A new technique to observe and analyse individual materials within tyre rubber offers “enormous potential” for the development of high-performance tyres with unprecedented levels of efficiency and wear resistance, engineers at Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) and Ibaraki University claim.
Hexpol AB (publ.) has appointed Kenneth L. Bloom as new president of Hexpol Compounding Americas. Ken succeeds Tracy Garrison who decided to leave the company in November 2019. The new appointment took effect on 1 January 2020.
On 1 July Hexpol announced that it has acquired Preferred Compounding from the Audax Group, a US-based Private Equity firm. Preferred Compounding is described as an “advanced rubber compounder in North America”. Key markets include general industry, automotive, power and infrastructure. Hexpol paid approximately US$232 million on a cash and debt free basis. Preferred’s 208 turnover worked out as roughly US$240 million. The firm has around 540 employees in six facilities, five in the US and one in Mexico. The business will be consolidated from 1 July 2019.
Continental has inaugurated a new, state-of-the-art rubber compound mixing facility at its tyre plant in Alor Setar Malaysia. The tyre maker invested more than MYR 65 million (£10.6 million) in the 3,200 square metre facility at the Alor Setar factory, which produces two-wheeler, car and light commercial vehicle tyres for the domestic and APAC region markets. Its entry into operation is expected to lead to increased capacity and flexibility.
Almost 10 years after Hexpol embarked on a prolonged growth-by-acquisition strategy, here Tyres & Accessories examines the company’s overall progress as well as the particular example of UK-based Hexpol Group member, retreading compound supply specialist Berwin Polymers.
During the first quarter of 2019, Hexpol announced a couple of senior management changes. Most recently, at the end of February, Karin Gunnarsson decided to leave her position as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Investor Relations Manager at the Hexpol Group in pursuit of “new challenges”:
Lehigh Technologies has won the Young Global Leaders Award for Circular Economy SME (small to medium-sized enterprise) for The Circulars 2019, the 5th iteration of the award, in Davos at the World Economic Forum on 21 January 2019.
On 1 October Hexpol completed the acquisition of 80 per cent of the shares of Italian compounder Mesgo Group from previous owner Francesco Caldara and co-owners. Hexpol describes Mesgo as “an industry leader in high performance elastomers as fluorocarbons and silicone”. In addition, Mesgo also specializes in conventional rubber compounds and thermoplastics. The major customer segments Mesgo focuses on are industry, consumer products, transportation and automotive. Mesgo Group reports annual turnover of around 100 million euros, with around 180 employees in six facilities.
Pinpointing precisely where a winter tyre comes into contact with an icy road surface is surprisingly difficult. Yokohama Rubber partnered with Kanazawa University in Japan to identify this oft-allusive point of contact, and in a statement reports the development of an “evaluation technology that visualises rubber’s frictional state of contact on an icy surface.” Yokohama Rubber expects this evaluation technology to ultimately result in cold weather tyres with dramatically improved ice performance.
Directa Plus plc, a producer and supplier of graphene-based products for use in consumer and industrial markets, announces that the Ufficio Brevetti e Marchi (Italian Patent and Trademark Office) has granted the Company a patent for the product and application of its new graphene-based solution for enhancing the performance of tyres. Specifically, the patent covers Directa Plus’ ‘elastomeric composition comprising graphene and tyre components comprising said composition’.
Continental has begun making ContiTread pre-cure tread rubber in the USA. A new pre-cured tread manufacturing facility at the tyre maker’s Mound Vernon plant in Illinois has commenced production of the tread compound, and Continental anticipates that the facility will reach full operation by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
The Pirelli plant in Breuberg, Germany is considered one of the company’s leading sites for the production of ultra-high performance tyres, and to cement the factory’s position a new investment is being made in equipment and facilities. Through this investment of an undisclosed sum, the tyre maker is setting up a new rubber compound processing facility in Breuberg.
Just three days after buying Trelleborg’s Czech compounding operation, on 3 April Hexpol announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the business of Valley Processing from Ted Ballou and his family. The acquisition price amounts to approximately US$44 million on a cash and debt free basis. There will also be an additional product transfer fee, which will be paid later.
Hexpol has today acquired 100 per cent of Trelleborg Material & Mixing Lesina s.r.o from the Trelleborg Group. The divested operation develops, produces and supplies polymer compounds. The majority of its sales are to external customers and a minor share to a small number of Trelleborg facilities in Europe.
On Friday 3 June Swedish firm Hexpol bought 100 per cent of the Berwin Group Ltd shareholders Glyn Williams and his family for around £25 million. Berwin has more than 60 years’ experience of rubber compounding and is a leading Rubber Compounder in the UK market.