Continental continues to increase production at the pre-cured tread manufacturing plant added to its Mount Vernon, Illinois, campus in the USA in February 2018. The facility is prepared for an expected 300% increase in production this year thanks to its high-tech manufacturing process. In March, Continental hired a second shift of employees to support the additional volume demands.
“Continental saw a double-digit percent increase in demand for its retreads in North America last year,” said 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 pre-cured tread plant is realizing efficiencies thanks to its sophisticated manufacturing equipment, as well as its location at Continental’s Mount Vernon campus – home to one of the largest rubber mixing operations in North America.
“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,” said 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 skillset in the operators.”