India’s largest manufacturer and exporter of carbon black (CB), Phillips Carbon Black (PCBL), has launched their new Sushila Goenka Research and Development Centre in Palej, Gujarat, to facilitate the development of new products required by the tyre and other industries across the globe.
The new world-class R&D centre was built up from an initial investment of some US$3 million (INR20 crore), and now spreads over a massive 27,000 sqft – it is expected to pave the way for new uses of CB in areas including engineering plastics, fibres, wires/cables, ink/paints, and batteries.
With a hexagonal design housing several laboratories, such as ‘Carbon and Carbon Nano-Structure Laboratory’, ‘Carbon Functionalization Laboratory’, ‘Carbon Feedstock Research Laboratory’, ‘Interface & Colloidal Dispersion Laboratory’ and ‘Plastic Application Laboratory’, the new centre will also serve as a seeding ground for new and custom products and process development.
At the digital unveiling ceremony at Palej, Company Chairman, Sanjiv Goenka, said that research and innovation were crucial factors in strengthening a CB manufacturer’s technical and qualitative superiority, as these define vision and guides the manufacturer’s future growth prospects. Goenka added that the RP-Sanjiv Goenka group has increased its budget for R&D by five times for the next 2-3 years to come up with various products in different segments. The group expects to roll out two distinct products in the next three months to boost profitability and is also scouting for space across Europe to open another R&D centre.
PCBL has come a ways from its days as a substitute import to the Indian tyre industry. With an installed annual capacity of 5,71,000mtpa CB as of March 2019, the company now has a diverse market presence in over 30 countries and operates four plants across India.