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Ravago to launch Chinese TPE production facility

LUXEMBOURG—Ravago plans to open a thermoplastic elastomer manufacturing plant in China.

Startup of a dedicated manufacturing line is scheduled for April at the facility in Huzhou, Zhejiang, which will also have product development capabilities.

The Luxembourg-based polymer supplier's TPEs portfolio includes materials based on TPE-S, TPVs, TPOs and TPUs.

Ravago's main TPE manufacturing and technology center is located in Istanbul. It also has TPE manufacturing and development operations in Arlington, Texas, and Steinfurt, Germany.

Camso begins forklift tire manufacturing in Vietnam

TAN UYEN TOWN, Vietnam—Industrial tire specialist Camso Ltd. has inaugurated production of solid forklift tires at a new factory in Vietnam's Binh Duong Province, part of the company's strategy to “gain leadership position” in the Asian materials-handling market.

Camso, formerly Camoplast Solideal, built the 247,500-sq.-ft. plant in 14 months. Financial details were not disclosed. The plant employs 160.

“This new facility is a commitment to being the best partner for our (original equipment manufacturers) and aftermarket customers of the Asian market, and an investment to grow our leadership position in the material-handling sector,” said Jean-Francois Ferland, vice president and general manager of material handling at Camso.

Based in the Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park in Tan Uyen Town, Binh Duong Province, the new plant is Camso's fourth in Asia and 10th worldwide.

ETRMA, other associations begin campaign for GRC

BRUSSELS—The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers' Association is assisting the rubber industry associations of seven countries in an information campaign on the challenges faced by the general rubber goods industry.

“The GRG industry is fundamental and yet mostly unknown to the general public as well as to policy makers,” ETRMA Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp said regarding the information campaign.

The campaign focuses on the four main challenges faced by the European GRG industry, ETRMA said. These include red tape, regulatory tasks, the need of a single market for rubber products in contact with food and drinking water, and the need to bridge the skills gap, the association said.

For each topic, the industry gives an overview of the actions the GRG industry needs from policy makers, as well as actions already taken that need further institutional reports, ETRMA said.

GRG products are essential to the transportation, mining, energy, food, household appliance and leisure industries, according to the fact sheets issued by the ETRMA and the rubber industry associations.

The national rubber industry associations involved with the project are those of Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain.

Michelin boosts production at plant in Nova Scotia

GRANTON, Nova Scotia—Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. is boosting production at its Granton plant temporarily to meet increased consumer demand for winter products.

The two-year project will add 70 to 90 temporary and contract jobs at Michelin's Pictou County plant in Granton, starting as early as June. The temporary jobs will be filled with current Michelin Pictou County employees, returning Michelin retirees and contractors.

The increased output will be focused on the Michelin X-Ice X-i2 for both the Canadian and export markets.

Michelin said the production boost will be carried out using the plant's existing assets and thus won't require any capital investment.

The decision revitalizes the 45-year-old plant—where Michelin phased out most tire production in 2014-15—albeit temporarily. In March 2014 Michelin announced plans to cut out production of all but a few high-performance dimensions by mid-2015.

Pirelli completes upgrades at two Russian factories

VORONEZH, Russia—Pirelli & C. S.p.A. has upgraded its two plants in Voronezh and Kirov, Russia.

According to Pirelli, in total more than $224 million was invested in the plants between 2012 and 2015, bringing the technology and infrastructure up to date.

“Almost as soon as Pirelli took over operational control of Kirov, together with its partner Rostec, a large-scale modernization of the plant started in December 2011,” the company said in a news release.

A few months after that, renovation began at the Voronezh plant, the company said, adding that old buildings have been rebuilt, production workshops refurbished, mixing facilities installed and Pirelli technology and processes introduced.

Pirelli said the improvements have led to capacity expansion and production of premium tires.