America’s Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), concedes while the recent catastrophic fire in global Nylon 12 resin supplier, Evonik ‘s factory is “serious,” rapid measures are being taken to address the situation.
The explosion – in Evonik’s Marl CDT facility in Germany – caused two fatalities and led to the partial destruction of the plant with the factory estimated to be working again by July at the earliest and possibly not until the winter.
“My feeling is while this is a serious situation, considering global supply, there is going to be a solution that can be implemented with the diversion of existing supplies until the situation gets back into control,” OESA president and CEO, Neil De Koker told just-auto from his Michigan office.
“It is serious but the action of an awful lot of people working together is starting to look like we are getting results. We are working very, very hard with the vehicle manufacturers and suppliers to get a handle on the situation.”
The OESA chief noted no suppliers had yet been directly affected, but some were running “rather short” of Nylon 12 for their products.
The critical Nylon 12 provides resin for coatings and connector applications for automotive fuel handling and brake systems, with urgent discussions now taking place to find alternatives, including nylon variants.
“We are working on alternative validation processes to see if we can use Nylon 11 or 10 that could meet some other requirements,” said De Koker. “There is a lot of stuff going on.
“The tsunami was much, much worse in the sense we lost 0.5m vehicles production – this is minor in comparison unless it starts to shut down the industry.”
Emergency 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.
Earlier today, a spokeswoman for Evonik told just-auto it would be three months at least before repairs were finished to the plant – with that period possibly extended to the end of this year.