Commercial Business

A unique dual concept of tire retreading and recycling for the future

John Stone
Posted on February 11, 2014

There is no doubt that like most other continents, Europe is a consistent hive of productive activity. However, every now and then a really important technological advancement takes place with the potential to provide groundbreaking advantages for the worldwide tire market.

I was fortunate enough to recently be invited to attend the unveiling of such a significant occasion when Continental AG opened the doors of its unique new ContiLifeCycle truck tire production plant in Hanover, Germany.

The plant not only offers cutting-edge truck and bus tire retreading facilities, but also incorporates a proprietary industry scale recycling unit, making it the very first operation of its kind anywhere in the world. The dual-functioned factory has already been recognized as a future environmental innovation by the German Federal Ministry of Environment, and on personally inspecting the plant it is very clear that Continental has taken a very important step forward for its ContiLifeCycle concept and, of course, the truck tire sector as a whole.

Pushing the boundaries

I was informed that it has taken almost two years for Continental to progress from the initial project planning stage to the opening of the plant, with the objective of pushing its ContiLifeCycle solution even closer to new tire production and therefore pushing the boundaries of future technological achievements to an even higher level.

One part of the new operation has been dedicated to the tire recycling process and includes the totally unique development of a special process for the tread powder produced during truck tire retreading. The previously cured tread powder is subjected to a series of varying steps of processing in order to reverse the curing cycle which results in the recycled material having such a high quality that it can be confidentially used for tire compounding.

ContiLifeCycle Academy will offer on-site training in retreading/recycling.
ContiLifeCycle Academy will offer on-site training in retreading/recycling.

At the same time, tread buffings from the retreading facility can be exclusively used in the recycling facility, therefore reducing waste by over 80% and creating significant CO2 savings, as well. This enterprising new development has ensured that Continental can provide a very cost-conscious product portfolio that is both ecologically and economically sustainable courtesy of a unique combination of hot and cold truck tire retreading and high quality rubber recycling.

I was informed that this modular tire life cycle concept is guaranteed to further extend a tire’s life while also reducing costs and ensuring a much greater “value for money” awareness. The success of Continental’s ContiLifeCycle concept is based around four equally important aspects — the procurement of new tires, professional regrooving after a tire’s first life, retreading and professional casing management which all contribute toward ensuring all truck tires have a second and third life to fully maximize their overall efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Running hot and cold

It was also explained that in the hot retreading process, fresh rubber is applied to the whole casing which becomes securely vulcanized to create a premium retreaded truck tire that can be fitted on both regional and long distance haulage trucks, construction site vehicles and buses. Whereas for cold retreading, the process is identical to that of an original tire. In Europe, it seems that both hot and cold processes are used almost equally, although most Western European countries prefer the hot method while the cold method is more popular in Eastern Europe.

The plant will reach full production levels in due course with an anticipated annual capacity of 180,000 retreaded tires. Continental also has announced that it has opened a ContiLifeCycle Academy in order to offer valuable on-site training courses that will cover all areas concerning the retreading and recycling process.

I came away from what I considered to be a very impressive industry-changing dual production facility and feel it will serve as a perfect center of excellence for Continental’s global ContiLifeCycle business as well as setting a new precedence for the future direction of innovative truck retreading and rubber recycling.

John Stone has been working within the global tire industry for the past 20 years. In 2004 he launched his own company, Sapphire Media Services, as a business media consultant with clients around the globe. Stone also writes for tire and automotive-related publications in Europe, South Africa and Asia.    ■

This is part of Continental’s new European truck retreading and recycling plant.
This is part of Continental’s new European truck retreading and recycling plant.

For more European Notebook articles, see:

It's crystal ball time for future European tire sales

Young, carefree and clueless about tires!

An age of indecision over new tires

Related Topics: ContiLifeCycle, Continental AG, European Notebook, John Stone, Recycling, Retreading, truck tires

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Publisher David Wilson believes there is still a future for tire retreading as a profitable business.

Tyrexpo Africa: A Global Viewpoint on Retreading

In preparation for Tyrexpo Africa, to be held April 10-12, 2018, at the Gallagher Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, David Wilson, publisher and editor at Retreading Business and the publisher for three specialist magazines for the tire industry, shares his views on the overall outlook of the global commercial tire retread market.

In addition to warning its employees on the dangers of texting and driving, Ramona Tire promotes that message to the public with its “Please make it home safe today” digital billboard on I-215 west of Hemet, Calif. (see sidebar).

How Is the ‘Health’ of Your Business Insurance Coverage?

Many of us make it a point to see our doctor for regular checkups. Doing so gives the physician the opportunity to assess the current condition of our health, and gives us a chance to ask questions about medical issues or concerns. A thorough exam can help to diagnose early symptoms and gives the doctor an opportunity to offer recommendations and advice for a healthier lifestyle.

Lynda Kester of Big Red Tire Pros and Quick Chadwick, director of marketing for Tire Pros, have some fun with the audience.

Photos: Go With the Pros, as in Tire Pros

Attendance at the 2018 Tire Pros Dealer Business Conference was a record -- 965 people, including spouses. Here's what went on during the event in San Antonio Feb. 8-11.  

Murilo Fonseca

Prometeon Reorganizes Global Team

Prometeon Tyre Group is moving ahead with plans to integrate with Aeolus Tyre Co. Ltd., and also is working to strengthen its presence in some markets. As a result, the former Pirelli industrial tire unit is reorganizing.  

The SC20+ leads the lineup of Continental's solid tires for industrial trucks.

Continental Upgrades Compound on Solid Tire Lineup

Continental AG has updated its solid tire offerings with a new Plus compound that combines the perks of high mileage with low rolling resistance. The  SC20+, CS20+, CSEasy SC20+ and SH12+ tires represent a more streamlined line of products.  

Department of Labor audit outcomes in the automotive service industry.

Wage and Hour Regulations: You Probably are Not in Compliance

Owners and operators of tire dealerships and automotive service shops, no matter how large or small, are being targeted by the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. This is the federal agency that enforces minimum wage, record keeping and overtime rules.

Marisa Blank is moving from OE passenger tires to executive director of sales for OTR tires at Bridgestone.

Bridgestone Names Marisa Blank Executive Director of OTR Tire Sales

Bridgestone Americas Inc. has named Marisa Blank as the executive director of sales for commercial off-the-road (OTR) tires at Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO). She will be in charge of developing sales growth strategies for the mining and construction industries and related segments.  


Goodyear's Earnings Fall by Double Digits in 2017

Although sales were up, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s year-over-year earnings dropped 72% in 2017 and segment operating income fell 23%. The company attributed a net loss in 2017's fourth quarter to tax reform.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!