Continental Tire the Americas LLC is expecting another year of immense demand for its retreads in North America, and one of its plants is preparing for a 300% increase in production of pre-cured tread rubber in 2019. Continental says the pre-cured tread plant in Mount Vernon, Ill., hired a second shift of production employees in March.
“Continental saw a double-digit percent increase in demand for our retreads in North America last year,” says Tom Fanning, vice president of sales and marketing for commercial vehicle tires. “We expect that growth to continue as the quality of ContiTread becomes better known in the market and as we continue to add new partners to our ContiLifeCycle retreader network.”
The ContiTread pre-cured tread rubber produced in Mount Vernon is only available to ContiLifeCycle retreaders. The company says this plant is particularly efficient because it is located on a campus alongside a large rubber mixing facility..
“We are achieving phenomenal outcomes by leveraging the team’s 40 years of experience in truck tire manufacturing to improve the tread profiles and rubber mixing process,” says John Barnes, head of ContiLifeCycle retreading for the Americas.
“Our changeover process to move from producing one retread pattern to producing a different one is completely driven by programming. Where other plants, from other manufacturers, may have to go through a manual process, we’re able to create an automatic one, driven by digital expertise. This shortens our changeover time significantly. It also requires a different skill set in the operators.”