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IVYBRIDGE PLANT DRIVES CONTINENTAL’S INNOVATION, AUTOMATION AND SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMME  Following its relaunch as a ContiLifeCycle facility in March this year, the Continental-owned Bandvulc retread plant in Ivybridge in the UK has assumed the role of a technical innovation hub for the company’s entire tyre retreading programme, supporting the brand’s ongoing sustainability strategy and integrating the activities of the Ivybridge facility with the company’s existing ContiLifeCycle plant in Stöcken, Germany. Continental recently hosted a press event at Ivybridge to demonstrate the innovations and progress made at the plant since Bandvulc was acquired by Continental in 2016. It was this magazine’s first visit to the plant before the acquisition, and what we found were multiple investments in automation and plans to complete the transformation into one of the most advanced retreading facilities in the world. In truth, Bandvulc has always been an innovator, thanks to the efforts of the O’Connell family, who owned the company before the acquisition in 2016. Indeed Continental says they’ve lear- ned a lot from Bandvulc since the acquisition and as a result, the Ivybridge has become the driving force for innovation within the ContiLifeCycle programme, combining Bandvulc’s retrea- ding expertise with Continental’s own new tyre manufacturing technology. Central to this is Tony Mailling, who has many years of experience at Bandvulc and who is now Head of Hot Retread Production EMEA and Plant Manager of both the Ivybridge and Stöcken plants. “Con- tinental, Bandvulc and the Ivybridge site has long been held in high regard for the work it has done to push the envelope of retread in- novation in the UK and across Europe,” he says. “Though the name above the door may have changed, there’s no doubt that Ivybridge is continuing to lead the way in retread excellence.”   P.6 

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