for marketing and launch purposes, partnerships and long-time contracts to cover official test needs for approvals and labels. “At the time we are the only company offering all these for tyre testing needs,” he claimed. Transparency and reliability are important factors for the success of a testing company, especially when competing tyre makers seek their service. “All our customers know that we are totally independent and reliable, and have no tyre or car manufacturers behind,” he

PERFECT SETTING: Test World’s testing track in Ivalo Lapland, Finland

Unique challenges Winter tyre testing has its own unique challenges, with nature and weather playing a big part. When natural back-up is not available, the operation puts severe cost pressure on the company. Eskelinen said: “For successful winter tests one needs cold conditions. Weather plays the most critical role in the daily test routines. Best case is to have winter conditions like we have in Ivalo, 300km north from the Arctic Circle - long winter season with stable weather conditions. By testing in other more southern locations one takes more risk. Sometimes the weather denies any testing by being too hot, too cold, too windy, too snowy etc. Sometimes the ongoing tests must be stopped due changes in weather. This is of course very frustrating and expensive too as in worst case all work by track maintenance, test assistants and engineers has been for nothing.

DRY LAND: It is not all snow for winter tyre testing

stressed. “And, what’s also important is that we are not involved in development at all. We just want to offer high quality test results tailored for the customer needs. The get what they want, quickly and efficiently, and have no security risks.”

surfaces to ensure the right traction, right noise level and safe handling. The testing conditions, compared to testing all-season tyres, are harsher, even putting the test drivers’ life in danger.

Indoor testing In 2011 Test World launched an indoor project. The main idea is to build an indoor winter test facility in which weather can be controlled, Eskelinen said. “This means security from weather risks during winter months and new possibilities for winter tests during summer months. Also, during winter months the indoor facility can have wet asphalt allowing testing on ice, snow and wet during same day in same location boosting efficiency in testing to totally unseen level.” The first phase of Test World Indoor will be completed in 2012 and phases 2 & 3 in 2013 and 2015 respectively, according to him.

Winter testing mostly takes place in Finland, Sweden, Canada, Japan and China. During summer months (June, July) people who seek winter test facilities are forced to fly to New Zealand for testing, he pointed out.

Eskelinen said that by using Test World services to obtain test results customers also make safe environmental choice. “The tests get done by just shipping the tyres instead of shipping whole test team with them. Typically this is also much more cost efficient choice.

Snow is obviously one of the most crucial ingredients in winter tyre testing. The gripability on the wet slippery snowy road is an important factor in qualifying a good winter tyre. The treads in winter tyres have more biting edges to grip tight and steady on the snow. The run involves braking and handling tests on cold, wet, snowy, and icy

“Other point of view is on how we work. Our customers are very environmentally aware and of course demand the same from us as their supplier. For us as Finns (Finland is very rarely populated country) respecting the nature and environment comes automatically as we have lived all our lives surrounded by nature,” he said.

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Racetrack

The tarmac scorchers at the British Drift Championship have been burning quite a lot of rubber, putting tyres to some real hard work. What drifts better are those that live up to the reputation for excellence, both at the wheels and also over the rim. Ask Infinity and the tyre will wink. The competition saw over a 100 cars competing in the 2012 season and the Acorn Motorsports Division (AMD) team sponsored by Infinity Tyres had reasons to cheer. It has been another creditable season for the winning brand and its drivers

Tarmac Scorchers PTA News Bureau

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MD, led by Ian Waddington and Mark Lappage, stood up to the challenge confidently in the extremely testing qualifying rounds, finishing on the podium for the first time in Round 3. “Even with constantly changing track temperatures and conditions, Infinity’s tyres performed brilliantly and gave consistent feedback allowing us to be extremely committed into every corner and braking zone,” Mark was to say soon after Round 3 at the Teeside Autodrome, where he finished first in the Pro Class with three bonus championship points. The driver has been all praise for the Infinity tyre, which gripped superbly in combination with the lightweight

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Drifting is one sport where tyres are tested most brutally for grip and control. The cars are driven sideways at high speed, the aim being to drive with as much speed and angle as possible while driving the line as instructed by the judges.

Mark Lappage

The British Drift Championsip (BDC) is a series of races organised for drivers from grass roots level right up to the most experienced in Europe. It is held in three classes: The Semi Professional class for drivers with basic level of drifting skills; the Professional class for those with good/high skills; and the Super Professional class for very highly skilled drift drivers. Safety is of paramount importance in the race where all cars must have a full complement of safety equipment including a full roll cage.

construction of the hand-built S13, which helped him hold off the challenge to cap an impressive racing round. In the Semi Pro class, Waddington too provided some high-octane moments, like when he forced the rivals into a “Sudden Death” situation in Round 3, missing out by the narrowest of margins. His podium finish at third position was the first in the season’s championship. “It’s testament to the whole team’s dedication and support that I was able to pull this off for us all,” he said after the race. After a two-year break, Waddington returned to BDC in 2011, realising that the level of competition and the profile of the championship had considerably gone up.

The team built on the Round 3 performance and finished inside the Top 8, a high-five moment where the credit was to be shared by the mastery of the drivers and the excellent support over the rim by Infinity INF-05 tyres.

Great job Scott Brandon, AMD Team Principle, commented after Round 4 on Lydden Hill Race Circuit in Kent: “The whole team, drivers included, did a truly fantastic job in very difficult conditions. The season has been a revelation and we should all together be very proud of our results…As always we are thankful for the support of our partners, and without Infinity Tyres, we would not be where we are today.”

The championship, UK’s premier professional series, entered its fifth year in 2012. Entries to the championship were at record levels this year with drivers from France, Sweden, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Ireland joining the race. Infinity Tyres had great success in drift racing Europe with Oliver Harsh in Germany winning his respective championship and Sebastien Lepert in France regularly finishing in podium positions using the INF-05 tyre. Its partnership with AMD was thus a natural next step in its association with the championship. According to Brandon, the partnership gave AMD huge boost, helping it to take the team to the next level. “We believe we produce some of the highest quality cars in the BDC and having a product as strong as Infinity Tyres on the cars is essential to maximise all performance possibilities… ,” he had commented. Motorsport is power packed where conditions are extreme. It provides the most effective testing grounds for tyres – an idea that Infinity has always followed. Earlier in 2012 the tyre maker sponsored Greek rally pilot Stratos Fotinelis and his rally car - a 1995 1.3 Suzuki Swift Gti. Fotinelis participated in the famous Ritsona Hillclimbing Rally, one of Greece’s most famous car races held around the Greek village of Ritsona, population 227. By supporting him Infinity was also reaching out to the Greek market through the sport that showed the class of the tyres used.

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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company watch

GITI TIRE CORP PROFITS RISE IN 2012 FIRST HALF

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iti Tire Corporation recorded a revenue of RMB 2.06 billion (£205.0 million) for the first half of the 2012 financial year. This is a year-on-year fall of 7.0%, the company said. The dip was due to the decrease in sales volume and increase of average selling price, according to the company. There have been other attributes as well such as the slowdown in the construction and property sectors, government restriction on credit availability and also the financial crisis in European markets.

MICHELIN REVIEWS 2015 FINANCIAL OUTLOOK

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ollowing the impressive interim 2012 earnings performance, Michelin has reviewed its capital expenditure programme and 2015 financial outlook. In a global tyre market environment that will remain supportive over the medium and long terms, despite the current uncertainty, Michelin is focusing on projects that sustain its growth and strengthen its competitive advantages. They include a premium positioning, leadership in its specialty businesses and a broad worldwide footprint.

LANXESS ANNOUNCES NEW MID-TERM GOAL

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erman specialty chemicals leader LANXESS has projected that its EBITDA pre exceptionals will reach EUR 1.8 billion in 2018. The company said it is strategically well-positioned to

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continue on its established growth path and plans to achieve its previously established goal of EUR 1.4 billion EBITDA pre exceptionals in 2014, a year ahead of schedule.

COOPER REPORTS RECORD QUARTER 2 2012 RESULTS

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ooper Tire & Rubber Company in August reported net sales of $1.06 billion, an increase of $140 million, or 15%, compared with the second quarter of 2011. Operating profit was $95 million for the quarter, an increase of $71 million from the prior year same quarter. Net income attributable was $52 million, or $0.82 per share on a diluted basis, for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, compared with $12 million, or $0.18, for the second quarter of 2011. Results during the quarter included a pre-tax gain of $7 million related to the curtailment of a pension plan at the company’s UK operations.

NITTO TIRE SCORES HIGH AT 2012 IMPACT AWARDS

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ypress-based Nitto Tire, developer of all-use performance tyres, scored an impressive high with their internet marketing programmes by winning the most awards in the digital marketing Internet Marketing Association’s 2012 Impact Awards. Thanks to Cie Studios, digital businesses applications developer, Nitto was named “best in class” for its creative Internet marketing programs in the areas of Mobile Website, App Development Business to Customer, Facebook Customization, Most Effective Microsite, and Social Media Campaign Promotional Strategy.


product Watch

GOODYEAR TIRE PUTS TO TEST SELF-INFLATING TECHNOLOGY

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oodyear Tire & Rubber Company has debuted its Air Maintenance Technology application that can aid in fuel savings and CO2 reductions while potentially improving performance and eliminating need for external inflation pressure intervention. Tire-related costs are the single largest maintenance item for commercial vehicle fleet operators with more than 50% of all truck and trailer breakdowns involving a tyre in some way1. The Maintenance Technology mechanism allows tires to maintain constant, optimum pressure without the use of external pumps, electronics and driver intervention. Proper tire inflation can result in improved fuel economy, prolonged tread life and optimised tyre performance. Optimum tyre pressure is key in the commercial market. It is estimated that for every 10 psi lost in tire inflation, there is a one percent loss in miles per gallon.

PIRELLI’S NEW ANGEL GT DÉBUTS IN BILBAO, SPAIN

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he new Angel GT sport touring tyre comes in 120/70 R17 size for the front and 190/55 R17 size for the rear. The tyres will be available next year. The Angel GT is claimed to offer 15% more mileage than the Pirelli Angel ST, its predecessor. The most remarkable fact about the tyre is its durability – what Pirelli calls as “Performance Mileage.” Guaranteeing exceptional performance, including on wet roads, Angel GtT’s tread provides regular wear and excellent water drainage by both the front tyres and by the new arrangement of the grooves on the rear tyres. The high mileage was obtained by using latest generation compounds and also thanks to completely brand new profiles, redesigned to work in synergy with the structure and the construction materials: all of this works together to obtain a sport touring tyre that still maintains the sports nature typical of the Pirelli brand.

RHINOGATOR UNVEILS GREEN PLASTIC PIVOT TYRE

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hinoGator has something revolutionary to present – a distinctively green plastic tyre for pivot irrigation systems. It is a new generation of rugged industrialquality, high-density plastic tyre designed specifically for the daily rough and tough conditions that are common under pivots. The tyre never goes flat, is waterproof and will not fill up with water or mud. The tough, high-density plastic resin formulation was specifically chosen for a wide range of conditions unique to pivot systems including bearing weight, stress and torque, material consistency, ease of handling and exposure to sunlight, moisture and chemicals. The formulation includes renewable

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plastic made from corn. RhinoGator carries the longest UV protection package available in the plastics industry. RhinoGator is manufactured in the US under controlled conditions. Bolt holes are moulded into the tyre and pre-cut bolts are included. The RhinoGator tread design was computerengineered for maximum ground-gripping traction on wet soils— even up inclines that challenge standard rubber tyres. The non-directional tread ensures maximum performance clockwise or counterclockwise. The beefy center rib makes for a lower profile sidewall for added strength, reduced hill slippage and better self-cleaning. The large anti-slip plate ensures that RhinoGator stays firmly on the rim and doesn’t slip.

HANKOOK PREMIERS E-CUBE MAX RADIAL TYRE CONCEPT

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ankook has presented its e-cube Max range at the IAA in Hanover. The radial tyre concept for commercial vehicles e-cube MAX stands for maximum efficiency, energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. Hankook’s new truck tyre series consists of the AL10+ for the steering axle, DL10+ for the drive axle and the matching trailer tyre TL10+. The three new patterns have been developed with focus on the ever-increasing importance of sustainability and efficiency in longdistance transport.

Hankook’s new Spiral Coil Technology is deployed for the new steering axle tyres AL10+ for the new e-cube MAX line-up: An endlessly winded steel belt between the traditional high-tensile steel cord belts for significantly improved belt durability while reducing the tyre’s rolling resistance. The new technology effectively reduces fuel consumption and helps to increase the tyre life. Furthermore, it ensures a stabilised footprint shape for better steering and rolling characteristics as well as an improved retreadability.

GT RADIAL LAUNCHES TWO NEW TYRES AT HANOVER SHOW

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T Radial, which launched 12 new tyres in 2012, presented its new GAR820 steer axle tyre and GDL617 drive axle pattern at the Hanover IAA. The GAR820 steer axle pattern is initially available in size 215/75R17.5, with four additional 17.5 segment sizes – 205/75R17.5, 225/75R17.5, 235/75R17.5 and 245/70R17.5 – due for a 2013 launch.

The GAR820 steer axle pattern has been designed to respond to the fast development of modern medium sized trucks increased requirements for comfort, reduced noise, wet and dry handling and excellent wear out performances. Initially available in size 215/75R17.5, four other main sizes in the 17.5 segment will come to market by 2013, namely the 205/75R17.5, 225/75R17.5, 235/75R17.5 and 245/70R17.5. The GAR820 carries M+S marking indicating good winter performances. The GDL617 drive axle pattern is a new generation long haul, high mileage M+S marked tyre featuring a non directional and compact tread design with multi sipe arrangement. The product is designed with the latest cool running compound technology to provide extended mileage and regular wear combined with excellent traction in both dry and wet conditions.


AUtO WATCH LAMBORGHINI’S NEW-LOOK GALLARDO READY TO ROLL IN 2013

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amborghini’s Gallardo stable is now revving up and ready for 2013, with a few styling changes and some additions and subtractions to the range. Gallardo LP560-4 supercar runs on a 552 horsepower direct-injected 5.2-litre V10 controlled by a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional sequential six-speed ‘E-gear’ transmission. The LP570-4 Superleggara, Super Trofeo Stradale, Performante and Blancpain use the same engine, but horsepower is 562. LP550-2 and Bicolore are rear-wheel drives and have slightly less horsepower at 543. The LP570-4 Superleggara is on a lose weight mode and features exterior and interior carbon fiber body components, forged alloy wheels and Alcantara sport seats with carbon fiber shells, and exterior modifications, including a remodeled front bumper, are all directed at increasing aerodynamic effects and increasing the supply of cooling air.

TELSA ROADSTER ARRIVES RIGHTHANDED FOR EUROPE

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esla, which has super star fans like George Clooney and Matt Damon, will launch the right-handdrive versions of its electric supercar from the beginning of 2013. The Roadster came only in left-hand-drive till now. The 125mph Roadster, which can reach 60mph in less than four seconds, comes at a cost of £87,000. A Sport model, which is even faster, will cost £100,000. Tesla recently opened its first showroom outside the US in London. It will soon open shops in Monaco and Munich. Elon Musk, CEO, said: “Europe may actually end up being a bigger market than the US, because Europe is in some ways more environmentally advanced than the US.” According to Dan Cochrane, Sales and Marketing Director - UK and Ireland, said that he expected demand for the right-handdrive models to be high. The company hopes to sell between 50 and 100 cars in the first year. The vehicles are assembled at the Lotus plant in Hethel, Norfolk.

FORD TRANSIT CONNECT STYLISH AND FUNCTIONAL

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ord has unveiled its 2014 model of Transit Connect, not really very “sexy,” but tough, functional and certainly more stylish than its earlier avtar. The new generation of Transit commercial vehicles has been developed on all-new global platforms for sale in Europe, North America and other worldwide markets The all-new Ford Transit brings a new level of capability and versatility to the medium commercial van market. It replaces the heavier two-tonne Transit in Europe and worldwide markets, and the E-Series in North America. Ford claims the latest version delivers outstanding performance across load carrying ability, dependability and fuel economy, for a best-in-class cost of ownership package. For Europe, a full range of Transit body styles and derivatives,

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offering front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, will be powered by the latest 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel.

THE NEMESIS EV SUPERCAR REDEFINES GREEN DRIVE

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he Nemesis, the batterypowered car designed to “smash the boring, Noddy stereotype of the green car” is making waves in Britain. The highperformance EV from Ecotrocity, a windmill firm, goes from zero to 160kph in 8.5 seconds and hits a top speed of 270kph - a record for EVs. It is the only EV supercar built in the UK and would cost under £1 million. The Nemesis started from a second-hand Lotus Exige bought on eBay. Builders lengthened it by 90mm, then installed the electronics. The car’s power comes from two 125-kW motors that produce 330bhp, which is fuelled by 96 x 100 A/h 4.2 V pouch lithium polymer cobalt cell. The batteries’ 36kWh capacity will take it up to 240 kilometres of driving range on a single charge, which takes approximately two hours. The main styling designer was Peter Stevens, the man behind the McLaren F1. Alongside him were the minds behind the Lotus Elan, the Corvette 2R1, Jaguar XJR15, and the De Lorean.

Lexus LF-CC Concept is a tidy, welcome look into brand’s future

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he Paris Motor Show saw the world premiere of Lexus LF-CC concept, a stylish example of design evolution. The compact, rear-wheel drive, full hybrid LF-CC integrates various design cues from the LF-LC Concept. The LF-CC comes in a new Fluid Titanium exterior colour. The interior has a dashboard divided into two an upper display zone with a multi-display screen and a lower operation zone featuring a uniquely designed shift lever and an innovative touch tracer display for remote system control. The seats, door panels and instrument hood are trimmed in a warm amber leather finish.

MCLAREN P1 CONCEPT AWES PARIS SHOW VISITORS

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cLaren’s newest supercar, the P1 concept, was unwrapped at the Paris motor show. A delicately sized sports car, McLaren has called the P1 a “design study” before the production version. It will have the smallest frontal area of any car in the segment, while still delivering something like 1,300 pounds of downforce at 125 miles per hour when it finally hits the road sometime next year. The DNA is typical McLaren technology for the race tracks. From what the showpiece hinted, It is built around a carbon fiber monocoque with a safety cage within the roof structure – the “Monocage.” The body panels are made from carbon fiber to keep the P1 as light as possible. There are no details for the interior, but unlike the F1 – which had a three-seat cockpit – the P1 will be a two-seater. McLaren sources hint that only 500 P1s will be built.


calendar O C T Polymer Processing Academy Conference 2012 uorganised by Polymer Processing Academy at RAMADA-Palm Grove, Juhu, Mumbai, India. uOctober 26 - 27, 2012 uContact: Manu M Patel, uEmail: manupatel31@yahoo.com, attuned03@yahoo.com

O C T IRC 2012 2012 uOrganised by Rubber Board India & IRRDB Kovalam, Kerala (India). uOctober 29 - November 2, 2012 uContact: irc2012@rubberboard.org.in

APRIL Clemson Tire Conference 2013 2013 Westin Hilton Head Resort & Spa. uContact: Jim Burns, Chairman uClemson University Tire Industry Conference, jjjburns@att.net uApril 10-12, 2013

O C T Sema Show 2012 2012 uOctober 30 - November 2, 2012 uLas Vegas, Nevada, USA. N O V Carbon Black World 2012 2012 uat Omini San Diego Hotel, San Diego, CA. uNovember 7 - 9, 2012 uWebsite: www.rubbertech.com.cn, www.reifenchina.com N O V RubberTech China & Reifen China 2012 2012 uSWEECC, Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, China. uNovember 14 - 16, 2012 uWebsite: www.rubbertech.com.cn, www.reifenchina.com N O V Global Rubber Conference 2012 & VRA Annual Dinner 2012 uorganised by Confexhub & Vietnam uRubber Association at InterContinental Asiana Saigon, Vietnam. uNovember 29 – December 1, 2012 uContact: Paul Yeo, Tel: +603 40455999 uEmail: conference@confexhub.com uWebsite: www.globalrubberconference.com J A N 7th India Rubber Expo & Tyre Show 2012 uorganised by AIRIA at Bombay Exhibition Centre, uMumbai, India. uJanuary 22 - 24, 2013 uTel: +91 22 28392095 / 2107 uEmail: ire2013@indiarubberexpo.in uWebsite: www.indiarubberexpo.in F E B Tire Technology EXPO 2013 2013 uKoelnmesse, Koeln, Germany. uFebruary 5 - 7, 2013 uContact: Colin Scott, Sales Director uTel: +44 (0) 1306 743744 uEmail: colinscott@ukintpress.com, uwww.tiretechnology.com M A R PNEU EXPO 2013 2013 uEurexpo Lyon Hall 4, Versailles, France. uMarch 12-14, 2013 uContact: Tél: +33 (0) 1 39 20 88 05 uinfo@pneu-expo.com, www.pneu-expo.com M A R Tyrexpo Asia 2013 2013 uSingapore Expo Centre, Singapore. uMarch 19 - 21, 2013 uContact: Rowena Suthers, ECI International Ltd uTel: + 44 (0) 1892 863888 ursuthers@btconnect.com M A R Tyre & Rubber Indonesia 2013 2013 uOrganised by PT. Global Expo Management

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u(GEM Indonesia), JIExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta - Indonesia. uMarch 26 - 29, 2013 uContact: Jeanette (Ms.), 11730, Indonesia, uTelp : +62 21 5435 8118 (Hunting),

+62 21 54358169, +62 21 54358170, +62 21 54358190 (Direct Line) uMob : + 62 85691711400

APRIL Rubber and Tyre Vietnam 2013 2013 uSaigon Exhibition and Convention Center, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. uApril 11-13, 2013 uContact: Shirley Abraham: Business Head, CNCIC India, uTel: +91 44 42615494 uMobile: +91 9840641101, uemail: shirley@cncictradeexpo.com uwww.cncictradeexpo.com M A Y Autopromotec 2013 2013 uBologna, Italy. uMay 22-26 2013 uContact: Promotec S.r.l., uTel: +39 051 6424000 uinfo@autopromotec.it, uwww.autopromotec.it JUNE Asian Tyre & Rubber Conference 2013 uChennai, India. uJune 21 - 22, 2013 uContact: Antony Powath, Vice President (Marketing) uMobile: +91 9833 901 586 uTel: +91 22 26400735, 26400829 uEmail: antonypowath@rubberasia.com uWebsite : www.atrc.in J U L Y Tyrexpo India 2013 2013 uChennai Trade Centre, India. uJuly 9 - 11, 2013 uContact : Rowena Suthers uECI International Ltd, uTel: + 44 (0) 1892 863888, ursuthers@btconnect.com, uwww.eci-international.com J U L Y Latin American & Caribbean Tyre Expo 2013 2013 uATLAPA Convention Center, Panama, uRepublic of Panama. uJuly 24 - 27, 2013 uLinda Bassitt Show Director uTel: +1 786-293-5186 uEmail: Linda@LatinTyreExpo.com uWebsite: www. LatinTyreExpo.com J U L Y 14th International Latex Conference 2013 uThe Hilton Inn, Akron, Ohio uJuly, 2013 uContact: Jim Finn, Conference Chairman jimfinn@akrondispersions.com ; Brent Weaver - bweaver@crain.com


EVENTS

SUCCESSFUL SUMMIT: The summit part of IRSD drew full-house gathering of industrial experts

IRSD 2012: Meeting of best MINDS in business PTA News Bureau

on the future course of action in the changing economic scenario.

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lobal rubber industry leaders and stakeholders gathered together in Kochi, the financial capital of the Indian state of Kerala for the fourth India Rubber Summit & Dinner 2012 (IRSD 2012) on September 15 to take stock of the world rubber industry situation, discuss key industry issues and deliberate

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Organised by Rubber Asia, the most widely read rubber magazine in Asia, in association with All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA), India Rubber Expo 2013 (IRE 2013), Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) and Rubber Board (India), the high profile industry event lived up to its reputation of being the best of its kind. It was a day of enlightening presentations, lively discussions, fruitful business networking at the picturesque Ramada

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

Resort, which concluded with an evening of scintillating music and dance performance.

Overwhelming response The summit witnessed an impressive turnout of Indian and foreign delegates. The participants, apart from domestic players in the rubber and tyre sector, included delegations from countries such as the US, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Germany. The Summit was themed on “Opportunities and Challenges in the


Dr. Kamarul Baharain Basir

Kurian Abraham

Changing Economy.” Kurian Abraham, Editor & Managing Director, Rubber Asia and Polymers & Tyre Asia, in his welcome address highlighted how the industry in general faced challenges like political unrest arising out of economic problems and policies, economic slowdown, high inflation, climate change and environmental issues. Despite the gloom and predictions of even more doom, there are many positive and highly encouraging trends and opportunities across the world economy, he stressed. “If you look at the financial performance of the world’s and India’s tyre and rubber companies, you will find most of them have improved their performance. Michelin, Continental and the Indian tyre majors Apollo, MRF, to name a few, are all doing well. All these show good times are not far away,” he added.

Enlightening presentations Initiating the discussion on the theme, Dr. Kamarul Baharain Basir, Secretary General, Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), who

Zachariah George

John Powath

Vinod Simon

PC Cyriac

delivered the presidential and inaugural address, said opportunities for production and demand growth for NR globally are encouraging in view of the improvement in the economic indicators of the US, China, Japan and Europe. He called upon NR producers to strengthen their scientific and technological efforts towards developing alternative sources of NR such as Russian Dandelion(Taraxacum koksaghy), Guayule(desert shrubs), Sugar (BioIsoprene, Isobutene) and Glycol (BioIsoprene) and increasing the use of NR in non-tyre products. In his key-note address, Dr. James Jacob, Director, Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) under Rubber Board, India, described how the institute has successfully developed the capability to identify potential area for new rubber cultivation in any part of the world through satellite mapping and to study impact of global warming on NR productivity. It is estimated that for every one degree rise in temperature, there would be about 15% fall in productivity, he pointed out.

Rajiv Buhdhraja

Rajiv Budhraja, Director General of ATMA, said there has been an unprecedented capacity creation in the tyre sector in the last 4-5 years in view of the rise in demand from the automobile sector. India’s GDP growth has spurred automobile and tyre production, which is reflected in NR consumption growth as well, he added.

Non-tyre sector Vinod Simon, President, All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA), said India will be the second largest global player in rubber by the year 2020, next only to China. “The Indian rubber industry plays a core sector role in the National economy. The Indian rubber industry has approximately 5000 manufacturing units mostly belonging to SMES manufacturing 35000 highly diversified items having direct employment of half a million people and more than 5 million people depend on the industry for their livelihood. The Industry has large potential for employment generation and contributes sizably to the national coffer,” he said.

Dr. James Jacob POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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Anil Mishra

Nagaraj Meda

Previewing ATRC Zachariah George, renowned tyre industry consultant and Chairman of Asian Tyre & Rubber Conference 2013 (ATRC 2013), said big names in the industry are lining up behind the second edition of ATRC 2013 being organised by Polymers &Tyre Asia, a sister publication of Rubber Asia, in Chennai on June 21-22, 2013. The debut made by ATRC in 2011, its inaugural year, was remarkable in terms of participation, organisation and the positive response it evoked from the high profile gathering. As preparations for ATRC 2013 continue in full swing, George stressed that the goal is to set a benchmark for the way an industry event of this magnitude is organised. Gautam Kamboj of AIRIA followed it

Tapan K Chatterjee

up with a presentation of India Rubber Expo(IRE) 2013, which will be held in Mumbai on January 22-24. Due to the potential growth envisaged in auto industry, IRE 2013 has introduced a concurrent Tyre Show, he said. In his talk on “Understanding Rubber Price risk and its Management,” Anil Misra, Managing Director, National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE), sought to ally the myths and apprehensions relating to futures market. He said NMCE is in regular one-to-one talk with the tyre manufacturers to explain how they could benefit from futures market. It regularly conducts awareness programs in association with the Rubber Co-operative societies to educate how the farmers can benefit from futures.

WINDING DOWN: The evening was filled with lilting music flowing over relaxed dinner.

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Niraj Thakkar

Focus on small growers Speaking on “Organising small growers for productivity improvement: An Indian experience,” P.C. Cyriac IAS, who was the moving spirit behind the formation of Rubber Producers’ Societies(RPSs) when he was the Chairman of the Rubber Board, India, said small growers account for 90% of India’ rubber production. Most of them hold less than a hectare of land for cultivation. They were instrumental in raising India’s rubber production which stood at 200,000 tonnes about 25 years ago to more than 900,000 tonnes now. Marketing the products and getting remunerative price were a big challenge for the small growers. The formation of RPSs helped them to find a solution to these problems to a great extant. There


EVENTS

are about 2,500 registered RPSs now, but some of them have fallen by the wayside. He suggested a three-tier mechanism comprising Rubber Producers Societies, Rubber Marketing Societies and Rubber Marketing Federation for boosting rubber production and marketing in the country. In his talk on “Mapping the Market Thought Approach to forecast Natural Rubber Prices”, Nagaraj Meda, CEO of Transgraph Consulting, said the downward revision of India’s GDP growth to 6.5% is likely to weigh on automobile production. Though passenger vehicle sales are growing , dip in commercial vehicle sales would keep the NR demand scenario on a cautious note, he said. The Summit part of IRSD 2012 concluded with a panel discussion on “NR price trends” chaired by P C Cyriac. Niraj Thakkar, Vice President, AIRIA and Convenor, India Rubber Expo 2013, proposed a vote of thanks. The dinner session began with a welcome addres by John S Powath, Executive Director of Rubber Asia. “As organisers,

challenges, jump into them. Beat the heck out of them. Enjoy the game!”

we are really happy and proud to see a great participation and do hope that we will have a greater participation next year”, he said.

He went on: “If your challenges are too large or too numerous, reorganise the challenge, team up, be resourceful. Do not give up. Failing makes you tired. If you have met your goals, set some bigger goals. Once you meet your personal or family needs, move on to goals for your group, the society, even mankind. Don’t create success and lie in it. As a human being, you have innate resources, skills and abilities to make a difference”.

In his Dinner Talk, Tapan K Chatterjee, renowned international tyre industry consultant, spoke on meeting the challenges of modern times through effective leadership. Rajiv Suri, CEO, Mardec RK Latex Pvt. Ltd., proposed a vote of thanks.

Tapan’s tips Tapan K Chatterjee, renowned international tyre industry consultant, held the audience in good humour with his witty comments and anecdotes. A sample: “Ronald Regan once explained: `Recession is when your neighbour loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his”. Sharing his perspective on meeting the challenges, he said: “Man thrives, oddly enough, only in the presence of a challenging environment. Challenges are what keep us FRESH. Instead of avoiding

The lilting tunes on saxophone by “Saxaphone Sisters” Lavanya and Subbalakshmi and a music and dance extravanganza brought the evening to a soothing conclusion. Namazie International was the main sponsor of the event. BKT and Mardec R K Latex were the Co-Sponsors and Aspinwall, Harrisons Malayalam Ltd., Valy Group, Kurian Abraham Pvt.Ltd., Tolins, Njavalli Latex, Chemoplast, Flexilis, Zenith, Comfoams Ltd, R1 International and Almar Trading were the Supporters. NMCE was the Exchange Partner.

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Reifen China 2012

ready to soar PTA News Bureau

Apart from major Chinese companies, those from Belgium, Germany, England, India, Italy, Malaysia, Japan, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, the USA, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates will be exhibiting at Reifen Essen 2012. This is the first time Poland is taking part in the show, which reflects the increasing profile of the event in Eastern Europe

S

hanghai is once again getting ready to host the biggest tyre show in Asia, Reifen China 2012. As in the hugely successful previous editions, the 6th show, which will be held at the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre from November 14-16, is set to create another record in attendance and participation. There has been a continuous and steady increase in growth for the exhibition due to the increasing needs of high quality exhibitors and trade visitors. The Asian Essen Tire Show, Reifen China, has been held in Shanghai since 2007 adhering to the concept of its origins, the Reifen show in Essen, Germany, which is known as the world leading tire show. Reifen China, which will be running parallel to RubberTech China, organized by Messe Essen GmbH and China United Rubber Corporation, attracts tyre industry leaders and is constantly drawing more attention and interests from many large industry placers to participate. More than half of the top 100 Chinese enterprises have already confirmed their participation. The participation of these major companies and international key producers drives the domestic and global enthusiasm for new enterprises to participate and be a part of this leading event in Asia. According to Messe Essen, this year the show will highlight promotion in the fields of the whole range from tyre production, tyre accessories, equipment for repair shops and in the areas of working places and materials. China has an abundance of resources from tyre reparing, re-trading, recycling equipment and material suppliers. More than 130 exhibitors and 12,000 visitors are expected at the fair this year.

Leading names Among the exhibitors will be leading Chinese names like Double Coin Holdings, Shandong Linglong Tyre, Cooper Chengshan, Triangle Tyre, South China Tire & Rubber, GuiZhou Tyre, Aeolus Tyre, Shengtai and Guangzhou Pearl River Rubber Tyre. A line up of major international names will also be at the show, lured by China’s leading position in global tyre industry as well as its strength as an excellent market. Companies from Belgium, Germany, England, India, Italy, Malaysia, Japan,

Poland, Russia, Taiwan, the USA, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates will be exhibiting in Shanghai. This is the first time Poland is taking part in the show, which reflects the increasing profile of the event in Eastern Europe. Rubber Tech China, which runs parallel to the tyre expo, has proved its position as a major platform for showcasing rubber processing and manufacturing industries, many of which are suppliers to the tyre manufacturers. Around 430 exhibitors will show their ranges at this event. There will also be the “China Forum,” featuring lectures by speakers from companies such as Siemens, Michelin, Lanxess, VMI, Cabot, Bekaert, Sinorgchem or Lord, focusing on legal foundations, new material developments and achievements relating to energy efficiency. The main organizers, Messe Essen, has a high ranking profile among global expo organizers. It is a respected niche player thanks to the branch know-how and its contacts with target buyers, opinion leaders and key accounts. Messe Essen has been offering an attractive mix of international, national and regional top fairs. The Essen trade fairs are so much in demand that it is successfully establishing them abroad, adapted to suit the respective market conditions. It organises nine events abroad. China United Rubber Corporation (CURC) was established in 1993. After the development of nearly 20 years, it has become a reputable company for trading and exhibition service in the rubber industry at home and abroad. CURC is mainly engaged in the business of trading and exhibition. The trading business includes the import & export as well as domestic distribution of rubber raw materials, tire and rubber products and machineries. The exhibition business includes the organisation of Rubber Tech China (China International Tire and Rubber Technology Exhibition) and Reifen China as well as participation service for relative foreign exhibitions. CURC follows the ideology of “taking the people as the foremost,” advocating the concept of “working joyfully and living healthily” and pursuing the core value of “integrity and common prosperity.” POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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evENts

ITEC 2012 shows quality

PTA News Bureau

T The quality of information and the educational seminars was truly impressive. Those who attended the event walked away with valuable business information and a keen insight into tyre industry

he International Tire Exhibition & Conference (ITEC 2012) lived up to its reputation as a top quality tyre and aftermarket event that means business. September is traditionally the second slowest retail sales month of the year, and “down time” in the manufacturing cycle. However, going by the response from several of the exhibitors at the IX Center in Cleveland, Ohio, during September 18-20, the business was good, no matter how quiet the footfalls came.

One of the highlights of the show was the Tire Industry Presidents and CEO Panel, which was made up of John Baratta, President of Consumer Tire Replacement Sales, Bridgestone Americas, Chris Ostrander, President, North American Tire Operations, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Paolo Ferrari, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pirelli’s NAFTA region, and Soo Il Lee,President, and Chief Executive Officer, Hankook Tire America Corp. Chief Operating Officer, Hankook Tire America.

Organised by Crane Communications, the event was also three days of presentations, panels, keynote speakers and classroom instructions. For those speed buffs who longed for a drive in some premium cars, say like the Porsche, the organizers also presented an opportunity to burn the rubber inside the IX center compound, which is the closest that can come to a runaway in the backyard.

Two keynote addresses that attracted full houses were by Dr. Enki Tan, Executive Chairman of Singapore-based GiTi Tire Co. Ltd., and David Rohweder, Global Chief Engineer, Tire and Wheel Engineering, Ford Motor Company.

The target audience included tyre manufacturers, suppliers, dealers/retailers, distributors, compounders, engineers and personnel involved in marketing, legal, recycling, retreading and regulations as they relate to the tyre industry. The event provided an engaging environment for the presentation and sharing of knowledge and ideas through seminars and symposia, roundtable discussions, paper presentations, extensive exhibits and networking The quality of information and the educational seminars was truly impressive. Those who attended the event walked away with valuable business information and a keen insight into our industry.

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The industry leaders discussed the current condition of the tyre market, as well as the future of the industry. The Tire Society Inc., the organisation dedicated to the science and technology of tyres, held its 2012 annual conference on tyre science and technology in conjunction with the ITEC. Dr. Marion Pottinger recieved the Tire Society Distinguished Service Award. A professional engineer and the owner of M’gineering, LLC, he has worked in almost every area of tyre mechanics both as a practicing engineer and a manager for over four decades. He is best known for his work with respect to tyre force and moment properties and the mechanics of the tyre footprint with application to wear.


ATRC 2013: VMI Corporate Sponsor PTA News Bureau

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The theme “Technology Advancement and Innovations – Road to Green Planet,” has been selected to make the conference most relevant. Speakers of world repute will address issues related to the theme, such as green technology, tyre design innovations, manufacturing, testing, retreading, evaluation, recycling, branding and marketing

MI Group, leading tyre and rubber machinery manufacturer, will be the Corporate Sponsor of the second Asian Tyre and Rubber Conference (ATRC 2013), which will be held in Chennai on June 21-22, 2013 at Hyatt Hotel Chennai. Asia’s biggest tyre industry event is being supported by leading tyre manufacturing and tyre machinery companies like BKT, Infinity, MESNAC and Bainite as Co-sponsors, Strutkol as Laynard Sponsor and TechSci Research as Tea & Coffee Sponsor.

it and how well it is executed. “ATRC 2011 received worldwide praise because of its excellent execution. Participants and delegates were happy with the results. There were exciting interactive sessions that threw up new ideas. At ATRC 2013 we intend to add more value,” he said.

Organised by Polymers & Tyre Asia, internationally popular tyre industry magazine from Dhanam Publications and sister publication of Rubber Asia, the most widely read rubber magazine in Asia, ATRC 2012 has Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA), Retread Tire Association (RTA), Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau (TRIB), International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP) and International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) as Associates. Media partners of the event include Rubber Asia, Rubber India and Dr Gupta Verlag.

ATRC 2011 brought together around 200 of the world’s leading tyre and rubber industry experts, technologists and corporate leaders under one roof. The faultless organisation of the event brought accolades from all parts of the world.

Zachariah George, renowned rubber technologist and Chairman of the ATRC Organising Committee, said: “Our preparations for the conference have been boosted by the great support we have been receiving from some of the leading companies in the industry from across the world. This shows how much of importance ATRC has gained after our debut conference in 2011. Encouraged by this we are aiming to make ATRC 2013 a bigger success.” George also said that the theme of the conference, “Technology Advancement and Innovations – Road to Green Planet,” has been selected to make the conference most relevant and meaningful. Speakers of world repute will be addressing issues related to the theme, such as green technology, tyre design innovations, manufacturing, testing, retreading, evaluation, recycling, branding and marketing, he added. According to him, the success of the conference depends upon how much of prior planning goes into

The organisers are also focusing on meaningful networking sessions in an ambience that encourages positive social interaction. A conference of this class must offer the best for business and relaxation, George said.

Speakers at the ATRC 2011included Harvey Brodsky, Managing Director of Retread Tire Association (RTA), California, USA, Michael Fraley, CEO and Founder of Pan Aridus, USA, Dato Dr Kamarul Baharain, Secretary of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), Dr Marion Pottinger, M’Gineering, Akron, USA, Peggy Fisher, President, Tire Stamp, USA, A. Van Der Pol, VMI, Holland, Dr Arup Chandra, Apollo Tyres, Hajime Yamamoto, Director, CSM Worldwide, Robert Simmons, Head of Rubber and Tyre Research, LMC International, London, Surender Kandhari, Chairman, Al Dobowi Group, Dubai, Gopiraj KV, CEO of Dubai-based ZAFCO, Rajiv Budhraja, Director General, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association of India , Dr. James Jacob, of Rubber Research Institute of India, Yew Lim Swee, Lanxess, Singapore, Dr. Zairossani Mohd Nor, Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia, Jom Jacob, ANRPC, Malaysia, Wang Zhiming, Mesnac Co, China , P Rajeevan of Apollo Tyres and Chandra Chandrasekharan of Quantum Polymers, USA. As preparations for ATRC 2013 continue in full swing, George stressed that the goal is to set a benchmark for the way an industry event of this magnitude is organised. “With the kind of professional support we have, I am sure this goal is achievable,” he said. POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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remembrance Under stewardship of Coos Spanjer of , VMI acquired core competence in developing, producing, selling and supporting rubber and tyre building machines and providing total machine solutions to handle uncured rubber, based on its profound knowledge and understanding of the tyre and rubber industry and based on innovative machine designs

Coos Spanjer: Driving force behind VMI rise PTA News Bureau

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MI Group will miss Coos Spanjer, 68, former CEO, under whose leadership the company grew into one of the world’s premier machinery supplier to the rubber and tyre industry. Spanjer passed away in early September. He joined VMI in 1990 and became CEO in 1992, a position which he held for 18 years. In 2010 he resigned and took up a senior position within VMI’s parent company TKH Group. Paying tribute, HJ Voortman, President & CEO, said: “With his intelligence, unbridled energy and enormous ambition, Coos Spanjer left an unforgettable impression with employees, customers, suppliers and other business partners. Today’s VMI is grateful for the many years in which Mr. Spanjer was leading the company, in The Netherlands and at our foreign subsidiaries.” Spanjer’s well-devised long-term growth strategy, focusing on enlarging product portfolio and improving service and support activities, helped VMI to expand and reinforce its coveted position in the industry. Under his stewardship, VMI acquired core competence in developing, producing, selling and supporting machines and providing total machine solutions to handle uncured rubber, based on its profound knowledge and understanding of the tyre and rubber industry and based on innovative machine designs. Currently, VMI is not only the leading independent producer of tyre building machines, but also takes a prominent position in machinery for tyre components production, tyre testing and special extrusion solutions. In 2010, Spanjer resigned from the role of VMI’s CEO and took up the position of CEO of the industrial manufacturing division

within VMI’s parent company, TKH Group.

China advantage

On Asian shift

Spanjer was also very focused on the China advantage. He said: “We moved into China to lower our cost. Commercial pressure was also there to do something in China. Initially it was hard, but we found it a wise step. The facility in China and its working methods is really a copy of our European plant. High class equipment are produced there. Almost 98% of the people employed there are of Chinese origin.

Spanjer always felt the pulse of the global rubber and tyre industry and the way the future was shaping up. He knew that the emerging economies in South East Asia were going to have a big say in the industry. In an earlier interview in 2010, prior to handing over the reins to Voortman, Spanjer had spoke to Polymers & Tyre Asia about the shift in capacity in tyre making from the West to Asia. “It will continue. We see big growth in Asia — India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand. At the same time capacity and growth in tyre production will decline in the West. Since tyre making involves higher costs of material, capital, labour etc, the growth in tyre production would be in the comparatively less costly Asian region,” Spanjer had said then. He had then said that one of the main factors that defined VMI’s success was the stress on R & D, followed by competent commercialization. He added: “Then there is our concern for the clients. We are farmers, not hunters; we don’t aim at short term successes but we want to have good business for the future. We are looking after our customers like a farmer is looking after his land and sowing seed. “Sometimes something has to change in materials, the way the tyre is built and in the logistics. We share these kind of observations with our clients. We make sure that the equipment we supply is the best fit and we train the people who use them. Once they are making money with the equipment, we step back. Our commitment in this field is high.”

“You need to have long-term plan and long-term finance for a manufacturing start-up in China. “We started operations there in 1997, at the time of the Asian financial crisis, and we lost a lot of money. Nevertheless, we ensured that the plant gradually scaled up production through continued funding. By 2002 we made a small profit and by 2007 we made break-even. Now it is an outstanding success.” According to him, it is not easy to compete against Chinese manufacturers. “But our product development technology helped us to stay ahead and become preferred. We kept on investing in further development of the right machines for the Chinese market and it helped us to be in a strong position,” he then told PTA. The visionary in Spanjer always bet on the need for constant technological development. “We have been successful from the start in high-end machinery and right now we are also ahead in automation,” he had said. “Our last generation automated machinery are giving better advantage for the manufacturers. Many tyre companies use them now. The last wave of innovations started with our automatic MTM Modular Tyre Manufacturing cell, in co-operation with Marangoni. POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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limElight

GROWING IN CHINA: LANXESS Wuxi plant in China

PTA News Bureau

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ANXESS, the global leader in specialty chemicals, has its eyes in the sky when it comes to expansion and growth. This is aptly reflected in its plan to build the world’s largest plant for ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) synthetic rubber in China. The German giant is investing EUR 235 million in the plant in Changzhou in Jiangsu province. This is the largest investment the company has made in China to date. The plant will have a capacity of 160,000 metric tonnes per year and the investment will create up to 200 new jobs. The plant is expected to start up 2015. LANXESS is the world’s leading supplier of EPDM following the successful acquisition and integration of DSM Elastomers in 2011. It markets its products under the brand name Keltan. Global demand for EPDM is expected to increase by more than four percent per annum in the coming years, while demand in China is expected to grow by around eight percent, driven above all by automotive and construction industries. China will also continue to be the largest net importer of EPDM in the coming years. “We are strengthening our global EPDM asset base with a world-scale plant in China to serve our local customers even quicker with premium products,” said LANXESS CEO Axel C. Heitmann.

LANXESS

these key raw materials, which are conventionally produced from refineries. During the construction phase, up to 2,000 people will be working on the site.

big in

LANXESS is already active at the Changzhou site, with the construction of a leather chemicals plant. The facility of up to 50,000 metric tonnes capacity per year represents an investment of EUR 30 million and is planned to go on stream by the first half of 2013.

grows

China

“This plant also represents our company’s third major rubber investment in Asia and strengthens our credentials as the world’s leading provider of synthetic rubber,” added Heitmann. LANXESS will start up a world-scale butyl rubber plant on Singapore’s Jurong Island in the first quarter of 2013 and will break ground for a neighbouring neodymiumbased performance butadiene rubber plant on September 11 this year. The new EPDM plant will be located at the well-established Changzhou Yangtze Riverside Industrial Park, with access to excellent storage and ship uploading facilities. LANXESS will be supplied the key raw materials ethylene and propylene from a methanol-to-olefins (MTO) plant currently under construction at the site. The MTO process is a new way to produce

It will produce premium LANXESS leather chemicals for the local Chinese market used in various applications like leather tanning, dyeing and finishing. Some 100 jobs are being created.

Keltan ACE technology LANXESS will use Keltan ACE technology to enable sustainable production at its new plant. In comparison to conventional technology, the Keltan ACE catalyst technology reduces energy requirements for production and it does not require catalyst extraction as a result of high catalyst efficiency. Furthermore, the process enables the manufacture of new EPDM rubber grades, such as oil-extended EPDM and special high molecular weight EPDM. The new plant will produce in total ten premium grades of EPDM tailored to Chinese customer needs. Continued on page 106

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MECC:

techview

Huge step forward in tyre uniformity measurement methods was used to measure that tyre, it could cause a measurement variance of up to 0.6 LBS. That amount of variance would not be considered good measurement repeatability.

Characterising loadwheel

T

his patent pending concept for characterisation of mechanical deficiencies and then compensation to mitigate the effect they have on the measurement is a huge step forward in advanced tyre uniformity measurement methods. In addition to enhanced measurement results for high spring rate tyres and even properly operating machines, the Machine Effect Characterisation and Compensation (MECC) process can provide a long lasting stop gap measure to achieve qualifying measurement results for a mechanically deficient machine prior to repair or overhaul. A common Quality Assurance (QA) practice in many tyre factories is to run a “check” tyre on each machine at least once a day. This process takes only a few minutes of production time and is used to determine proper correlation (magnitudes) for all measurements as well as providing an indicator of measurement repeatability. When the values of the “check” tyre determine that the machine correlation or measurement repeatability have fallen outside a corporate QA specified tolerance, the machine must be repaired in some way to cause better measurement. With MECC, it is now possible to run the characterization routine and, in many cases, the result is a set of compensation values that can be used to enhance the measurement values allowing the machine to correlate

and repeat properly. The MECC process is a very nice alternative that allows the machine to stay in production while the machine is SCHEDULED for mechanical repairs.

‘Machine effect’ Consider the effect a loadwheel that is no longer within specification (not totally round) has on uniformity measurements. That out-of-roundness will cause an effect in any uniformity measurement that has nothing to do with the tyre’s true uniformity. It will increase the TRUE radial force uniformity values or decrease them based on what portion of the loadwheel was in contact with the tyre during measurement. That is the definition of a machine effect, in this case, loadwheel out-of-roundness. If the out-of-roundness looked like the loadwheel shown in figure 1 it would have an out-of-roundness of 0.0006 inches. While that is close to being an acceptable runout reading, it would still cause a problem with the radial measurement in a uniformity test. So the question becomes, how big of a problem would that be? The answer is that it would be in proportion to the out-of-roundness of the part of the loadwheel that was involved in the uniformity measurement. The spring rate on an average 16 inch rim diameter tyre is about 1000 LBS per inch of compression. So if the loadwheel with an out-of-roundness of 0.0006 inches

The standard loadwheel on a PCR/LTR uniformity machine is 33.6 inches in diameter and has a circumference of about 105 inches. A 225/70 R16 tyre has a diameter of 28.4 inches and a circumference of about 89 inches. So a one-revolution test of the tyre will use 89/105 of the loadwheel circumference. In our patent pending process of characterisation and compensation, if a single tyre is tested multiple times such that its waveforms are distributed evenly around the circumference of the loadwheel and averaged, the tyre values will be lost and the loadwheel influence will emerge as a waveform which shows the effect of the loadwheel. In figure 2 we can see a force diagram that shows how the out-of-roundness of the loadwheel shown in figure 1 creates unwanted effects in the measurement of a tyre. Figure 2 is in fact, a plot of the waveform showing the EFFECT of the loadwheel out-of-roundness. Looking at that plot you can see that if the part of the loadwheel at about 20 degrees to 130 degrees was used to test the tyre, it could remove as much as 0.15 LBS of force. And if the part of the loadwheel at about 210 to 310 degrees were used to test the tyre, it could add about 0.2 LBS. Then it would follow that a compensation waveform could be developed from the characterization waveform such that the total of both waveforms would result in a sum of ZERO. With MECC, a uniformity machine with a loadwheel in less than ideal condition can continue operating and reliably testing tyres. We’ve just explained how MECC compensates for deficiencies with the loadwheel, but the great news is that we have a MECC process for rims and spindle adapters also! Find out more at www. PolingGroup.com.

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tyrecare

Tips

on

tyre care W

hen one buys a Tyre, durability is an important factor, particularly as tyres are very expensive. How can consumers, who may not be a technical experts, decide which Tyre would last longer? Do the details given on the tyres provide any clue? Yes, the information is available to the consumer, either on the paper label affixed to the tread and/or molded onto tyre sidewall. This includes, aside from tyre size, tread wear, traction, speed and temperature ratings. Please note that these ratings are determined by tyre manufacturer using specified test methods, and the actual in-use experience may differ from these ratings. One blunt, direct question – are Chinese tyres as bad as they are generally said to be or is this only a negative campaign by internationally known tyre companies? This is a value judgment that every consumer needs to make for oneself. It is tempting to use the cliché “you get what you pay for,” but that notwithstanding, tyres are generally warranted by the manufacturer, and the dealers are authorized to give rebates for prematurely worn tyres. I have noticed that racing tyres have much less or even no treads compared to normal passenger tyres. Why so? If they are as safe as normal tyres, why treads at all? Racing tyres with little to no tread pattern (“slicks”) are used to maximise the tyre’s

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Louis P Rumao, PhD, is Polymers & Tyre Asia’s Correspondent in the United States. He is a Materials Engineering specialist with over three decades of automotive experience. He is a consultant to automotive rubber and plastics suppliers. He answers queries on tyre care and maintenance contact patch and put the most possible rubber in contact with the road. This extra rubber not only allows for a softer tread compound by more evenly distributing the car’s weight, but it also makes the tyre tread one solid chunk that will hold together at racing speeds. Unlike racing, which are run under controlled track conditions, passenger car tyre tread needs grooves for wet traction and optimum performance under all types of drivability. What is the difference between a soft and hard tyre? Are soft tyres more easily damaged? I have not come across “soft” and “hard” tyre categories. You may be referring to the differences in tread rubber compounds used by individual tyre manufacturers. For us consumers, it would suffice to pay attention to the traction ratings, such as “All Season” or “M+S”. These tyres have optimum rubber hardness and groove design for good performance in most weather conditions. Are car tyres only bigger versions of bike tyres or are there any other factor that makes them different? I am not sure what you mean by “bike” - “bicycle” or “motorcycle”? Yes, some motorcycle tyres could be considered “smaller” versions of passenger car tyres, while remembering that motorcycles are fair-weather-only vehicles, while cars are used in all types of weather conditions. Will the tyre pressure be the same when the tyre has been at rest for some time and when it is checked midway during a long drive? Tyres must be checked when they are cold; that is, before they have been run a kilometer. The friction of driving heats the tyres and increases pressure, which can hide an under-inflated condition.

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

My old tyre is now a big hit as a swing for my grandchild. I wonder if it causes any allergy or other skin problems for the child. Are such tyres harmful if they are in contact with human body? People do have allergies and sensitivities to all kinds of things, including rubber. Although hardened rubber (as found in tyres) doesn’t cause allergies in most people, if an individual develops allergy symptoms, he/she should be checked to determine the allergen responsible. What is speed rating of a tyre? What is its significance? Speed rating is based on laboratory tests and is established in conjunction with load capability of tyre. Typically a 2-digit designation for load capability and a 1-letter designation for speed rating are appended to the tyre size designation. The speed ratings range from “L” (120 km/h) to “Y” (300 km/h). It is important to note that speed ratings only apply to tyres that have not been damaged, altered, under-inflated or overloaded. Additionally, most tyre manufacturers maintain that a tyre that has been cut or punctured no longer retains the tyre manufacturer’s original speed rating, even after being repaired because the tyre manufacturer can’t control the quality of the repair. Despite the tyre manufacturer’s ability to manufacturer tyres capable of high speeds, none of them recommend the use of their products in excess of legal speed limits. The maximum operating speed of a vehicle must be limited to the lowest speed rated tyre on the vehicle. It is said that one must rotate the tyres every 5000 kilometers or so. Why so? Is there any difference in the pressure on the tyre when used in difference positions? Tyre rotation helps even out tyre wear by allowing each tyre to serve in as many of the vehicle’s wheel positions as possible. Each wheel position can cause different wear rates and different types of tyre wear. Usually the tyres on the front axle need to accomplish very different tasks than the tyres on the rear axle. The tasks encountered on a front-wheel drive vehicle are considerably different than those of a rear-wheel drive vehicle. With all four tyres wearing evenly, vehicle responds to the driver’s input more quickly, maintains the handling and helps increase the tyre’s cornering traction. When tyres wear out together, you can get a new set of tyres without being forced to buy pairs. If you replace tyres in sets of four, you will maintain the original handling balance.


tech notes

Uday Banerjee

Influence of roto Geometry

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t goes without saying that the rubber processing industry needs continuous improvement of mixing efficiency. The need is more apparent because of the rapidly increasing use of silica to replace more and more carbon black (CB). Unlike CB mixing, silica mixing has not yet reached its required efficiency. The mixing system for rubber and tyre industries is dominated by the batch mixer with tangential rotor technology. Batch mixers are classified into two distinct categories according to their geometrical configuration, tangential and intermeshing.

In terms of achieving adequate silica dispersion, it is necessary that two factors are put in the intermeshing rotor geometry in a strong position. One is its better cooling capability to maintain isothermal condition that is required for silanisation compared to conventional tangential mixer. The other being its effectiveness in dispersing silica. The main advantage of the intermeshing mixer is due to its increased surfaceto-volume ratio in comparison to the conventional tangential mixer. This coupled smaller metal thickness at the rotor tip largely improves heat transfer to maintain slower rate of temperature, which is a pre-requisite for effective silica mixing. Although it is now a well-established fact for the tyre industry, in reality only a small percentage of this mixer configuration has been implemented and this is due to inherent human psychology of resistance India-born Dutch citizen Uday Kumar Banerjee, who is a Consultant on Advanced Tyre and Rubber Technology, holds a Masters in Rubber Technology from University College of Science & Technology, Calcutta, and is a Gold Medallist. He has a degree in Advanced Rubber Technology from University of Akron USA and published many papers especially on silica application technology. He was technical adviser to Yokohama Tires, China’s Ling Long Tire, Germany’s Kruup now HBF, PUM Netherlands, Madhu Silica, Noslar International and Luna Tyres

to change, particularly when the original compounding method using conventional mixers is in successful operation. The necessity for data-based information on the differences between the tangential and intermeshing technology when processing silica-filled compounds continues to be strong in the tyre industry. The superiority of intermesh technology, though largely established, still remains controversial to certain extend. The silica’s obvious stronger agglomerates make it difficult for dispersion compared to CB. Using silane facilitates the dispersion and coupling with rubber. The precise temperature during mixing for controlling silica silane modification offers the biggest challenge. Therefore, the perfect silanisation needs a well-designed mixer capable for offering the best possible dispersion as well as the best possible reaction condition maintenance for silanisation with minimum possible VOC retention. The conventional tangential mixer with 2W and 4W rotor design is being replaced by intermeshing internal mixer especially for silica mixing. The optimum control over silanisation temperature and time is such mixers are essentially offered by rotor geometry as well as through control on rotor speed. The rotor designs are being changed. The change of PES 5 from PES 3 rotor design by HBF is an example in this direction. However, the challenges involving elimination of VOC and improvement in conversion cost are to be addressed through continuous research by mixer manufacturers. It is important for the machine manufactures to upgrade the present mixer to a mixer capable of carrying out reactive mixing in shortest possible time. As explained above, in the rotor geometry the essential difference between tangential and intermeshing offers some advantages and disadvantages. Let us examine four of these: A. The dispersive mixing is superior in tangential rotor because of its capability to accommodate higher rotor speed compared to intermeshing. But rapid rise in mixing temperature at higher rotor RPM

is a serious limitation for its superiority in silica mixing. B. The higher surface area of intermesh rotor offers far superior cooling capability compared to the former. The essential feature for reactive mixing is to offer isothermal condition during silica mixing. The cooling efficiency is essentially lower in tangential mixer due to its thicker metal requirement for its rotor design. C. The intake capability of tangential mixer is higher than intermeshing rotor thereby it offers higher productivity. D. The intermeshing mixer offers additional shear in between rotor tip compared to tangential mixer resulting in better dispensability of silica at equal rotor speed. With the proper selection of variable RPM of the rotor and improved intermeshing rotor design in the internal mixer the problems of dispersion and silanisation in silica mixing has been minimised. However, a variable RPM can also be made possible for tangential mixer but the rate of cooling is by far remains a challenge for effective silica mixing in such energy efficient mixer configuration. Published literature compares the performance of 6 W variable tangential mixers for silica mixing over the 4 W and 4 W variables and claims 15 % faster BIT and lower power consumption than 4 W mixers even with increased mixing time. The mixing of silica in the former mixer claimed to proceed even in the ram up position as shown by the finger print of a typical all silica mixing cycle. Further the Tandem mixer by HBF, VIC type of internal mixer specially designed for silica mixing and 6 wing tangential mixers with variable rotor RPM are being claimed to provide further and better energyefficiency in silica mixing. The Mooney viscosity of the silica compound can be practically controlled only through multi-step mixing even with the improvement in rotor configuration in such mixer. Therefore, the major challenge remains for the mixer designer in overcoming the problem of time-consuming mixing, reducing multiple mixing steps and effective elimination of VOC.

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ReAR VIEW

Anil Mishra

COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING

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ommodity Futures is highly regulated, transparent, and available on “on line electronic trading system” having national reach. It is more liquid, having very narrow bid-ask spread hence lower impact cost and shows the best buying or selling price based on the national participation of all the stakeholders at any point in time, for the standardised specification of the underlying commodity. For all the stakeholders involved in the commodity supply chain it serves two main purpose price discovery and price risk management. The benefit of price discovery is enjoyed by everyone whether they directly participate in the futures market or not. For the price risk management, they need to participate in the futures market through members/ brokers of the commodity exchanges.

Deciding future price Who is the most competent to decide the future price? The answer is no one; the best buyer and the best seller in the whole nation at particular point in time makes the deal and that becomes the price. There can’t be unanimity in price view. Every time the deal takes place two people with the same set of information take diametrically opposite view on price; one is happy selling and other is happy buying. Who would be right? It would be known only at future date and one of them would certainly be wrong. This happens thousands of times daily. Hence it is futile exercise to think of unanimity in price view. The producers need to get the fair remunerative price so that they have incentive to produce more and processors and consumers should get enough supply at stable fair reasonable price, so that they could keep converting commodities into finished goods. Commodity futures market fulfils this aspiration of all the stakeholders by bringing the whole nation together on very transparent, efficient, regulated, risk free platform of futures trading. Anil Mishra is the MD & CEO of National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE). He is an expert on commodity trading, supply chain management and trading in derivatives. He is also an international speaker, presenter and writer. The views expressed here are of the author and not that of the Exchange

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Stakeholders safe In the legislation establishing the Forward Markets Commission (FMC), the parliament recognised that futures markets serve a national interest. Parliament sought to assure that there will be orderly futures markets, operating fairly, and that prices determined at these markets will be free of distortion.

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n the legislation establishing the Forward Markets Commission (FMC), the parliament recognised that futures markets serve a national interest. Parliament sought to assure that there will be orderly futures markets, operating fairly, and that prices determined at these markets will be free of distortion

The FMC oversees exchange rule enforcement and conducts its own surveillance of trading in futures to prevent market abuse and to enhance the operations of the market. The Commission approves the regulations and rules of the futures exchanges and requires exchanges to enforce them and audits them. Each futures contract is reviewed by FMC economists and trading experts to confirm that its terms are consistent with cash market practices, it may serve an economic purpose, and it is not contrary to the public interest. It fixes the margin, daily price band and open interest limits to ensure that market runs smooth with lesser volatility. There is complete trail of the activity of all the participants and can’t be manipulated.

Hedging in supply chain The opportunity to hedge makes it possible for hedgers throughout the marketing and processing chain to

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

operate on narrower profit margins which may be caused by market competition. For example, if the tyre company has protected its inventory with a hedge, it can add on its margin and offer a firm price to the OEM or consumers. Because the hedge lessens its chance of significant loss from an adverse price change, it can sell to the OEM or consumer at a fairly stable price. The Narrower at risk margins permit lower prices, resulting in considerable savings for consumers. Conversely, narrower at risk margin also may enable producers to increase their profits. Another benefit of hedging involves in financing. While some bankers refuse to consider hedges as a factor in commodity loans, others make it a regular policy to do so. Bankers, particularly those who lend to commercial borrowers, say that hedgers can borrow a greater percentage of the value of their commodity, usually at lower interest rates, than can non-hedgers. The lower cost financing thus permits higher profit margins for the hedger and lower prices for the end-user. If the commodity is kept in the exchange warehouse and warehouse receipt is accompanied with forward sales on the exchanges banks have no risk and then they lend up to 80-90% of the value of the forward sales. The exchanges pay directly to the bank on delivery of Warehouse Receipt.

Client’s interest Exchange members that handle the money of customers who trade futures are required to keep customers’ accounts separate from the firm’s accounts, mark customer accounts to the present market value at the close of each day, and place any funds due to a customer in an account separate from the firm’s own fund or account. This segregation of funds protects clients’ funds in case of a firm’s separate financial difficulty. The industry has an outstanding record for protecting customers’ funds, due in part to these rules. SMS alerts are sent by the Exchange directly to the client for daily transaction. Anil Mishra, MD & CEO; National Multi Commodity Exchange. The views expressed are of the author and not that of the Exchange.


treadmarks By Rajiv Budhraja

Of congested roads and too little infrastructure

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oming from Automotive sector, I could be excused for my fixation with all things infrastructure, roads and transportation and this piece purports to be no different. The ongoing economic slowdown in a globallyintegrated India is being attributed to economic turbulence in Europe and less than desired recovery in US. However a view is gaining currency that growth bottlenecks in a largely domestic consumption-led economy of India (as against export-led economy of China) could be a bigger cause of worry. Across sectors and industries, instances abound where enough is not being done to incentivise investments or provide a growth oriented environment. Coming to automotive tyre industry, raw material pricing and availability, cheap import of finished product, land and labour issues have severely impacted the growth with the industry turning out one of the most bleak profit numbers in the last fiscal. Almost $4 billion investment in Indian tyre industry, much of which has already been rolled out, is at risk as automotive slowdown has retarded the speed while much-awaited policy enablers to kick-start growth are still awaited. The recently released report “Basic Road Statistics of India” by Transport Research Wing of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Government of India is a telling commentary on how laxity in infrastructure growth could pull down the economic growth. If ever a proof were needed that infrastructure needs a shot in the arm, this report provides enough evidence. According to the report, during the last decade, 2001 to 2011, the number of registered motor vehicles recorded a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.9 per cent, while the road network increased at a CAGR of just 3.4 per cent.

Rajiv Budhraja is Director General of the New Delhibased tyre industry association, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA).The views expressed here are personal

Not only that. The growth rate in road length in the decade (2001-2011), when India witnessed one of the fastest growths across all spheres, stood the lowest in many decades. Even during the decades when India’s growth rate was mockingly termed as Hindu Rate of Growth, the CAGR in Road length was upwards of 5% which has gradually petered to 3.4%. The report puts the CAGR in road length at 5.7% in 1961-71, 5% in 1971-81, 4.6% in 1981-1991, 3.8% in 1991-2001 and 3.4% in 2001-2011. Unfortunately, the Compound Annual growth rate in National Highways that was 5.5% in the previous decade (1991-2001), came down to 2.1 % in 2001-2012. The State Highways also showed a slight slackening in CAGR from 3.1% to 3% during this period and even the CAGR in Rural Roads that has been showing a upward graph over the last few decades reduced to 3.4% in the decade 2001-2011.

On the other hand, most of the Vehicle categories have posted a healthy CAGR with Passenger Cars leading the pack at 10.5% in the decade 2001-2011. Even Goods Vehicles have shown a CAGR of 9.1% in 2001-2011, a full one percentage point more than the CAGR of 8.1% experienced in 1991-2001. Talking about state-of-the art Expressways, while in India expressways/ motorways are just around 227 km, (0.005 %), in China expressway network consists of over 65,055 Km (1.69%) linking major cities. Is it any consolation then that the geographic coverage of India’s road network at 1.42 km of road length per square km of land is denser than that of USA (0.67 km/sq.km), China (0.40 km/ sq.km) or Brazil (0.21 Km/ sq km). While in absolute terms, the length of national Highways and State Highways has grown in India, the proportion of National Highways and State Highways in total road length has gradually come down over the decades. The proportion of National Highways that was 2.13% in 1981 came down to 1.51 % in 2011. Similarly, the proportion of State Highways has come down from 6.35% to 3.49% during the same period, a study the report suggests. In relative terms also, the growth in National Highways is the slowest amongst all categories of roads while that of rural Roads has shown the most uptick in growth. The report is candid enough to admit that the growth in motor vehicle population during 2001 to 2011 of around 10% outstripping the modest growth in the roads network of 3.3% has resulted in the saturation of road capacities on many a stretches. The detractors of tyre industry often put the blame of slow pace in radialisation in heavy commercial vehicle tyres on the industry. But essentially the radialisation has been a victim of this disparity in infrastructure growth and vehicular growth. Better quality highways and new generation vehicles’ are a must for optimum usage of radial tyres, both of which have been a casualty. As new Highways and Expressways are being laid out and new-generation, multi-axle vehicles are launched by a number of Indian and International majors, the radialisation is also poised for a rapid growth in the segment. The report couldn’t have summed it better “Rehabilitation and construction of new roads are essential to provide sufficient, safe and efficient transportation for passenger and goods and are vital for making the economy competitive and for sustaining a high rate of growth. The road development in many ways exemplifies both the challenge and opportunity in infrastructure development.” POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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reflection

No other choice and sustainability in order to reduce their environmental footprint.

By KS Nayar

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ince the Industrial Revolution, the smokestack has come to represent economic progress and social development. But today, the climate change agenda is forcing a change in this view. Belching of smoke is considered regressive, whether emanating from factory stack or tailpipe of automobiles. The smokestack symbolises industrial decay and points to emerging social crises. Pressure is mounting to adopt green manufacturing of environmentally sustainable products. Consumers are pressing for responsible corporate practices that include addressing concerns ranging from climate change to auto emissions that spew cancer-causing carcinogen. Most green actions are triggered by legislative fiat, particularly in the manufacture of tyres. The pneumatic tyre has not undergone any significant change over a century ago. Only in the past five years or so are attempts being made to make what is called the green tyre. Growing awareness among consumers is forcing manufacturers to embrace the green label as a core business strategy. CEOs are realising its long-term value creation advantages. The EU tyre labelling, for example, is a landmark legislation to boost environmental health and sustainability. It aims to slash Europe’s total energy consumption by 20 % by 2020, cut CO2 emissions and reduce traffic noise and accidents. This is the road that the world is set to travel to protect planet Earth. Companies that fail to see such trends will skid on the wayside. In an increasingly globalising world, manufacturers can survive only through best practices in corporate social responsibility. A firm’s reputation and consumer acceptance are influenced by its commitment to environmental and good governance practices. In fact, in the past three decades most top companies have strived to become good corporate citizens either under government compulsion, shareholder activism or social pressure. Most are seen to take proactive stand on climate change

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CEOs of such firms can expect not only the support of shareholders and customers, but they can also gain long-term benefits. It is no more a rhetorical ideology that embracing green can result in a positive image makeover. It actually makes business sense. Companies that have publicly committed to green business have gained positive traction among customers and other stakeholders. They are able to much more quickly reinforce their presence in the market than those who ignore environmental issues. An increasing number of consumers, particularly among the burgeoning younger population who are more ‘green conscious’ than their parents, prefers to make purchase decisions based on environmental sustainability. Even financial and investment bankers closely study metrics and indicators on good corporate governance.

Consumers are willing to pay a premium for products manufactured by socially responsible companies. Even employees are willing to take pay cuts to work for firms that are perceived to be socially committed. CEOs, therefore, should leverage their company profiles as socially responsible entities to build brands and thereby market share. They should create better working environment for employees, who will become the firm’s goodwill ambassadors. Such innovative initiatives will also contribute to enhancing the corporate image as a responsible manufacturer that is willing to give back to the community. Being a good corporate citizen is a bonus mark for those hoping to get a larger share of the market at a time when competition is becoming fierce. However, CEOs and shareholders, particularly in developing countries, have a long way to go in creating awareness and acceptance with regard to environmental and social issues.

Companies that continually innovate to remain on top of the sustainability graph are better placed to become market leaders even if they initially encounter shareholder scepticism. Such commitment will improve the entire process across the supply chain adding to the rippling effect on good corporate governance. They also generate returns on capital deployed for environmental, social and governance practices that often slashes business risks.

What is holding back many of them, who are more keen to find a way out of regulators’ toughening stand on green issues, is to postpone environmentrelated decisions as long as possible. Worried about current economic crisis, they consider environmental, social, and governance issues as something that can wait till the market situation improves while they fire-fight business turmoil and other issues at hand.

The environmental challenge before tyre makers is tough. Their primary concerns are pollution through noxious air emissions from compounding and mixing, handling of wastes generated while mixing, milling, calendering and extruding processes. Manufacturers are also face problems in handling volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutant emissions.

One has to look beyond the nose while running companies, particularly in the tyre and auto sectors that are seeing unprecedented challenges to change the way they are doing business. There is certainly awareness among them about the need to maintain good governance to build corporate reputation, reduce risks and enhance brand value. This is as much important as creating financial value for shareholders.

Many tyre makers have invested in environmentally sustainable production practices, including safe disposal of waste, waste-water management and use of alternatives to aromatic oils and hazardous chemicals among others. Many have taken action to reduce the carbon footprint. This is a thrust area of their corporate social responsibility commitment towards a low-carbon economy.

Like growth and economic performance charts, the smokestack will come to represent the value of a company when investors study the various tangible metrics of growth potential and examine long-term strategic plans. Let us hope more smokestack will disappear as economy bounces on the growth path unlocking billions of dollars of new green business opportunities. There is no other choice to building competitiveness.

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012


random thoughts

John S Powath

WONDER WHICH WAY ALL THAT donation MONEY GOES! Fourth worst offender, who retains his position in the list for every year since this information has been made available from the start in 1998, is amazingly yet again,

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eep these facts in mind when “donating”. As you open your pockets for yet another natural disaster, keep the following facts in mind; we have listed them from the highest (worse paid offender) to the lowest (least paid offender). The worst offender was yet again for the 11th year in a row is, UNICEF – CEO. He receives US $1,200,000 per year, a Rolls Royce for his exclusive use whereever he goes and an expense account that is rumored to be well over US $150,000. Only pennies from the actual donations go to the UNICEF cause - less than US $0.14 per dollar of the income. The second worst offender this year is Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. Her salary for the year ending in 2009 was US $651,957 plus expenses. She enjoys six weeks fully paid holidays including all related expenses during the holiday trip for her and her husband and kids. To this you can add 100% fully paid health & dental plan for her and her family for life. This means that out of every dollar they bring in, about US $0.39 goes to related charity causes. The third worst offender was again, for the 7th time, Brian Gallagher, President of the United Way. He receives a US $375,000 base salary (US funds), plus so many numerous expense benefits that is hard

Consider World Vision President (Canada). His base salary is US $300,000, plus an allowed home valued in the US $700,000 - US $800,000 value range that is completely furnished. Of course, all housing expenses, including taxes, water/ sewer, telephone/fax, HD/high speed cable, weekly maid service and pool/yard maintenance, are fully paid. Add to this private schooling for his children, upscale automobile and a US $55,000 personal expense account for clothing/food, with a US $125,000 business expense account. to keep track as to what it is all worth, including a fully paid lifetime membership for two golf courses - one in Canada, and the other in the USA), two luxury vehicles, a yacht club membership, three major company gold credit cards for his personal expenses... well, it just goes on and on! This equates to about US $0.51 income going to charity causes.

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he worst offender was yet again for the 11th year in a row is, UNICEF – CEO. He receives US $1,200,000 per year, a Rolls Royce for his exclusive use where ever he goes and an expense account that is rumored to be well over US $150,000. Only pennies from the actual donations go to the UNICEF cause less than US $0.14 per dollar of the income

Get this, because it is a “religious based” charity, it pays, little to no taxes, can receive government assistance and does not have to declare were the money goes. Only about US $0.52 of earned income per dollar is available for charity causes. Of the sixty odd “charities” we looked at, the lowest paid (President/CEO/ Commissioner) was heading up a charity group in Canada . We found, believe it or not, it was...... Ready for this…? Yes, Salvation Army Commissioner Todd Bassett. He receives an annual salary of US $13,000, plus housing, for managing this US $2 billion organisation. Which means, about US $093 per dollar earned is readily available and goes back out to local charity causes.... Truly amazing … and well done “Sally Anne.” No further comment is necessary...Think Twice before you give to your charity of choice as to which one really does the best for the most - or the least for the most, for that matter. Remember charity starts at home. Look after the people of this country. About 99% of people won’t have the guts to forward this. I just did!

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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Advertisers’ Index Continued from page 33

Return via retreads

to go in for new radial tyres at the time of replacement, strong preference of improved aesthetics of new generation of passenger cars and above all, a growing concern for safety due to driving at increased speeds.

Stevens said: “The future is indeed bright for retreading in India. Continued economic growth and development which leads to more trucks on the road, increased

radialisation rates, and continued cost advantages should help continue to drive strong growth in the retreading industry in India.” The growth in the industry is not without its challenges, including dealing with end-user perceptions of retreaded tyres, education on proper inflation and load to protect casing investments, transportation infrastructure development, and challenges from low-cost new tyres, he pointed out.

Continued from page 57

Nano balance technology technologies to give the highest levels of high-speed cornering stability and extreme response.”

According to Stinissen, Toyo has also successfully tagged its technology development efforts with environment initiatives. The company launched the concept of Tecology, a global initiative to unite technology and ecology. Under the programme, the company has been working to use less energy and reduce environmental impact in the manufacture, composition, and performance of every product Toyo makes.

Products like the Versado LX II and Versado Eco carry an E mark indicating their low rolling resistance and focus on improved fuel economy.

Green Powder, a natural material, helps reduce friction and lower rolling resistance by dispersing other elements in the tread compound of the Versado Eco. The tyre also has recycled polyester casing made from bottles, film, and other things, offering the same performance and quality as new polyester casings.

Continued from page 95

LANXESS GROWS BIG LANXESS already operates EPDM production sites in Geleen, the Netherlands, Marl, Germany, Orange, USA and Triunfo, Brazil, with a combined capacity of 320,000 metric tons per annum. It plans to convert 50% of its total production capacity at the Geleen site to Keltan ACE technology in 2013. EPDM is used above all in the automotive industry as door sealants or windscreen wipers. According to LANXESS estimates, approximately seven kilograms of EPDM is used in every car. The product is also used in the plastics modification, cable and wire, construction and oil additives industries. Its properties include very low density, good resistance to heat, oxidation, chemicals and weathering as well as good electrical

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insulation properties. Since the end of last year, LANXESS has been commercially producing EPDM from bio-based ethylene and marketing it under the brand Keltan Eco. LANXESS is using ethylene supplied by Braskem SA. In comparison to petroleum-based ethylene, Braskem’s ethylene is produced by dehydrating ethanol from sugar cane.

China and LANXESS China is a cornerstone of LANXESS’ global growth strategy. The company is targeting sales of more than one billion EUR in Greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao) in 2012. All of LANXESS’ 13 business units are represented at 10 sites in Greater China, with roughly 1,000 employees in total.

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

Acten Marketing Sdn Bhd

66

Akron Special Machinery, Inc

4

Al Dobowi

6

Apollo Tyres

8

ATRC 2013

27

A-Z Formen

38

Bainite

Gateway

Balkrishna Tyres

5

Brityrex 71 Changzhou Yangs Mould Co Ltd

54

Citexpo 2012

77

Continental

Back Inside

Elgi Rubber Company

59

Eastern Treads Ltd.

26

Gandhar Oil Refinery Ltd.

7

Glebus Alloys

66

Global Rubber Conference

83

Goodway

63

Graetoo 1 Gujarat Rubber & Reclaims

128

Hasetri 62 India Rubber Expo 2013

55, 101

IRMRA

58

JK Tyre & Industries

13

Kordsa Global

35

L&T

23

Midas 67 M+V Marketing & Sales (S+S)

34

NDI Tire (Quingdao)

70

Nynas Naphthenics

42

Omni United (S) Pte Ltd

11

Omnova Solutions India

15

Pioneer Rubber & Chemical

30

Reifen China

39

Rubber Asia

74

Rubber & Tyre Vietnam 2013

96

RubberTech China

75

Sah Petroleum

19

Samsom Machinery 100 Soberay & Sons

43

STL Standards Testing Lab

76

Struktol Company of America Front Inside Swani

92

Tolins Tyres Pvt Ltd

31

TTE 2013

94

Tyre & Rubber Indonesia 2012

81

Tyrexpo Asia

79

Tyrexpo India VMI Holland Zafco

88 Back cover 22


October/November 2012 Vol 3 Issue No 5

CONTENTS 1.

Image makeover/ The EU tyre labelling, which comes into effect on November 1, is an important mandatory rule that will have a cascading effect across the world

2. Challenge for all/ ETRMA

Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp

3.Leading the pack/ Interview with Wilko Fong, Managing Director, Reliable International Exhibition Services

4. Challenges and opportunities/ Neeraj Kanwar, Chairman, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association

5.

Deadline pressure/ Alfred Graham, President of UK-based Imported Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA))

6. Helps pick the best/ Ed Pike, PE, a well-known researcher in energy efficiency and sustainability issues

7. Innovation opportunity/ Dr R

Mukhopadhyay, Director, Hasetri

8. End users to benefit/ interview with Dr P Thavamani, Director, IRMRA

9. Brand role/ Interview with

Dr Sridhar Balasubramanian, Roy and Alice H Richards Bicentennial Distinguished Scholar, Associate Dean, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

10. Information accessibility/ Florian W. Fischer, Director, Business Development VMI, Holland

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012


Image makeover By PTA News Bureau Thanks to the introduction of an innovative standardised tyre labelling system by the European Union, the tyre market in the continent is set to see major changes in the marketing of a product about which a large number of consumers are still clueless

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he European Union tyre labelling, which comes into effect on November 1, is an important mandatory rule that will have a cascading effect across the world, particularly in low-cost producing and exporting countries, where there is at present no such safety and fuel-efficiency regulations. The EU labelling will be a triggering point for new regulatory norms in these countries where such system does not exist. More countries will be joining the green bandwagon.

The new standardised labelling will provide fleet operators and the purchasers with valuable information on tyre performance attributes. It is similar to existing energy-efficiency label used on white goods such as refrigerators, air-conditioners, washing machines etc. The aim is to better inform purchasers on the safety and environmental performance of the tyre. It will help them to choose safer and more fuel-efficient tyre with low noise levels.

The tyre replacement market will be seeing tectonic changes in new demand patterns. With more consumers getting better educated in the years to come, the wholesalers are becoming the main providers of information that influence consumer choices. This is contributing to an image makeover by budget tyres. Much abused and maligned as cheap and therefore dubbed as of poor quality, these tyres that sport EU label will gain wider respectability and acceptance among the discriminating European consumers.

At the moment most motorists are not educated enough to read and decipher the labels. In fact a recent survey has shown that 87% of drivers said they were not even aware of the mandatory labelling regulations. But 67% showed interest in learning more about the benefits. The mandatory labelling, which rates the tyre’s fuel efficiency, wet-braking performance and exterior noise emissions, will usher in a fair level-playing field to tyre makers. Labelling will virtually guarantee a certain minimum Continued on page­122 POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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The Brusselsbased European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) says tyre labelling, which becomes mandatory from Nov 1, is a challenge not only to Fazilet Cinaralp, ETRMA Secretary General European tyre producers but also others as well. “First of all, the challenge is not for ETRMAmembers alone. The challenge is for the tyre companies selling their products on the PTA News Bureau he European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ EU territory,” Association (ETRMA) says the EU tyre labelling says the challenge will be felt across the entire association’s spectrum of the tyre market – from factory to the market place. Secretary General Fazilet “The challenges will be everywhere; at the consumer level (he/she will know why he/she pays more or Cinaralp, in an less when choosing his/her tyre); at the distributor/ interview

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dealer level to make sure that the information is properly conveyed to the consumer as informed by the manufacturers; at the manufacturer/importer level, to secure that tyres can be tested and labelled in time, and that the labels content is correct. And finally, it is a challenge for the Market Surveillance authorities in Europe,” ETRMA Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp told Polymers & Tyre Asia in an interview.


The aim of the legislation is intended to increase the safety and the environmental and economic efficiency of road transport by promoting fuel-efficient and safe tyres with low noise levels. ETRMA’s 12 leading tyre company members have welcomed the objective of the mandatory tyre performance information requirement. She does not think that budget tyres from low-cost countries are likely to pose a major threat to European tyre makers because of the price competitiveness due to lower Asian wages. “The technology has a price and through the labelling, the consumers will be better informed of the quality of the tyres he/she is buying. The transparency will help also price discovery,” Ms Cinaralp has noted. The association points out that passenger and light commercial vehicle tyres produced after June 30, 2012 and have gone on sale in the EU from November 2012, should bear a sticker or be accompanied by a label to be displayed on tyres that is visible by the consumer at points of sale. For all tyres, this information must also be included on supplier web pages, brochures, price lists, on or with the invoice when the tyres have been sold, etc. Each tyre type and size will have to be graded. Although retreaded, off-road, temporary use-spare, studded, racing and vintage tyres are excluded from the scope of the labelling regulation, ETRMA believes that the current mandatory requirements on tyres will heighten consumer awareness on performances when purchasing a tyre. Additionally, the measure not only will encourage tyre manufacturers to upgrade their products in the context of increased competition on the market, but will offer the possibility for producers to benefit from product differentiation, based also on product quality, ETRMA says. Commenting on how European governments can ensure that imported tyres meet the stiff labelling criteria, Ms Cinaralp said at least, the European governments do understand the need for proper enforcement for two reasons: The trust of the citizens in the labels, and the competiveness of the scrupulous suppliers versus the others. ETRMA has pointed out that the legal enforcement procedures will be in place by November 2012. Obviously surveillance and enforcement are keys to ensure the success of the labelling exercise. Some Asian low-cost tyre makers have claimed that they have made arrangements at home and abroad to ensure that their products are in line with EU regulations. However, such self-certification has come under intense scrutiny in the context of an experience last year with tyre testing for REACH compliance which

revealed that about 10% of the sample had failed to comply with regulations. REACH, which stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, is a EU regulation launched in 2006. It is intended to ensure that chemical substances used in tyres, for example, are in compliance with rules. The objective is to ensure that they do not adversely impact both human health and the environment. When asked how reliable could be self-certification in the case of labelling as tyre producers and importers are responsible for tyre testing and grading, Ms Cinaralp said that the testing conditions prescribed by the EU should be strictly followed according to the prescribed mode and in compliance with clearly determined regulations. “There is not much freedom. Any serious producer will want its products to display the right grading information. It is a matter of reputation and brand image,” she emphasised. The grading is required for each product; it is then the decision of the producer how he proceeds. It is indeed a tough task as each tyre, in which almost 200 different ingredients go into its making, will have to be scrutinised to ensure that the same batch does not report any variations. Compliance is in great a challenge as even test rigs used by manufacturers might offer different results. Referring to such concerns that could undermine the confidence of consumers, who have so far reposed faith in brands of well-known tyre manufacturers compared to budget tyre makers from Asia, Ms Cinaralp said that this is part of the risk assessment that each tyre manufacturer/ importer will have to go through before grading his tyres. Anticipating a flood of low-cost tyres bearing the EU label, Ms Cinaralp said that ETRMA has never undertaken any tariff or non-tariff barriers in order to block any imports into the EU. “The rules apply to all the operators on the market in an equal manner.” ETRMA is committed to sustainability and innovation, and believes that these key drivers would ensure that Europe’s tyre industry would remain strong and competitive.

Surveillance and enforcement are keys to ensure the success of the labelling exercise. Some Asian low-cost tyre makers have claimed that they have made arrangements at home and abroad to ensure that their products are line with EU regulations. However, such self-certification has come under intense scrutiny in the context of an experience last year with tyre testing for REACH compliance which revealed that about 10% of the sample had failed to comply with regulations

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China, the world’s largest producer of tyres, is aggressively pursuing the European market taking advantage of the EU tyre labelling regulations. The country’s annual tyre production constitutes about a quarter of the world’s total exports. In the past several years, Chinese tyre makers are gaining a lot of experience of the emerging global demand trends and are adopting standards that are considered the best way to sell to America and Europe, says Wilko Fong, Managing Director of Reliable International Exhibition Services, a specialist company with intimate knowledge of the Chinese tyre economy Wilko Fong, MD, Reliable International Exhibition Services

Leading the pack PTA News Bureau

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f China’s expanding tyre markets abroad, a major chunk is destined to Europe. Nearly 40% of its production, of which 15% are shipped to Europe, is on high growth path because of the enormous advantages the country enjoys: Competitive prices and quality. Production rose in 2011 to 832.1 million, clocking a healthy 8.55% increase year-on-year. Chinese tyre makers are leveraging the advantages of standardisation that are being offered through tyre labelling, like the EU’s mandatory rule that comes into effect from Nov 1 this year. Officials have been reporting that moving forward, standardisation and labelling are going to be their major objectives. These also call for modernisation, upgrading of technology and ensuring consistency in quality. In fact a top Chinese official told the Lanxess Rubber Day China conference in December last year that the government was working to develop tyre label compliance guidelines. The reason was that, as Jiang Jian of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology explained, the domestic industry was highly dependent on exports. Chinese tyre manufacturers have already taken up the challenges of adhering to the benchmark EU

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guidelines. The companies are investing in building facilities for testing of tyres for fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise. “I personally think that the EU tyre labelling is a good standard for enhancing the degree of safety and environment-friendliness,” said Wilko Fong, Managing Director of Reliable International Exhibition Services. The expo organiser has just concluded a very successful tyre show branded CITEXPO at the Shanghai Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center from Sep 12 to 14. The show provided a powerful platform for the worldwide tyre industry professionals to meet and create tremendous business opportunities. Looking back at the past struggles of the Chinese tyre industry, Fong said that just over a decade back, the domestic tyre companies and their products were indeed not recognised by the western countries due to quality concerns. However, the scene has undergone dramatic changes. “Chinese tyre manufacturers have been gaining a lot of experience and they know that adopting into the standards is the best way to sell their products to the major markets such as America and Europe,” he told Polymers & Tyre Asia. Since 2010, China has already been ranked as the


world’s top tyre exporting country, he said adding that as an organiser of successful CITEXPO series of shows, the largest tyre trade exposition in the Asian region, “we have witnessed the growing trend of the Chinese tyre products very closely. It is gradually getting recognised by buyers from Europe and other western countries.” And in fact, many of the Chinese tyre manufacturers’ production lines are in line with the highest global standards of technology. There is enormous confidence that they can take up any new challenges as they emerge. “In 2009 and 2010, our company had sponsored the visits of senior decision-makers and chief engineers of more than 20 Chinese companies to technology shows in Stuttgart and Koln in Germany. The main reason for doing so was to help our Chinese tyre manufacturers keep their products up to or exceed the world standards,” Fong said . With the labelling regulations in place, many Chinese tyre brands have been doing very well in the past few years in Europe because of their improved product quality and competitive prices. He, however, does not agree with the general perception that tyres made in low-cost countries are of inferior quality. With tyre labelling becoming mandatory there is a level-playing field in the European Union countries. “With the labelling in place, consumers will become more label-sensitive than brand sensitive,” he thinks. “Brands will become a less important factor to them, especially for the commercial and industrial

tyres that are more cost-sensitive,” he thinks. “ I believe the labelling is actually providing a better opportunity for the new brands to become a new choice for the customers.” Commenting on the technological measures that the Chinese tyre industry is taking in terms of the manufacturing process, product testing etc to ensure that the tyres are EU label compliant, Fong said that such services have proven to be useful for the industry. “There are quality assurance service providers to help the Chinese tyre manufacturers so that they are assured that products are of good quality and EU label compliant.” As a keen observer of the Chinese tyre industry, Fong thinks that the labelling regulations will have tremendous positive impact on consumer perception. “However, it takes time for the market to educate the consumers. But in the long run, I believe new brands with competitive prices and label compliance will become a common choice for most of the consumers.” As a keen tyre market observer said the unfolding era will bring with it profound changes in market composition and an array of ambitious new names will emerge. This will be a generational change. Within ten years, any list of the world’s top ten or fifteen tyre makers will look profoundly different from how it is today. The products will carry ‘Made in China label.’ With ‘green tyres’, which are expected to account for up to 50% of the Chinese market by 2020, the country will become a formidable global competitor in the energy-saving tyre market that is growing at 10% clip.

Many of the Chinese tyre manufacturers’ production lines are in line with the highest global standards of technology. There is enormous confidence that they can take up any new challenges as they emerge

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The Indian tyre industry is already a global player and it is capable of taking up the challenges thrown up by the European tyre labelling regulations. The domestic industry has come of age and it would not be incorrect to say that it is operating in a globalised world, says Neeraj Kanwar, Chairman the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association and Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Apollo Tyres Ltd. It has a worldwide presence and is doing well 114

Challenges and

Neeraj Kanwar, Chairman, ATMA; Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Apollo Tyres

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he Indian tyre industry is unfazed by the potential challenges from the European Union tyre labelling, which has become mandatory from Nov 1. It is confident of continuing to advance its market share because of the reputation and recognition it has already gained with its strong global presence.

Latin America and Europe, besides the Indian subcontinent,” notes Neeraj Kanwar, Chairman the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association and Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Apollo Tyres Ltd, in an interview. ATMA comprises eight large tyre companies representing over 90% of production of tyres.

“Several Indian tyre majors have gone beyond Indian shores and have established bases in Africa,

“The Indian tyre industry has matched stringent standards applicable in different countries.

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Therefore, I see no reason why meeting the EU labelling regulations may be a big challenge for the Indian tyre industry,” he told Polymers & Tyre Asia. Explaining the various tyre types that Indian producers have already made that are in compliance with EU regulations, Kanwar said that the passenger vehicle tyres that his own company Apollo Tyres is exporting or proposes to export to EU are in conformity with the labelling regulations. Similarly, other Indian manufacturers are also ready to meet the labelling norms. Commenting on the quantum of Indian tyre exports to Europe, he said from a negligible level to Europe till a few years ago, today the continent accounts for an appreciable percentage of the total tyre exports from India. Going forward, this share may increase, as almost every Indian tyre major has plans to target markets abroad, especially Europe. Regarding the cost-competitiveness of Indian tyres, now that consumers have a new benchmark to go by and not get influenced by brands alone, Kanwar said that Indian tyres are doing well in the markets abroad. “In terms of operational efficiencies, Indian tyre manufacturers have come a long way. The last few years have been tough for the industry in view of unprecedented rise in raw material prices. The fact that a large quantity of tyres produced in India is exported for the last several years and to several countries worldwide, speaks volumes about our cost competitiveness. In my opinion, as long as a level playing field is available, the new benchmark will not pose challenges on the costcompetitiveness of Indian tyre manufacturers.” He said it is unfortunate to perpetuate stereotypes that tyres made in low-cost countries are of inferior quality. “That’s an unfortunate perception, and far from reality,” Kanwar said. Talking specifically about India, the country has belied the predictions of many sceptics, who did not foresee a bright future for the Indian automotive sector, by emerging as a leading low-cost quality producer in the world across the auto value chain, Kanwar explained. “The last few years have witnessed international auto majors launching their latest car models in India and in many cases these marquee cars or SUVs have been rolled out on tyres manufactured by Indian companies.” The fact that tyres play a crucial role in ride, handling and safety of a vehicle, the usage of Indian manufactured tyres at a time when tyres can be imported freely should remove all traces of wrong perception, if any, about the quality of tyres manufactured in India, he emphasised. Having said that, tyre labelling would definitely prove to be a boon for the Indian tyre manufacturers, he hastened to add. Moreover, it benefits the customer and helps them to make a safe choice. Referring to the technological measures that the Indian tyre industry has taken in manufacturing,

product testing etc to ensure that the tyres are EU label compliant, Kanwar said benchmarking manufacturing processes and technologies with the global best practices is a continuous process. “And the Indian industry is taking steps to incorporate all such measures that will empower it to meet all regulatory challenges anywhere in the world.” As low rolling resistance and noise are going to be vital criteria, there could be defining changes in rubber compounding, with the likelihood of the role of natural rubber increasing from existing levels. Even in that context the ATMA chief said India would stand to gain. “I believe India is at an advantageous position in view of considerable availability of natural rubber domestically. However, the quality of NR and the growing deficit in domestic demand-supply is a concern. “ATMA and the All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA) have joined hands with the Rubber Board of India in launching a concerted campaign for improving the quality of rubber produced in the country. An upsurge in the quality of raw materials available domestically will further help us in producing technologically superior tyres with low rolling resistance and reduced noise,” Kanwar said.

India has belied the predictions of many sceptics, who did not foresee a bright future for the Indian automotive sector, by emerging as a leading low-cost quality producer in the world across the auto value chain

On tyre testing to check compliance with EU labelling, the ATMA Chairman said it is for individual tyre companies to decide on whether to have the tyres tested in Europe and there are no joint efforts involving ATMA. “Individual tyre companies have their own arrangements with tyre testing firms,” he disclosed. Kanwar also said that it is too early to say that the labelling regulations will overhaul the face of the European tyre market where budget tyres may become mainstream. In such a case it may lead to a shift in the market place. “However, it is too early to comment on this.” Regarding EU market surveillance mechanism to check compliance and the appeal process in case Indian tyre products are rejected citing noncompliance, Kanwar said that ATMA is still studying the fine prints and trying to grasp the intricacies involved. “The true test of the surveillance mechanism will be evident only after it becomes effective.” Referring to a recent survey by Michelin, which showed that 69% of the fleet operators were unaware of the EU tyre labelling regulations, the ATMA chief said that such a situation called for creating greater awareness among the end-users on tyre labelling. “The survey findings indicate the gravity of the challenges that lies ahead for Indian tyre companies exporting to Europe. However, such challenges also bring opportunities – the Indian tyre majors, along with their global counterparts, are at the same starting line,” says Kanwar. POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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Deadline Alfred Graham, President, ITMA

pressure By Sharad Matade

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ounded almost 30 years ago, the Imported Tyres Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA) is the only trade body whose members get regular updates and communications on the laws and regulations affecting the sale of tyres within Europe. Its technical working group provides advice and assists members on a wide range of technical issues. Its role has become critically important following the mandatory EU tyre label regulations as they affect the marketing and sale of tyres within Europe. “As you may know there have been real difficulties

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with the timeframe for the introduction of tyre labelling,” ITMA’s newly-elected President Alfred Graham told Polymers & Tyre Asia. Independent test facilities in Europe are over-worked and this situation has been made worse by the very late publication of some of the standards. “Despite this, we are all working very hard to ensure that we test and approve all of our products in time. Nevertheless, it is possible that some marginal sizes/ranges will be temporarily unavailable due to this totally unnecessary logjam in the system. Other than this the actual dynamics of bringing tyres to

Essex (England)based Imported Tyres Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA), the only trade association in Europe to exclusively represent the interests of imported tyre makers, believes that the EU tyre labelling is unlikely to affect its members’ interests. The association is prepared to face the challenges that will be emerging. However, the tight timeframe for the labelling introduction will be putting pressure on supplies over the turn of the year, but it will not have any longterm effects, says Alfred Graham, ITMA’s newly elected President


Europe will not be much affected,” says Graham. However, the challenges and dangers could be considerable for independent importers of tyres to Europe who trade in parallel markets, he adds. All the tyres manufactured after July 2012 and sold in the EU from Nov 1, will be mandatory to have a tyre label that will display information on the fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise of tyres, he said. Graham insists he see the EU labelling as an opportunity to demonstrate the case for membership in ITMA. “This is actually a challenge and we welcome it because one of the important roles an association like ITMA has is to inform and help members in every way it can. The introduction of tyre labelling gives yet another opportunity to demonstrate the case for membership.” The growing complex and stringent rules and regulations have always been a challenge for tyre importers to Europe. And being the only trade association in Europe to exclusively represent the interests of non-Europe-based tyre manufacturers, ITMA helps its members overcome many complex challenges. It conducts a wide range of activities such as a forum for the discussion of matters of common interest, both technical and commercial, dissemination and collection of information of mutual and public interest, and organising trade and governmental contacts that will benifit the business of its members. The EU tyre labelling may lead to some market consolidation activities, mainly among the small tyre importers as they struggle to cope with new challenges, but the large importers will easily meet the new requirements and continue to expand in the European markets, believes Graham. “Some consolidation among smaller manufacturers is perhaps to be expected, but the larger Chinese players are more than equal to these challenges and continue to grow and invest in their European operations,” he said. According to reports, China-based Triangle Group, which exported around 30% of its products to Europe last year, has signed with the German speciality chemical maker Lanxess in August to create higher quality tyres. China’s first state-owned tyre company, the Shanghai-based Double Coin Holdings, is seeking to work with France’s Michelin on new tyre technology, the reports have said. Market experts have noted that some Chinese tyre makers are likely to be impacted by the EU tyre labelling and regulations resulting in smaller among them getting hit. However, Graham does not agree with such observation. Says he: “No, this will not be necessary. We have a strong European technical group and ITMA members have risen to these challenges. We will emerge stronger as a result. Indications are that many will achieve grades at least as good as their major European competitors.”

Since the new regulations have been introduced from July many tyre importers are joining hands with ITMA. Recently, Hangzhong Zhongce Rubber Company, China’s largest tyre maker, joined IMTA in order to seek its support, expertise and resources. It is reckoned that about 30% of Chinese-made tyres will not be able to meet the stringent EU regulations and might find themselves out of the market putting pressure on tyre supplies to the continent for a while. However, Graham says there could be pressure on supplies of some tyres but for a short period, but there won’t be supply constrains in future. “As I have said, there is in any case something of a logjam in the testing process. So we should distinguish between any inability to meet these regulations by achieving at least ‘entry’ grades and the possible inability to qualify every single productrange by the due date.”

Being the only trade association in Europe to exclusively represent the interests of non-Europebased tyre manufacturers, ITMA helps its members overcome many complex challenges

This factor could put some pressure on supply over the turn of the year, but will not have any longterm effects. “In this context it is also worth noting that the demand for tyres at the present time is showing considerable drop due to Europe’s present economic woes,” Graham noted. Some vital questions are yet to be answered; such as which is the agency enforcing this law and what are the penalties if a tyre company fails to meet the regulation? Here, ITMA will be prepared to help its members guide through the maze of rules. “We will certainly be monitoring the various approaches to the mandatory enforcement of these new regulations. For importer/manufacturers such as us this will be a confusing situation with no standard approach,” Graham noted. EU states may choose to meet their enforcement obligations through their national transport or environment departments or even other ways. “It will be our job to help our members navigate this maze and to understand these differences in national approaches to enforcement,” says the ITMA President. He said the association will help retail-allies in every possible way. “We will work in partnership with our retail-allies. However, the responsibility of ensuring that all aspects of the labelling regulations that relate to the point-of-sale are essentially for them to address. For our part ITMA members will do everything possible to help and provide them with high-performing products,” Graham asserted. The current slowdown in tyre trading in Europe is a temporary phenomenon and the budget tyre sector is showing the most impressive growth prospects in Europe, he said. “Every market statistics I see suggests it is the budget sector which is proving to be the most resilient. Anecdotal evidence also underpins this belief and we should not find this surprising that in these difficult times, quality combined with great value for money is a persuasive argument,” Graham averred. POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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Helps pick Ed Pike, PE, Energy efficiency researcher

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he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the US will be issuing its proposed rules on labelling and consumer education provisions with regard to tyre fuel-efficiency standards on March 15, 2013. With the introduction of mandatory tyre labelling in the

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European Union in November, similar regulatory initiatives are only likely to apread across the world. There certainly is no going back. There is a great deal of expectation out of the EU labelling enforcement that will begin operating

EU tyre labelling will not only contribute to better environmental benefits, but its rating programme will also provide consumers with a snapshot of information to identify the best-performing products. Setting up such minimum standards will also send a clear signal to bring up the bottom-end of the market for those customers who are influenced by the rating system or may not otherwise have access to better quality tyres, says Ed Pike, PE, a well-known researcher in energy efficiency and sustainability issues


five stars, to allow verification of scores and also an accurate cost calculator.” Having the actual rating could also facilitate financial incentives to promote the top performers similar to rebates in the US for other consumer products, he argues. He would also love to see recommended settings of minimum standards.

from Nov 1. “I expect that the EU programme will lead to environmental benefits,” said Ed Pike, PE, currently lead for transportation projects such as electric drive vehicle technology and policy analysis at Oakland and Long Beach (US)-based Energy Solutions, an innovative consulting firm specialising in energy efficiency programme design, implementation, and marketing. The ratings programme will provide consumers with information to encourage them to pick the best performers and select the best quality of tyres, he told to Polymers & Tyre Asia Pike, who came to the Energy Solutions from the Washington-based International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), where he carried out landmark research on tyre efficiency, believes that in addition to the minimum standards under the EU labelling mandate, these regulations will also send a clear signal to the market to bring up the bottom-end of the market for those customers who are not influenced by the ratings system, or may not otherwise have access to better quality tyres. Pike is widely credited with developing policy recommendations on clean transportation and electric drive vehicles for agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, and China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Common tyre standards of quality and performance would greatly benefit the consumer as the buyer will know that the product purchased would have minimum quality standards in certain areas under the EU legislation, he points out. In his previous assignment (2007-2012) at ICCT, he came out with a study on tyre efficiency which surveyed the benefits of energy efficiency improvements for passenger vehicle tyres and of policies designed to promote those benefits in the EU, US, Japan, and South Korea. Drawing from his research experience, Pike said he would recommend a rating system with meaningful differentiation between bands and room to improve in the future. “I also recommend requiring that manufactures submit their actual test scores, rather than just a rating of say A-E or one through

When asked whether such green legislation could be satisfactorily monitored and enforced even if strict market surveillance and checking systems were made available at ports of entry or at the retail outlets, Pike expressed the view that submittal of test data was essential for ensuring the integrity of the ratings. “In the US, it is unclear whether NHTSA will require that manufacturers submit the actual test results along with claimed ratings. Currently, self-enforcement of ratings in the US has not been successful.” When his attention was drawn to some instances when test rigs could not deliver the exact parameters of compliance because of variations in equipment operations, he suggested looking at the details of tolerances within the testing procedures. Pike believes that tyre labelling legislation will contribute to greater awareness about green issues and shift market preferences for environmentfriendly products in the automobile sector. “I believe that tyre ratings and information programmes are a promising opportunity to extend efforts to communicate information to consumers about new vehicle purchases, and it will be most effective in combination with effective consumer education and minimum standards. Tyre efficiency is an important opportunity to reduce petroleum imports and save consumers money, especially given the forecast that oil imports are expected to continue skyrocketing as observed by the IMF World Economic Outlook Database of April 2012. Moreover, it well also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. Improved consumer information and government standards are two important and complementary approaches. Safety is an additional essential element in sustaining both standards and consumer information, while noise and durability are additional important parameters.” In addition to the manufacture of high-quality tyres, maintenance of proper inflation will also have important complementary benefits for efficiency and safety, Pike stressed. Several complementary strategies are accurate onvehicle monitoring devices, automobile service shop inflation checks and free air service at petroleum stations such as required in California. Giving tyre related-information will go a long way in empowering the consumer and ensure fuel efficiency and safety that will further contribute to building a low carbon economy.

Tyre efficiency is an important opportunity to reduce petroleum imports and save consumers money, especially given the forecast that oil imports are expected to continue skyrocketing as observed by the IMF World Economic Outlook Database of April 2012

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For tyre manufacturers in China and India, the mandatory EU labelling is an opportunity for technological innovation. They have been working to address the labelling criteria by using environment-friendly materials and optimising product evaluation parameters by applying simulation and predictive techniques. However, a major concern for them is that as on date there is no single testing agency that is approved to test the tyre for EU tyre labelling criteria, says distinguished scientist Rabindra Mukhopadhyay, Director R&D of JK Tyre Industries and Chief Executive of the Hari Shankar Singhania Elastomer and Tyre Research Institute (HASETRI) PTA News Bureau

Innovation opportunity Rabindra Mukhopadhyay, CEO, HASETRI

Manufacturers are turning to new reinforcing filler technologies in tread compounds rather than using the traditional carbon black for reducing rolling resistance

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or tyre development engineers and researchers in China and India, EU Tyre labelling is an opportunity for technological innovation and taking up newer challenges. Both the countries have started working to address the tyre labelling criteria by optimising product design such as lower weight, low aspect ratio, applicationspecific design, use of eco friendly and non-petro based materials. including functionalised polymer, says Rabindra Mukhopadhyay, Director R&D of JK Tyre Industries and Chief Executive of the Hari Shankar Singhania Elastomer and Tyre Research Institute (HASETRI). He revealed in an interview to Polymers & Tyre Asia that researchers in the two countries are also optimising process and product evaluation parameters using cutting-edge simulation and predictive techniques. “However, one of the major concerns for Chinese and Indian tyre industry is that as on date there is no single testing agency that is approved to test the tyre for EU tyre labelling criteria,” he regretted. Dr Mukhopadhyay, who did his PhD in high polymer and rubber technology from the famed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, has been heading the R&D centre of JK Tyre & Industry since 1987. Simultaneously, he is also directing research at HASETR, which is an independent scientific and industrial research organisation promoted by

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JK Tyre. He has six international patents and has published more than 150 research and technical papers in national and international journals. Commenting on reports that the US is also coming out with more stringent tyre regulations aimed at achieving better wet grip, fuel efficiency and reduced exterior noise, Dr Mukhopadhyay said that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has finalised tyre labelling criteria rating based on fuel efficiency (rolling resistance), safety (wet traction) and durability (tread wear). “Ratings range from 0 to 100 with 100 being the best where the tyre is properly inflated. Unlike EU, noise criteria are not included in the US labelling regulations.” He believes Chinese and Indian tyre manufacturers will have no problem to meet the US tyre labelling criteria once they are able to meet EU tyre labelling criteria with respect to rolling resistance and wet traction and durability requirements. Commenting on the emerging demand for ‘green tyres’ with the government enforcing laws to lower ozone and CO2 emissions and encourage the use of energy-efficient tyres, he said manufacturers are turning to new reinforcing filler technologies in tread compounds rather than using the traditional carbon black for reducing rolling resistance. Green/ Eco Friendly tyres are those which minimise impact


on the environment, fuel consumption, input and energy cost and maximise safety, reliability, durability, handling, comfort and operational efficiency. “In recent years, major development had taken place in the field of silica tyre. To meet the stringent rolling resistance requirement by EU tyre labelling, there is no alternatives but to use the silica tyre,” Dr Mukhopadhyay said. Indian Tyre companies are geared up with the silica tyres. One simultaneous development with silica tyre is the new generation silane coupling agents. Low VOC silane and high temperature stable silane are available in the market to improve the polymer-filler interaction including reduction of fume generation and enhancing safety during mixing. For manufacturing green tyres one has to use eco friendly materials like natural rubber and their derivatives, functionalised solution SBR, neodymium based BR, highly dispersible silica, silane coupling agent, low PAH oil etc. For manufacturing green tyre, tyre industries have to address magic triangle covering low rolling resistance and wet traction and higher mileage on a continuous basis. To address this magic triangle, it is necessary to enhance polymer-filler interaction through usage of above polymer-filler combination. Carbon black will be partly and completely replaced by highly dispersible silica in near future for truck/ bus radials and passenger car radials respectively. To retain inflation pressure, technologies have been developed for the manufacture of innerliner materials that ensure better air retention that help improve safety and fuel-efficiency of tyres and comply with current and emerging labelling regulations aimed at improved wet-weather handling, dry braking performance, high-speed stability, resistance to aquaplaning, better wear resistance and lower noise. Halobutyl-based compound with nano filler (nano clays) will be a suitable material for innerliner to ensure better air retention and safety. Further improvement in air retention can be achieved by optimising innerliner gauge thickness and using lower aspect ratio tyres. Better air retention will enhance durability (tread wear), lower rolling resistance (fuel efficiency) including noise. The above combination will be the future trend for meeting tyre labelling criteria, he explained. Throwing light on the technological breakthroughs to cut the dependence on petroleum-based raw materials like carbon black and synthetic rubber in tyre making to make tyres that meet labelling parameters, Dr Mukhopadhyay said that in the future, the emerging trends would aim at using nonpetroleum-based materials in tyre making. Elaborating on this, he said that future trends of usage of non-petroleum based material in the tyre industry will be: • Normal Synthetic rubber: Functionalised Polymers/Natural Rubber and their derivatives,

recycled rubber, bio polymers etc. • Carbon black: Highly dispersible Silica, Silane Treated Precipitated Silica, Natural Amorphous Silica, non-black nano filler. • Organic Solvent: Aqua based solvent/Elimination of solvent • Synthetic Fibre: Vegetable Fibre • Petro-based Rubber Chemicals: Non-Petro based Chemicals • Petroleum-based processing aids: Non-Petro based processing aids (vegetable oil) normal synthetic rubber functionalised polymers/natural rubber and their derivatives, recycled rubber, biopolymers etc. When asked what are the research breakthroughs taking place in the context of REACH (Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and tyre labelling regulations particularly In the use of aromatic oil, Dr Mukhopadhyay said aromatic oil (DAE) has already been replaced by several oils like TDAE, MES, RAE, TRAE etc. Also blends of mineral oils are some cost effective option to replace aromatic oils. Synthetic rubber manufacturers are in the process of replacing the aromatic oil by these alternatives in their oil extended synthetic rubbers. Besides this, several tyre companies are trying to use vegetable oils like soybean/orange oil/sunflower oil etc. to replace petroleum-based aromatic oil as processing aid. When asked what are the changes that he foresees in rubber compounding for the production of green tyres and the use of Hevea brasiliensis as a primary raw material in tyre-making, Dr Mukhopadhyay said for production of green tyres, future technology will be based on advanced tyre materials: • New nano composite materials, using the latest innovation in nano technology to reduce tyre weight and optimise tyre performance • Functional polymer to improve filler dispersion and optimised polymer-filler interaction. • Alternative material which provides sustainable supplies and match the performance of materials that are being used today. Due to uncertainty over the availability and price of Hevea brasiliensis based natural rubber, the US and Europe are spending millions of Euros and dollars for developing alternatives to natural rubber like Guayule and Russian Dandelion-based natural rubber, he said. As long as Hevea-based NR will be within US$3 for 5 kg and crude is less than US$ 100 per barrel, Guayule rubber will not able to compete either with natural rubber or synthetic rubber with the existing available technology of extraction of rubber from Guayule shrub.

Indian Tyre companies are geared up with the silica tyres. One simultaneous development with silica tyre is the new generation silane coupling agents. Low VOC silane and high temperature stable silane are available in the market to improve the polymer-filler interaction including reduction of fume generation and enhancing safety during mixing

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Image makeover Continued from page­109

standards of parameters with regard to quality, safety and environmental performance. Budget tyres, which are manufactured mostly in low-cost countries, still have a pariah status. There is a consumer perception that cheap means poor quality. But studies on tyre performance have shown that such thinking is wrong and misplaced. Research conducted in the very harsh climates of inhospitable arid regions of the Arab peninsula, has given good scorecard for tyres from low-cost manufacturing countries. The study, done in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where midday temperatures soar to 50 C (122 F) from June through August, has revealed that budget tyres have delivered satisfactory performance similar to premium quality brands. The Kingdom allows tyre imports only if they adhere to certain local quality regulations. These help filter out low quality tyres. Dr Nedal T Ratrout, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and a Member of the National Traffic Safety Committee told Polymers & Tyre Asia in an earlier interview that in a controlled field experiment, it was found that “cheap and expensive tyres can equally run for more than 50,000 km without catastrophic failures when properly maintained.” He said all tyres – both low-cost and expensive premium brands – that are imported into Saudi Arabia have to pass the international tyre quality control tests such as high-speed and endurance tests. Blowouts happen because of poor maintenance and low tyre pressure. His research has shown that poorly-inflated tyres contribute to 24% of tyre failures. Dr Ratrout’s study should raise the confidence-level of European consumers of budget tyres. In this world’s most competitive market, there are categories such as budget, mid-market and premium segments. With the entry of more labelled budget tyres, this cost-conscious segment will capture a major slice of the market. Perhaps the one disadvantage of falling

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into such categorisation might be the difficulty the manufacturer could face when attempting to graduate into the upper levels of premium category where profit margins are higher. However, labelling will ensure a continuing expansion of this market segment at a time when consumers are facing tight money. The emerging competition will be among the budget categories and there will be attempts to enhance margins on building unique brands. This is the segment that many top-line producers in low-cost manufacturing countries are also eyeing, who are encouraged by the authorities to follow benchmarks in line with European and American regulations.

Consumer is winner Obviously the winner is the consumer, who can confidently make better purchase decisions. Organisations such as the UK-based Imported Tyres Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA) will be playing a critical role in promoting quality budget tyres in Europe. They will also be in a better position to educate consumers on making better choices. To take up the emerging challenges, the world’s largest tyre manufacturer China is working with many international organisations to develop label compliance guidelines as it does not have its own mandatory labelling system. Most toptier manufacturers in the country, the world’s largest new automobile market since 2009, have already achieved such compliances. The apex body of tyre and rubber manufacturers, the China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA), is continually encouraging tyre makers to upgrade technology. China, whose annual tyre output accounts for about a quarter of the world’s total exports, has a huge European marketbase. Nearly 40% of production, of which 15% are shipped to Europe, is witnessing its market share expand because of its competitively priced products. In 2011, its tyre output climbed to 832.1 million, rising by 8.55% year-on-year. Of this, radial tyre constituted 393 million, accounting for 47.25% of the total output.

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

Taking a cue from China, many lowcost East Asian countries are also encouraging technological upgrading and standardisation in manufacturing. South Korea is encouraging new label compliance guidelines through voluntary labelling starting from November 2012. In the coming days there will be a rippling effect on low-cost tyre producing countries in Asia as they embrace labelling. China is also taking measures to rectify problems arising out of a finding of a survey that showed that rolling resistance of most of their tyres place them in Grades E and F. Most may meet the minimum requirements of the EU in the first stage. As more than 40% of Chinese tyres are exported, it is imperative that manufacturers should be ready with labelling compliance. “A” represents the higher performing tyre and “G” the least performing. It is reported that a considerable number of Chinese tyre makers are unable to meet the minimum requirements of the EU in the second stage. About 30% of heavy truck tyres are found to be not up to the minimum EU requirements on rolling resistance in the first stage and 70% do not meet the minimum requirements on rolling resistance in the second stage. About 36% are not up to EU standard in the first stage and 50% do not meet EU requirements in the second stage, the survey by the Tire Research Institute of the Shanghai Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd has shown. CRIA Chief Fan Rende has recently said that all export enterprises should pay attention to EU tyre labelling and raise quality His association is setting up a Chinese labelling working group to develop regulations. It has set its sight to achieve by 2020 a reduction of energy consumption by 20%, slash annual greenhouse gas emissions by 740 billion tonnes and cut energy costs by US$130 billion per year. Fazilet Cinaralp, Secretary General of the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA), has stated that a major impact of EU tyre labelling is the interest among manufacturers to upgrade technology and product quality.


tyre and the corresponding tubes produced or sold in the domestic market should have ISI marking on it.” BIS is the authority for issuing licence for ISI marking on the tyres and tubes. IRMRA has been approved by BIS for testing and issuing certificate conforming to the applicable Indian Standards (IS). Based on IRMRA certificate, BIS issues the ISI marking licence to the tyre manufacturers. IRMRA is fully equipped with state-of-the- art rolling resistance testing facilities. “The wet grip

T

he Director of the Indian Rubber Manufacturers Research Association (IRMRA) Dr P Thavamani says the EU tyre labelling regulation is noteworthy because it enables the end-users make more informed decision when making purchases. He told Polymers & Tyre Asia under the regulations, tyre manufacturers for cars, light and heavy trucks must specify rolling resistance, wet grip and noise classification of every tyre sold in EU market starting from Nov 1. “Major Indian tyre companies have already been exporting tyres to European countries. These companies have advanced technology and IRMRA is closely working with all major Indian and multinational tyres companies in the country for tyre testing and certification,” he says. “Even major vehicle manufacturers, who export vehicles to the EU, are using our centre of excellence for tyre research, testing and certification” he adds. For Indian tyre exporters to Europe, IRMRA does tests tyres as per the European standards and issue the certification. Based on the certificate, tyre companies can approach the European authorities seeking an E-mark certification. “We are already working with some of the testing agencies like TUV for an effective coordination with the tyre manufacturers in the EU for testing and certification of tyres as per applicable standards,” he indicated. Talking about the Indian Bureau of Standards ISI marking licence to tyre makers, Dr Thavamani says, “As per the Quality Order notified by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, any 2/3 wheeler, passenger car, light truck and commercial vehicle

End users to benefit By Sharad Matade

and noise tests are carried out on test tracks but such facilities are not available with us and the tyre manufacturers use the facility available with other agencies. We are seriously looking at establishing and associating with other agencies for carrying out wet grip and noise test,” Dr Thavamani said. “Our Centre of Excellence for tyre research, testing and certification runs 24 hours X 7 days and our laboratories are well-equipped. It ‘s NABL-ISO/ IEC 17025:2005 and NABL accredited as well as approved by BIS. It has also tied up with other multinational laboratories, and have among its staff well-trained and qualified scientists and engineers. “We are one among the best laboratories in the world,” Dr Thavamani adds. “The EU tyre labelling is good for consumers. In the absence of such labelling, all the tyres look alike in black and is difficult to differentiate the good from the bad,” he said emphasising the need to have similar regulations in the country. However, as a first step the Quality Order at least could ensure that the tyre sold in the market meet minimum safety requirements stipulated in the applicable IS standards, he said. As per the Quality Order, the ISI marking is mandatory for new tyres sold in the Indian market and there is no such regulation to impose the restriction on the usage of retreaded tyres. “In order to ensure the safety, a suitable regulation must be imposed for assessing the quality of the retreaded tyres. Now, the technical committee in BIS is working on a suitable standard to ensure the quality of retreaded tyres which later on may be adopted as mandatory requirement, he suggested.

Major Indian tyre manufacturers are technically equipped to comply with the EU labelling regulations and they have capabilities to produce tyres on a large scale and can consistently adhere to the parameters stipulated under the labelling regulations,” affirms IRMRA Director Dr P Thavamani in this interview

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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A question that puzzles tyre manufacturers is the role of brands when the EU tyre labelling opens a levelplaying field where every tyre maker has to comply with the mandatory parameters regarding fuel efficiency, wet-braking performance and exterior noise emissions. In an interview, Dr Sridhar Balasubramanian, the Roy and Alice H Richards Bicentennial Distinguished Scholar and Associate Dean of the MBA Programme at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, discusses branding and marketing strategies to make the product stand out in the crowd and get noticed PTA News Bureau

Dr Sridhar Balasubramanian, Associate Dean, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

BRAND ROLE T

yre marketers are going to have the greatest challenges at hand when EU tyre labelling comes into force from Nov 1. As all tyres entering the EU market require labelling, the consumer has direct access to various tested parameters of the tyre, including fuel efficiency, wetbraking performance and exterior noise emissions. It. therefore, has opened a level-playing field where tyre marketers have the arduous task of convincing consumers that their tyres are better although the labels say the same thing about quality and performance.

“Instead, most consumers will typically engage in a two-stage decision-making. At the first stage, consumers will use rules of thumb to refine the set of competitors into a smaller choice set. At the second stage, consumers will carefully consider all the details and arrive at a choice in the spirit of compensatory decision making.”

“Some consumers may focus on the detailed information about each tyre and then engage in what is called compensatory decision making,” explains Dr Sridhar Balasubramanian, the Roy and Alice H Richards Bicentennial Distinguished Scholar and Associate Dean of the MBA Programme at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

A good example in this context is car manufacturer Hyundai. In the US, the South Korean car maker has struggled for a long time to gain traction despite manufacturing cars that beat the market leaders in terms of many attributes and in value for money. Only recently has Hyundai begun to gain significant traction, leveraging some noticeable gains in reputation and brand strength, combined with some well-designed cars.

“This involves a careful evaluation of each tyre that considers and balances all the positive and negative factors to arrive at an overall evaluation of that tyre,” he told Polymers & Tyre Asia in an interview. “This is followed by a comparison of the overall evaluations across competing tyre brands to arrive at a choice. However, most consumers will not adopt this approach to make decisions,” he points out.

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Therefore, for any company, ensuring that its product survives the first stage and then features in the second stage is very critical. And here is the crucial point – the brand is critical to surviving the first stage of choice.

The bottom line is this: If the brand does not carry the product confidently into the second choice stage, the details don’t matter. Paradoxically, the role of the brand can be enhanced when consumers are faced with a flood of information under tyre labelling regulations.


Dr Balasubramanian, whose core areas of expertise are marketing and technology strategy, customer focus, innovation and growth strategy, services design and marketing, e-commerce, green and sustainable market strategy, game theory and the management of competition, specialises in bringing the tools and concepts of market-focus and customer-focus into other functional areas, including the management of the human resource function. The award-winning professor has conducted executive development programmes for and consulted with numerous organisations in the United States, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, including the Asahi Glass Company, BASF, Boeing, Canara Bank, Caterpillar Inc, Dentsply, US Environmental Protection Agency, IngersollRand, John Deere, KPMG, LOWE’S, State Bank of Hyderabad, Telkom, Union Bank of India, US defence forces and Xerox. He has advised start-ups and existing firms on issues related to becoming customer-focussed, the design and implementation of marketing strategy, building creative thinking and innovation skills, and the pursuit of profitable innovation and growth. Confronted with an array of tyres with labels, the consumer may focus on the detailed information about each tyre and then engage in what is called compensatory decision making. This involves a careful evaluation of each tyre that he considers and balances all the positive and negative factors to arrive at an overall evaluation of that tyre. This is followed by a comparison of the overall evaluations across competing tyre brands to arrive at a choice.”However, most consumers will not adopt this approach to make decisions,” he hastened to add. “Instead, most consumers will typically engage in a two-stage decision-making. At the first stage, consumers will use rules of thumb to refine the set of competitors into a smaller choice set. At the second stage, consumers will carefully consider all the details and arrive at a choice in the spirit of compensatory decision making,” Dr Balasubramanian pointed out. The bottom line is this: If the brand does not carry the product confidently into the second choice stage, the details don’t matter. Paradoxically, the role of the brand can be enhanced when consumers are faced with a flood of information under tyre labelling regulations. When asked what strategies companies in low-cost countries should adopt to emphasise its quality and technology edge, he said that there is a couple of steps that they should carefully pursue. First, do not yield to the temptation to directly cut the price on premium products to compete with low cost imports. The price premium is a precious asset and must be protected. Instead, launch a fighting brand – a lower quality

brand that meets or marginally beats the imports – to address the challenge. When companies do this well, the perception of their premium brand can even be enhanced. Second, focus on innovation. The tyre industry has the potential for innovation in many areas, including but not limited to tyre construction, materials and additives used in the tyre that enhance grip and durability, tread design, safety features, intelligent networking (eg, automatic tyre pressure monitoring), and road sensing. “But today, just being innovative is not enough. A company cannot rest on its laurels because innovation will be replicated quickly by low cost manufacturers who will find ways to design around most patents. Instead, companies need to be relentlessly innovative.”

The importance of having a welldefined, clearly positioned brand is even more important online. This is because when consumers look for products online, the nearest competitor is only a mouseclick away

A good setting to learn from is the smartphone industry, where companies like Apple and Samsung engage in time-paced innovation, delivering new products with useful and usable features each year. With growing acceptance for online selling of tyres, producers have to fashion creative solutions to be ahead of the competition. “Consumers now buy products ranging from books to cars online. Companies should definitely be ready to sell tyres online.” However, this may not imply that companies necessarily need to dispatch a set of tyres to consumers through UPS, Fedex or some other delivery services. But companies need to provide information online about tyres that can facilitate online information search and choice. Ultimately, beyond purchase, tyres need to be installed. Very few consumers can or will undertake this themselves. Instead, having made the purchase online, consumers can drive up to a tyre outlet at a scheduled time that is also set up online during the purchase sequence and have the installation completed. “Rather than just focus on selling tyres online, companies must work to facilitate this efficient and seamless “online+offline” consumer experience,” Dr Balasubramanian felt. The importance of having a well-defined, clearly positioned brand is even more important online. This is because when consumers look for products online, the nearest competitor is only a mouse-click away. Further, companies must ideally “seed” the online search with offline information delivered through conventional print or TV advertising. If not, then consumers may not focus on the company when online, or may search across a range of companies, greatly sharpening the level of competition. Commenting on whether tyre companies can identify with car brands and piggyback on their success, Dr Balasubramanian said that it takes two to tango. POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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The EU tyre labelling has ushered in accessibility to information, which the buyer could look at before making the purchase. With petroleum prices going up and in the context of depleting oil resources and expanding carbon footprint, the consumer will give weightage for low rolling resistance tyres, says Florian W Fischer, Director Business Development of VMI Holland BV, as he looks at the emerging market and technology trends

PTA News Bureau

Florian W Fischer, Director Business Development, VMI

information

Accessibility F

lorian W Fischer always loved to gaze at the crystal ball to seek out future developments that could affect the automobile industry worldwide. With more than 30 patents to his credit, the design engineer with more than two decades of experience in the rubber and tyre industry is working as Director Business Development of VMI Holland BV where he is an expert in machine- and process-development. Drawing from his enormous experience with the tyre industry, where he works at the cutting-edge of technology. Fischer is of the view that the EU tyre labelling will have a defining impact on the future developments with regard to automotive tyres. In combination with further massively increasing oil prices, the consumer will be influenced by the

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POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

labelling details on rolling resistance. “This will become essential for end-users as well as the tyre manufacturers. This will draw more attention than the ratings for noise emission and wet grip,” he told Polymers & Tyre Asia. Drawing a parallel with the white goods industry, he said the EU refrigerator labelling had led to a massive change in the buying behaviour of consumers. “Many end-users are willing to spend more money for an energy-efficient, well-rated refrigerator today than before the EU labelling. If your product is not well-rated, it will not be sold well!” he remarked. “Since there is a EU car labelling system in terms of fuel-efficiency and CO2 emissions, we can see car manufacturers reacting by changing to different


OE tyres. Tyres contribute to about 25% to the total fuel consumption of vehicles due to internal friction (hysteresis).”

equipment to analyse wet grip in the laboratory will further reduce road tests and save money cost of the product.

To get a better rating for car fuel-efficiency, companies like BMW did begin to deliver cars like the 520d in standard configuration with non-run-flat tyres.” Run-flat tyres are consuming more energy than non-run-flat tyres due to thick side-walls and its higher hysteresis. The fuel-efficiency is measured with the standard tyre configuration of a car,” Fischer explained.

His forecast is that the role of Hevea Brasiliensis would not go down with the development of new biopolymers and synthetic rubbers that could further reduce rolling resistance and noise and deliver better grip.

The same trend will be seen in the tyre market in the coming days following EU tyre labelling. “There will be fewer run-flat-tyres sold. Tyre manufacturers might also design tyres with less deep-tread patterns as fuel-efficiency grows with shallower tread patterns. This would, however, reduce the life time of tyres which is not part of the EU labelling so far,” Fischer said. Commenting on the kind of technology that could emerge in the design and manufacture of tyres as demand is set to increase for environment-friendly and fuel-saving tyres, he said that fuel-saving tyre is especially environment-friendly as it does not only consume less fuel but also last longer, does not pollute the environment during production, while in use and after use. It is made out of materials that were produced and/or harvested in an environment-friendly way. Design of fuel-saving tyre would call for narrow radial tyres, large in diameter in combination with lightweight construction with as little imbalance as possible, low tread-profile, low-hysteresis-design and materials with long-lasting tread cap material. “To achieve this, we need low-hysteresis tread-base materials and thin, low hysteresis side-wall and APEX material in combination with thin and high-tensile body ply and breaker cords,” Fischer pointed out. Thin and high-tensile cords are a challenge for traditional style shear cutters in production as they are not designed to handle very thin fibre. Modern disc and bar cutters will solve that problem. Tread cap material will be highly filled and complicated to extrude at reasonable throughput. Extruder-gear pump-systems will replace single screw extruders to overcome their limitations due to the high viscosity of such materials. Single stage tyre-building will be the only choice to keep the imbalance and run-out of tyres as little as possible. To eliminate human failures and misalignment, the tyre-building machines will be fully automatic (hands and eyes off), Fischer explained. Certain ingredients of tyres, like PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and heavy metals, will be replaced/or reduced because of their negative impact on the environment and human beings. Each passenger tyre contributes one to two kgs of rubber particles to the dust-pollution during its lifetime on the car, he pointed out. Scientific test

“No, not within the next ten years,” Fischer emphasises. Scientists are seeking alternatives to natural rubber since more than 70 years. “Until now, I do not see any breakthrough in terms of performance and price. The increase in demand is higher than the reduction caused by substitute materials,” he explained. When asked about the current trend of some tyre makers experimenting with orange oil and soybean oil as new environment-friendly substitutes for oil used in tyre making, Fischer discounts their widespread use in the tyre industry. “There are massive counter-movements against their industrial use. Many people are getting aware of the problem that you can either fill vehicle tanks by the use of growing resources or you can feed human beings.”

There will be fewer run-flattyres sold. Tyre manufacturers might also design tyres with less deep-tread patterns as fuelefficiency grows with shallower tread patterns. This would, however, reduce the life time of tyres which is not part of the EU labelling so far

To use agricultural land in order to grow oil substitutes instead of food is a limited option for the future. What some people call environmentfriendly is in fact not in reality. To produce plants in monocultures in Europe just to substitute oil and buy food for human beings and animals from, for example, former rainforests in Brazil, is not environment-friendly, But it will be a disaster for the environment in Brazil and Europe and a blow to the hungry people around the world. It does raise the food costs at the expense of the poorest. Referring to some radically-designed tyres such as Tweel, Goodyear’s spring tyres and other prototypes under development to beat strict regulations to reduce fuel consumption, pollution etc, Fischer thinks they have a future. “Yes, I think there is a bright future for radicallydesigned tyres as part of a system; a system that does consist of tyre, rim, brake-disc, brake and suspension. To reduce the unsuspended masses, to minimise the energy loss in the tyre and the suspension, system is key to energy saving,” he elaborated. Commenting on the future of pneumatic tyres as we know them today, he said that the radial tyre will be further optimised to adapt to the coming needs. To integrate the tyre with the rim to a one-piece wheel will be the next logical step as it will save weight. “Future will also bring an increase in demand for low pressure agricultural radial tyres (flotation) as more food will be needed for the growing population. Energy saving – and that’s why the focus is on weight saving – will be the design criteria for the coming years because oil prices will further rise”. Fischer said. POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA October/November 2012

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Vol No 3 Issue No 5

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012 US$20

150

Tarmac

Scorchers

BAINITE RELOADED: DYNAMIC,VIBRANT DN Suvarna, Managing Director, Bainite

Also in this issue

SELF INFLATING TYRES Frantisek Hrabal, Chief Executive Officer, Coda Development

Nano balance technology David Stinissen, Marketing Manager Benelux, Toyo Tire

Alternatives to remain niche Nick Peksa Director, Business Development, Mintec

Coos Spanjer: Driving force behind VMI Coos Spanjer, former CEO, VMI


rni no. MAHENG/201034042

POLYMERS & TYRE ASIA

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012

rni no. MAHENG/201034042

Polymers and Tyre Asia Oct-Nov 2012  

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