Malaysian tread rubber manufacture Eversafe, based in Ipoh, Perak, recently held an open day for invited customers and journalists, in order to demonstrate the significant investments the company has made in its manufacturing facility over the last 2-3 years. The event held at the start of March, was the first time that the company had opened its facilities to guests in this manner since 2010.
Eversafe Demonstrates Factory Investment Programme
“The main purpose of the event was to show what we have done in terms of upgrades,” explained Managing Director Cheah Siang Tee. “We have expanded the capacity for precured tread and for custom mixing from top to bottom and have significantly upgraded our mixers and presses.”
According to Cheah, the company’s capacity is now 3,500 tonnes per month of which 1,500 tonnes is for precured treads and 2,000 tonnes for custom compounding. Key reasons for the investment included the desire to develop the company’s position in custom compounding as well as to allow it to expand its business in the retreading sector, especially in the key markets of Europe and Latin America.
Eversafe already does some business in the European retreading market but is now looking to expand both in precure and hot cure. With this in mind the company has established a distribution warehouse in the European market (Bulgaria) through an arrangement with a local logistics company, which means there is stock available in Europe, allowing customers to order smaller quantities. In addition to Europe Eversafe is also targeting expansion in South America and Canada.
Cheah explained Eversafe’s strategy for gaining traction in these new markets. We are looking to provide an alternative to the traditional franchise brands,” he said. “The franchises make up 60-70% of the market, but this sector on its own is not enough for retreaders to sustain their business. They need other work, for example as a supplier of rubber to retreaders, who want or need to retread Asian casings but don’t want to use their franchise rubber on those casings. We don’t see ourselves replacing the franchises, but we are looking to fill the gaps as well as provide some solutions in special sizes. Because of anti-dumping, retreading has become sustainable in Europe again. We believe that for the next few years the European market will now be stable, with the next market review coming in 2022. This gives us some opportunities in the meantime,” he added.
Precure OTR retreading is another area which the company is looking at closely. With radial OTR tyres becoming more popular, Cheah believes precured OTR retreading will become more acceptable in the future. Eversafe can produce OTR precure treads up to 25 inches.
“We now have a big capacity at our Ipoh plant,” he continued, “so we are now also looking to diversify into some technical rubber compounds. In this area we are open for collaboration and open to opportunities.
“The purpose of this event was to give customer confidence in the Eversafe product,” he concluded. “What we are trying to show is that our product is comparable to the European standard at Asian costs.”