Continental has announced the addition of a Pre-Cured Tread (PCT) manufacturing facility to its existing campus in Mount Vernon, Illinois in the USA. The new plant, which began start-up production in January, will produce made-in-the-USA tread rubber for the ContiTread premium retread line. Continental expects the plant to reach full operation by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
The new tread rubber facility features a technologically advanced manufacturing process to maximise safety for plant personnel and quality of the pre-cured tread rubber. A specialised cooling tower helps to stabilise the tread compound more quickly, and robotic assistance on the tread press helps prevent distortion of the product for more consistent filling of the mould. In addition, the production line features a prototype technology to provide more consistent texture in large-lug tread patterns.
“Continental is investing in the latest advances in retread manufacturing technology to ensure our pre-cured tread rubber is the best on the market, and that our people have a safe and ergonomically efficient workspace,” said John Barnes, Continental’s head of ContiLifeCycle retreading for the Americas. “As a technology company, we’re always looking to see what’s next on the horizon, whether for manufacturing or fleet solutions like digital tire monitoring. We want to deliver the best value to our customers by capitalising on the latest innovations in the industry.”
“Continental continuously strives for best-in-class performance. The cornerstone of this performance is commitment to outstanding quality,” added Catherine Loss, Continental’s head of retread worldwide. “When designing this new Pre-Cured Tread plant, we focused on utilising lessons learned from our existing plant in Morelia, Mexico, to optimise the layout and flow of the plant, and our long years of manufacturing experience in the main Mount Vernon plant to ensure reliability and repeatability in the production.”
The first tread patterns being produced at the Mount Vernon PCT plant will be ContiTread HDL EcoPlus, ContiTread HDL, and ContiTread HDR1.