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Preferred Compounding promotes one, adds one, retires one  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Barberton, OH - Scott Lieberman has been promoted to executive vice president for Preferred Compounding Corporation and president of Preferred Compounding de Mexico and will assume companywide responsibility for all customers with operations in Mexico as well as having P&L responsibility for Preferred’s operations there. Marc Pignataro, who has more than two decades experience in the chemical, metal, polymer and rubber industries, has joined the company as vice president of sales and business development and will manage sales for most of the U.S. “Scott and Marc are highly capable leaders with deep industry experience and real commitment to the quality of our relationships we develop with new and existing customers,” said Ken Bloom, Preferred president and CEO. “With them, we expect to continue to earn business by focusing on excellent fundamentals while delivering added value for each customer.” Pignataro is replacing Joe Hudson, who will retire in mid-June of this year. Hudson has been elected to the board of directors and will continue to serve as an adviser to the company. He joined Preferred in 2008. Lieberman joined Preferred as vice president of strategic initiatives in 2011 and became general manager for Preferred Compounding de Mexico in 2012 when the company acquired that operation. Since then, the Mexico operation has expanded twice and Preferred revenues overall have doubled. He will also manage sales for the Southwest U.S. He will continue to split his time between Mexico and his primary office in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Everywhere I represent Preferred, companies have welcomed the flexibility with which we are willing to serve them and our commitment to quality and support,” Lieberman said. “I’m looking forward to continue to expand and enhance the added value the Preferred team can bring to the table for each customer.” Pignataro will also report directly to Bloom and will have his office at the Barberton headquarters. Reporting to Pignataro will be the regional sales managers for the North, Central, Midwest, MidSouth and Southeast territories in the U.S. “This is an exciting time for Preferred,” Pignataro said. “I am looking forward to building on what Joe and everyone at Preferred have accomplished by continuing to focus on servicing the customer while executing the growth and expansion targeted as a platform company for Audax Private Equity.” Pignataro joins Preferred from SRC Worldwide, a leading global producer of premium magnesium fluxes and anhydrous magnesium chloride, where he was president & CEO. He previously worked for Flow Polymers, a manufacturer of proprietary and custom chemical dispersions, process aids and homogenizing agents and was a key member of the leadership team at Excel Polymers for a nearly a decade, including serving as president and general manager for operations in China. He also worked for Ferro Corporation, which supplies glass-based coatings, pigments and colors and polishing materials, and at tire maker BF Goodrich in a variety of sales and technical positions. Pignataro earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace College. Lieberman was North American sales manager for Excel Polymers before joining Preferred. He also served as director of automotive sales for Schaeffler KG, senior account manager and several other positions for Freudenberg-NOK, applications engineer for Bates Fabricating and as a manufacturing process engineer for Ford Motor Company. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University. - * Email

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Thailand rubber chemicals market forecast to grow 4% CAGR through 2020  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

London, England - According to ReportBuyer's latest market report, "Thailand Rubber Chemicals Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020", the market for rubber chemicals in Thailand is projected to register a CAGR of over 4% during 2015-20. Due to lack of domestic manufacturing, Thailand is hugely dependent on rubber chemical imports from China, Japan and Germany. Segment wise, rubber fillers accounted for a majority share in the country's rubber chemicals market in 2014, and the segment's dominance is expected to continue through 2020. Behn Meyer, Cosan, Sumitomo, Lanxess and NOCIL are few of the leading chemical companies that are offering rubber processing compounds in the country through their exclusive distributors or sales offices. Thailand, the leading rubber producing country worldwide, accounts for around one-third of the global rubber produce. Rubber procured in raw latex form requires chemical treatment to impart the required physical properties such as tensile strength, flexibility and durability, which are achieved by chemical processing of rubber by fillers, plasticizers, activators, vulcanizers and accelerators. Besides tyres, rubber is also used for manufacturing gloves, conveyor belts, condoms, shoe soles, etc. Being an emerging automobile production base in the ASEAN region coupled with significant presence of tyre companies in the country, Thailand consumes majority of its rubber produce for manufacturing tyres. This, in turn, creates significant demand for rubber processing chemicals in the country. - * Email

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McLube

Omni United lauches value brand Patriot all-season tire  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Traverse City, MI - Omni United announced the launch of a new value broad-line brand called Patriot. This is the newest addition to their ever-expanding product portfolio which features a passenger car tire range: Patriot RB-1. The new offering has product hitting the stores end of May in 14 sizes. The Patriot RB-1 is the perfect combination of Radar brand quality and a budget-pleasing price tag. Patriot tires are built for year-round handling, stability and a comfortable ride. This product is ideal for the value-conscious driver who is looking for an affordable yet quality product for compact and mid size passenger cars. “This new brand is targeted at customers who want a tire that is reliable, stylish and affordable” said GS Sareen, Founder and CEO, Omni United. This all-season line offers good mileage, a quiet ride and good grip in all weather conditions. The modern, asymmetric tread pattern helps provide all-round performance and even tread-wear whereas the lightweight construction reduces rolling resistance and ensures crisp handling. Patriot tires are designed with wide circumferential grooves for enhanced resistance to hydroplaning. The Patriot brand is produced in Thailand using state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and technology. The Patriot RB-1 is currently available in 14 sizes. - * Email

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Cambodian rubber farmers predict a bleak year  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - The Phnom Penh Post reports, despite an initial rebound in global rubber prices, Cambodian rubber farmers predict a bleak year as production and exports have increased while profits continue to suffer. Cambodia’s rubber exports reached $29 million in revenue during the first quarter of this year at 29,000 tonnes, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce. While the total value of exports in 2015 amounted to $161 million at 126,000 exported tonnes, farmers predict that this year’s production is set to show a near 25 per cent decline in revenue. Men Sopheak, director of Sopheaknika Investment Group and deputy director of the Cambodia Rubber Association, said that prices have fell again leaving little optimism for this year’s earnings. “There is little chance that the price of rubber will increase,” he said, adding that in the last 10 days price per tonne had already dropped from $1600 to $1300. “Because now it is the primary rubber harvesting season, we will have more supply but will have to sell at less value,” he said. “If farmers that have invested in rubber are not patient, this sector will collapse.” Seang Sarat, vice president of the Memot Family Rubber Development Association, said that the price farmers are receiving for natural rubber has shot down from about 2,600 riel per kilo to 1,900 riel per kilo after the initial spike last month. He added that the initial optimism felt in April has already vanished. “Some farmers postponed harvesting because they hoped that prices would continue to rise like last month. Now, they have no choice but to sell rubber to Vietnam because supply is building up and they can barely make a profit,” he said. - * Email

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Cooper Tire & Rubber announces Bryan Hesse as VP of Marketing for North America  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Findlay, OH - Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced that Bryan Hesse has joined the company as Vice President of Marketing for North America Tire Operations. In this role, Hesse is responsible for all aspects of Cooper’s marketing programs in the United States and Canada, including branding, product management, pricing, and programs supporting Cooper’s network of distribution partners. Hesse brings more than 25 years of experience in global marketing, sales, product development and engineering to Cooper. Prior to joining the company, he served as Vice President of Residential Marketing at Armstrong World Industries, a leading designer and manufacturer of flooring and ceiling solutions. Among other roles prior to Armstrong, Hesse served as Global Marketing Director of the Consumer Division for Valspar Corporation and spent a decade with Procter & Gamble, where he focused on growing the Gillette and Duracell brands in various sales and marketing leadership roles. He originally joined Procter & Gamble in an engineering capacity after serving as Vice President for Hesse Engineering, Inc., a consulting engineering firm specializing in assembly and process automation. Hesse holds 22 patents and earned an MBA in Management of Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1998. He also holds a bachelor of science degree from Southern Connecticut State University. “Bryan has spearheaded the growth of several brands that are household names throughout the United States and globally,” said Phil Kortokrax, Vice President of North America Tire Operations for Cooper. “He has a successful track record of bringing innovative approaches to the management and marketing of products and product lines, deploying market research and analytics at the foundation of programs and then rolling out winning campaigns. He has excelled at driving partnerships with key customers and penetrating new sales channels, experience which we believe will be important as we continue to grow the Cooper brand. We are excited to have Bryan on the Cooper leadership team and look forward to his contributions.” - * Email

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Synthetic and bio-based thermoplastic elastomers market forecast to grow at a 4.5 percent CAGR through 2023  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dover, DE - Global synthetic thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) market size was estimated at over 4 million tons in 2015 and is likely to witness gains with an estimated CAGR of more than 4.5 percent up to 2023. Thermoplastic elastomers market revenue is likely to be valued at $19.76 billion by 2023. Asia Pacific was the leading region and accounted for more than 40 percent of the total demand in 2014. Japan, China and India thermoplastic elastomers market dominated Asia Pacific and accounted for more than 85 percent of the total demand in 2015. Shift of the footwear industries to Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam coupled with growth of the automotive and construction industry in India and China is likely to drive regional demand. Increase in lightweight plastics demand for automobile component manufacturing is likely to drive TPE market over the forecast period. Global automobile demand in 2015 was over 86 million units which are expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 4 percent and reach above 100 million units by 2018. Regulatory policies by environmental agencies to reduce carbon emissions and increase in vehicle fuel economy by reducing weight has pushed many automobile OEMS towards adopting plastics in place of metals and alloys for manufacturing components. Automobile weight reduction is witnessed as a priority in the industry as it lowers carbon emissions. Stringent environmental norms are backed by regulatory bodies in North America and Europe. According to sources, achieving vehicle weight reduction by 450 kg enables an average reduction in emission of CO2 by 40 kg and also helps in increasing the fuel efficiency by around 10 percent. Key TPE products include styrenic block copolymers (SBC), thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU), thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPV), thermoplastic polyolefins (TPO) and copolyester elastomers. SBC was the largest consumed product and accounted for more than 45 percent of the total volume in 2014. Increasing application scope in paving and roofing is likely to drive SBC market demand. The increasing preference of TPU and TPO over EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) in construction material applications is likely to drive thermoplastic elastomers market growth. The TPU market is gaining considerable importance in construction sector owing its properties such as acoustic and thermal insulation. Increase in construction of energy efficiency buildings coupled with support of regulations backing zero energy building is likely to drive TPU demand. In order to reduce dependency on depleting fossil fuel reserves, manufacturers are focusing to develop sustainable products. Innovations are taking place to develop new technologies based on bio-renewable sources. Companies have focused on bio based thermoplastic elastomers market development, over the past few years under different brand names. Arkema’s Pebax Rnew is PEBA (polyether block amide) consisting of amino-11 segments derived from castor oil. Arkema bio TPE contains anywhere between 26 percent and 100 percent renewable content and are designed for applications such as automotive, shoes and electronics. Bio thermoplastic elastomers market price trend is going to be critical for industry penetration. DuPont has made renewable Hytrel RS thermoplastic polyester elastomers and are derived from bio-based 1,3-propanediol using corn sugar as feedstock from its patented bacterial fermentation process. Hytrel RS thermoplastic polyester elastomers has 20-60 percent of renewable content and used for applications such as tubing boots, hoses, airbag doors and energy dampers. Merquinsa has launched Pearlthane ECO TPUs derived drfom vegetable based polyols whereas GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers launched tow ranges of OneFlex Bio renewable TPE which incudes OneFlex Bio 5100 and OnFlex Bio 5300 in 2008. OneFlex 5100 cater to industrial applications and sport equipment components for cast wheels & ski bindings while OneFlex 5300 caters to applications such as interim trim, door & instrument panel skins, shoe soles, gear knobs and sport equipment grips. North America is likely to witness steady growth rates owing to structured regulatory norms pertaining to plastic consumption and disposal. Post recessing recovery of automobile and construction sector in the U.S. and Mexico is likely to drive regional growth. The global thermoplastic elastomers market share is consolidated moderately and top four companies cater to more than 47 percent of the total demand. Major companies are shifting TPE production capacity to China, Brazil, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam owing to ease in raw material procurement and cheap labor cost along with supporting manufacturing policies. Key companies include BASF, Bayer, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp and Evonik Industries. Other manufacturers include Dow Chemical, LyondellBasell, Huntsman, Lubrizol Corp, PolyOne Corp, LYC Chemical and LG Chemicals. - * Email

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