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Continental’s executive board member Nikolai Setzer, 47, has switched to the company’s Automotive Group on 1 April 2019. Hi successor as head of the Tire division and Corporate Purchasing is Christian Kötz, 48, who before headed the Commercial Vehicle Tires business unit.

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Pietro Carini S.p.A., the Italian subsidiary of Hamburg-based Krahn Chemie GmbH, has changed its name to Krahn Italia S.p.A. This renaming takes place exactly five years after the company’s entry into Krahn Group.

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The Hungarian MOL Group has acquired recycled plastic compounder Aurora with production plants located nearby automotive manufacturing and plastics conversion clusters in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Aurora is headquartered in Neuenstein with a closed loop concept assuming collection of post-industrial plastic waste, regrinding and compounding, ultimately supplying the automotive industry and other industries. The company’s portfolio largely consists of engineering plastics and PP recyclate-based compounds. With this investment, MOL said it will be able to offer a wide range of high-quality PA, PP and other recyclate-based compounds, complementing its existing portfolio of virgin PP and PE.

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VMI has opened a service center located in Chon Buri Province, Thailand. The company said that this underlines its commitment to building an organisation of global supply, supported by a local service network. The Thailand facility is the 9th service center of VMI.

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South Korea’s leading tire manufacturer, Hankook Tire Group, has changed the name of its holding company and six major subsidiaries to an integrated branding system under Hankook, the company announced Wednesday (8 May 2019). Holding group Hankook Tire Worldwide has changed its name to Hankook Technology Group, while its flagship company Hankook Tire changed to Hankook Tire & Technology. Five other subsidiaries also changed the name to include the word Hankook, such as AtlasBX, a storage battery manufacturer, that changed to Hankook AtlasBX.

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Cancarb expands its thermal carbon black production capa­city. Engineering and construction of a sixth thermal carbon black unit at its facility in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada has started in Q4 2018, with targeted completion by the summer of 2020. The company currently has five thermal carbon black units with a total capacity of 45,000 t. The sixth unit will add 9,000 t of capacity and will produce Cancarb’s signature grades of Thermax medium thermal carbon black. Cancarb is a subsidiary of Tokai Carbon Co. Ltd.

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According to an announcement by Abu Dhabi Ports construction has started on the United Arab Emirates’s first tyre-manufacturing plant in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhab (Kizad). Developed by Chinese tyre manufacturer Roadbot with a total investment of USD 614.37 million, the factory is being built in Kizad’s China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone and is expected to be fully operational by October 2020. The factory will have an initial annual production capacity of three million passenger car radial (PCR) tyres and one million truck and bus radial (TBR) tyres, with production of PCR tyres increasing to 10 million by 2022.

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Lanxess has entered into close collaboration with Citrine Informatics, a US-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) expert specialising in data-driven materials development. The companies have launched a pilot project aimed at gauging the potential of Artificial Intelligence for the plastics production. The aim is to further optimise the glass fibres that Lanxess uses for reinforcing many of its plastic compounds.

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Sibur has launched an investment project aimed at enhancing polybutadiene rubber (Nd-BR) production efficiency at its Voronezh facility (Voronezhsintezkauchuk). The project is said to involve a large-scale upgrade to boost operational efficiency of the existing facility and ensure a consistently high quality of the manufactured goods. A 13 ktpa capacity ramp-up will increase total capacity to 48 ktpa. Currently, the project is at the design stage, with completion slated for 2021.

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The STS twin screw extruder from Coperion is celebrating its 15th birthday in 2019. Just in time for this anniversary, the company has expanded the series by one more size: the STS 25 Mc11 extruder with a 25 mm screw diameter is designed especially for research and development tasks as well as for production of small batch sizes of 2 kg and more, achieving throughputs of up to 90 kg/h. It will be shown for the first time at Chinaplas 2019.

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