Suppliers, Carmakers to Meet on Resin Crisis
Auto suppliers and vehicle producers are meeting in suburban Detroit on Tuesday to discuss the global shortage of PA-12 resin caused by a fatal explosion at an Evonik Industries plant in Germany on March 31.
The high-performance resin is used in automotive fuel systems and brake lines. Evonik's plant produces about half the world's cyclododecatriene, a key ingredient in PA-12.
Other suppliers of PA-12 say they are already running at or near full capacity and won't be able to help ease the shortage. Last week TI Automotive Chairman William Kozyra warned that vehicle production is almost certain to be disrupted in the next few weeks. TI Automotive supplies fuel systems to virtually all the world's major carmakers.
Vehicle producers tell Bloomberg News they are assessing the crisis but are not yet experiencing shortages. Chemical producers say other materials could be substituted, but it isn't clear how quickly such options could be certified for use.
Several plastic makers are now producing components and subsystems once considered the sole domain of steel and-yes-even aluminum. Thermoplastic can mean up to a 30 to 40% weight reduction over equivalent metal components in many under hood applications, but cost reductions have gained the most attention. That's right: plastic components being cost competitive with metal.
On Easter morning in Moab, Utah, when the population of that exceedingly-hard-to-get-to town in one of the most beautiful settings on Earth has more than doubled, some people won’t be hunting for Easter eggs, but will be trying to get a good look at one of the vehicles six that Jeep has prepared for real-life, fast-feedback from the assembled at the annual Easter Jeep Safari.
If you look at the top of the cab of that Mack Anthem Class 8 truck you’ll note the way it arcs back to the trailer.