An “upper double-digit” euro investment will help Evonik Industries supply growing demand within the North American tyre industry for precipitated silica. The company has announced plans to set up a precipitated silica production plant in the USA. The facility, which will be built in the southeast of the country, in “close proximity to major American tyre production sites,” is scheduled to be completed in late 2017. The overall project now awaits approval from relevant bodies.
The Freight Transport Association has expressed concern over the discrepancy between industry opinion and government statistics following publication of official figures from Highways England showing that journey time reliability, although still below 80 per cent, marginally improved over the past year.
Last week, Bridgestone Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. officially opened its new Asia Pacific Technical Center (APTC) facility in Thailand’s Pathum Thani Province. The APTC team relocated to this new, larger facility in late March from a site north of Bangkok, where it had operated since its inauguration in 2013. Bridgestone says the new facility will help the APTC to “strengthen its functions and better develop products suited to the region’s customers’ needs and requirements.”
Last week’s Monaco Grand Prix delivered Nico Rosberg his third victory in a row at the track, and prior to the race the Circuit de Monaco was also host to 18-inch tyre demonstrations for two F1 feeder championships. Pirelli showed off its larger diameter race-ready GP2 rubber while Renault Sport Technologies fielded a Formula Renault 3.5 car fitted with 18-inch Michelin tyres. These demonstrations are significant given both tyre makers’ views on the direction F1 tyre evolution should take, a topic of particular interest now that tenders are open for F1 tyre supply between 2017 and 2019.
Marangoni has announced that it is showing its commercial and industrial tyres at the company’s stand in Hall 22, Stand A46 at Autopromotec next week.
Earlier this year Bridgestone introduced the first product in its new Bridgestone-branded agricultural tyre range, the VT-Tractor, and the first two farmers in the UK to drive on the tyres have offered glowing product testimonials.
Infinity Tyres, part of the Al Dobowi Group, has announced two new appointments in European leadership positions. Mitchell Peeters and Riccardo Costa, formerly of Goodyear, have joined the company in the roles of executive director and general manager Europe respectively, operating out of a new European sales office, based in Madrid, Spain.
This month I went back to school. Tyre 2015 – the fourth International Tyre Colloquium, hosted by University of Surrey to be precise. While much of the science was beyond those of us that don’t work in R&D, the concepts behind the really technical stuff are fascinating. And what’s more, they offer a unique insight into what is on the horizon in terms of tyre development, vehicle dynamics and indeed original equipment (OE) trends.