GERMANY: Fatal Evonik fire to disrupt resin supply until at least July
Critical PA-12 resin supplier Evonik's fatal fire at its German factory could see global component delivery severely affected for at least three months, with the industry urgently mulling new validation processes.
A massive fire at Evonik's Marl CDT factory killed two of its employees and partially destroyed the facility that provides resin for coatings and connector applications for automotive fuel handling and brake systems.
Crisis meetings have taken place in the US to discuss the situation given Evonik's crucial role in component production with an emergency workshop held only yesterday (23 April) by generic supply chain and OEM body, AIAG, in Southfield, Michigan.
"We are working on repairing the plant," an Evonik spokeswoman told just-auto from Germany. "We think it might be between three months and before winter to finish those repairs - I can't specify the month or the week - we are still investigating what really has happened.
"We are in close discussions with our customers how to solve this situation."
The AAIG meeting in Michigan brought together a range of OEMs such as Honda, Chrysler, Ford and Volkswagen, but also a swath of suppliers such as BASF, Delphi, DuPont Automotive and Martinrea International.
Key to the discussion was how to fast-track the approval process for replacement materials for use in multi-layer tubing assemblies, metal tubing and other automotive applications.
"The main objective of [the] workshop was to reach industry-wide OEM consensus on an abbreviated design validation process and report (DVP&R) that was developed and proposed by the industry technical committees working at AIAG," said an AIAG statement.
"After comprehensive review and discussion, the industry has reached general consensus on an abbreviated DVP&R draft that has the support of the following OEMs: Chrysler, Ford, GM, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, PACCAR, Volkswagen and a broad cross section of the materials and component supplier community."
A follow-up meeting is scheduled for 30 April to finalise the plan and process.
It is not yet clear whether or not the German government has stepped in to address the issue at the Marl factory, which has the potential to severely disrupt the supply chain.
CDT (cyclododecatriene) serves as a starting material in plastics manufacturing. CDT is used to make laurolactam which, in turn, is used as a monomer in polyamide 12 (PA-12).