Industry Leaders Headline Carbon Black World 2014

The three day event featured presentations from Birla Carbon, Cabot Corporation, China Carbon Black Institute (CCBI), Cooper Tire & Rubber; Doright Co., Omsk Carbon Group, Phillips Carbon Black Limited, Pirelli Tyre, Tire Industry Research and more.

Chaired by Dr. James A. Popio, Vice President and General Manager, Smithers Rapra, Inc. and Ricky Magee, Director, RCB Technical Services and Quality Systems, Birla Carbon, Carbon Black World brought together feedstock producers, carbon black manufacturers, equipment solution providers and tire and pigment end-users to hear market-driven and technical perspectives from Russia, China, Ukraine, Europe, US, India and the Middle East

“While carbon black has been intensively used and studied for many years, today is one of the most exciting times in the life of carbon black. As a product, carbon black is being asked to deliver higher performance. As a process, carbon black is being challenged to utilize cleaner and more efficient operations. As an industry, carbon black is challenged by disruptive technologies and tightening environmental regulations. All the while, the global community is seeking sustainability,” said Magee.

The Carbon Black World 2014 program explored the macro and micro stressors the automotive industry and regulatory agencies have thrust upon Carbon Black stakeholders. "In order to make effective decisions on strategy and tactics as an executive in the carbon black industry it is important to understand all the factors which might have an impact,” said William R (Bill) Jones, President, Sid Richardson Carbon & Energy Co.  “These factors include raw material supply issues, customer and competitor growth, regulatory issues, new technology development and macro-economic issues. Carbon Black World served as an excellent venue to stay attuned in order to make better decisions for your business." 

Smithers Rapra will bring the tire supply chain together again next May 20-22 in Nashville, TN for Traction 2015: Driving the Tire Industry Forward. This conference and exhibition will bring together tire OEMs, Tier 1-4 system and component suppliers, and materials producers to discuss tire industry business dynamics; regulatory issues; tire importers of record; tire testing and challenges and disruptors to the tire industry.

"Each segment of the industry has different needs for tire performance, cost and how the formulas align to create a profitable business model. Because of this, players in the tire industry are left with their heads spinning, trying to balance the pushes and pulls of often conflicting voices," said Conference Chair Jim Popio, Vice President and General Manager, Smithers Rapra. "Our second annual event will therefore provide a forum for the entire industry to come together in one room to hash out face-to-face some of our most pressing issues. Business leaders will leave Nashville with the resources and relationships needed to shape a clear path forward."

 "Traction 2015 will continue our exploration into how tire companies and OEMs can balance innovation, regulatory requirements and cost concerns with consumer perception and actions. This is a question that we hear over and over again from our clients and last year's discussion in Charlotte was just the beginning," said conference director Andrew T. Smaha.

Smaha continued, "The direct access to industry leadership, our invite-only speakers and fellow attendees will far exceed the typical tire trade show experience. Our long-standing reputation as an independent party dedicated to providing accurate and reputable information allows us to bring together diverse stakeholders to truly delve deep into the issues facing the global tire industry. Each session of next year's Traction conference will be shaped by Smithers Rapra alongside the key players in the tire performance industry."      

For more information about Traction 2015, visit