The last 12 months have been a busy year indeed for the rubber industry, from the sale of Italian tire maker Pirelli to a Chinese business, to the ending of a 16-year relationship between Goodyear and Sumitomo, to the breaking of the glass ceiling in the hierarchy of the ACS Rubber Division. Here is a synopsis of what happened.
2015 Year in Review: November, December
The tire registration system is broken, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, which proposes an 11-point plan to fix it.
Flexaust Co. Inc. completes an expansion at its Amesbury, Mass., operation.
Qure Medical's addition of Tompkins Pharmaceutical Rubber assimilates well a year after its purchase.
Unaflex Inc. works on an expansion of its factory in Anderson, S.C.
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions expands its testing laboratory at its Fort Wayne, Ind., operation.
Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency raise concerns about a possible link between the use of crumb rubber in athletic fields and cancer.
Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Corp. discuss possible ownership changes in their Dow Corning Co. silicone joint venture.
Unique Fabricating Inc. decides to close its Murfreesboro, Tenn., factory.
Cabot Corp. starts a reorganization that will cost 300 jobs worldwide.
A restructuring by Freudenberg Sealing Technologies will result in changes at two silicone plants in Germany.
Taiwan's Cheng Shin Rubber Co. Inc. plans to open a two-wheeler tire and inner tube factory in India.
Michelin completes the first phase of a six-year project to upgrade its Ladoux, France, technology complex.
George Bohm, noted for his work in coextrusion of tire components and radiation crosslinking of rubber while working for Firestone and Radiation Dynamics Inc., is announced as the 2016 recipient of the Charles Goodyear Medal from the ACS Rubber Division.
Tubigomma Deregibus S.R.L. invests about $1 million to expand a hose plant in Padua, Italy.
Venair Group of Barcelona, Spain, launches expansions with the goal of expanding its presence worldwide in the silicone hose market.
Trelleborg A.B. agrees to buy CGS Holding A.S., owner of Mitas A.S., Rubena A.S. and Savatech
G.W. Plastics Inc. decides to expand its factory in Royalton, Vt.
Saint-Gobain S.A.'s Performance Plastics unit plans to move its headquarters in Ohio to Solon from Aurora.
Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. wins a permanent injunction against a Chinese tire manufacturer over a patent infringement.
Northern Electric Inc. seeks a summary judgment against Michelin North America Inc. in a squabble over work that caused a production line to shut down at a tire factory.
Another joint petition by Titan Tire Corp. and the United Steelworkers union against Chinese and Indian off-the-road tire imports soon will be filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Cancarb Ltd. plans to market Tokai Carbon Black Co. furnace black in the U.S.
Troester Machinery Ltd. and Gerlach Maschinenbau GmbH extend a cooperative agreement to the U.S.
James L. McGraw, retired managing director of the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers, wins the group's General Award, and Guy Wouters, retired from ExxonMobil, is selected for the IISRP Technical Award.
Lanxess A.G. announces it will invest $464 million in growth projects, following a reorganization that is cutting 1,000 jobs and consolidating 14 business units to 10.
Chem Technologies Ltd. prepares for another plant expansion.
Alttran Corp. celebrates its 10th anniversary.
A slowdown in the European truck tire market prompts Michelin to consolidate, which will include plant closings and 1,600 layoffs.
Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. opens a technical center in a suburb of Akron.
China's softening market causes a decline in natural rubber shipments to the nation.
Trelleborg Vibracoustic opens its first plant in Thailand.
China's Triangle Group Co. Ltd. opens a sales office in Franklin, Ky.
ContiTech A.G. announces it will close its Bowmanville, Ontario, belt factory, and silicone rubber goods production at a facility in Somersworth, N.H.
The American unit of China's Zhongli Corp. buys molder and extruder Stern Rubber Co.
Charles A. Cannon, longtime president and CEO of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, announces his retirement, and will be replaced by Anne Forristall Luke.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. signs an offtake agreement for Argentina's Fate S.A. to handle Cooper tires in that country.
Denka Performance Elastomer L.L.C. plans to create a new corporate center at its facility in LaPlace, La.
A Massachusetts man charged with insider trading in the abortive Cooper Tire-Apollo Tyres Ltd. merger settles with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Kraton Performance Polymers Inc. agrees to buy Arizona Chemical Holdings Corp.
BASF S.E. moves to acquire Lanxess A.G.'s polyisobutene business.
The new head of the International Rubber Consortium, Salmiah Ahmad,warns that a shortage of natural rubber is looming.
Linda Katz of Molded Dimensions Inc. of Port Washington, Wis., is named Rubber & Plastics News
Rubber Industry Executive of the Year, becoming the first female to receive the award.
Goodyear is combining its North America and Latin America businesses into one Americas business unit, effective Jan. 1. It also named Stephen R. McClellan, currently president of Goodyear's North America business, as the leader of the business and Marcelo Toscani as president of the company's Latin America operations. Jean-Claude Kihn will become president of Goodyear's Europe, Middle East and Africa business, succeeding Darren R. Wells, who will leave the company.
Hutchinson S.A.'s Precision Sealing Systems unit is acquiring Danielson-based Delta Rubber Co., a manufacturer of high quality precision rubber components for the automotive, energy and industrial markets.
The board of directors of Akron-based Myers Industries Inc. names R. David Banyard to succeed John C. Orr as president and CEO.
Blown and cast film maker Bloomer Holdings Inc. is being sold to Charter NEX Films Inc. in a deal between their private equity owners.
Trelleborg Wheel Systems S.p.A. acquires Standard Tyres Group, a privately owned Brazil-based industrial tire manufacturer.
According to a Bloomberg News report, Dow Chemical Co. is in late-stage talks to merge with DuPont Co. in a deal with two companies that combine for nearly $90 billion in sales.