Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.
Hankook Alphatread Factory Launched
When Hankook bought one of Germany’s largest retreaders, Reifen Müller, this gave Hankook access to one of the most advanced retread facilities in Germany, plus a network of 39 retail outlets.
Hankook Invests in Alphatread
With the drive to sustainability, Hankook has now launched its updated Alphatread hot cure retread operation to extend tyre life with its fleet and HGV clients.
The retreading business for commercial vehicle tyres is making an important contribution to Hankook’s sustainability drive. The new hot retreading factory in Hammelburg is set to meet increasing demand following investments running into the high millions to achieve this expansion.
The new hot retreading production area takes up around 2,000 square metres of the now 15,000 square metres site, with a similarly sized warehouse area. The total area can be increased to a space of 20,000 square metres if necessary, allowing long term plans to be made for the Hammelburg site.
After its takeover of Reifen Müller in 2018, Hankook has continued to focus on factory retreading in particular for its Alphatread brand for the commercial vehicle arm of its business.
“With the completion of the new plant, we can meet the increased demand for hot retreaded tyres. Compared to the old factory we have been able to almost double our production capacity. We can now produce up to 100,000 hot retreaded tyres each year. Alongside state-of-the-art technology, the decision to exclusively use A-grade carcasses helps to make Hankook Alphatread profiles the highest quality,” explains Manfred Zoni, TBR Sales Director at Hankook Reifen Deutschland.
“Hankook recognises the ever-increasing challenges of our Fleet and Dealer partners across Europe. To deliver more cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly solutions, we are investing in our retread range and production facilities. We aim to offer more dimensions and to focus with our fleet partners on extracting all of the value Hankook build into our Premium new truck tyres,” adds Guy Heywood, Vice President Marketing Truck & Bus tyres at Hankook Tire Europe.
At the beginning of June, Hankook and Reifen Müller revealed the new production facilities to invited guests with a factory tour that gave an insight into the manufacturing process of the Alphatread patterns, following the individual operating stages of production. Manfred Zoni, Guy Heywood and Uwe Müller, Managing Director of Reifen Müller Runderneuerungswerke, led the tour and explained the manufacturing processes together with employees, demonstrating the Hankook SmartLife Solutions concept and the associated benefits of hot retreading. One of which is that every Hankook commercial tyre is designed in such a way that not only can it be regrooved, but the high-quality carcass can also be retreaded several times. This is made possible by the use of an additional 5-9 mm of base rubber beneath the tread.