Continental Tire the Americas has added a Pre-Cured Tread (PCT) manufacturing facility to its facilities in Mount Vernon, Illinois.
The new plant, which began production in January, will produce tread rubber for the ContiTread premium retread line. The company expects the plant to reach full operation by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
The ContiTread facility features a technologically advanced manufacturing process to maximize safety for plant personnel and quality of the pre-cured tread rubber. A cooling tower helps to stabilize the tread compound more quickly, and robotic assistance on the tread press helps prevent tread distortion. The production line also features a prototype technology used 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 capitalizing on the latest innovations in the industry.”
The company said each new tread pattern produced in the facility’s start-up phase must be measured and reviewed by the company’s research and development team. Each pattern requires over 150 points of measurement for approval before it can be released into the market.
“When designing this new Pre-Cured Tread plant, we focused on utilizing lessons learned from our existing plant in Morelia, Mexico, to optimize 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,” said Catherine Loss, Continental’s head of retread worldwide. “The team has worked tirelessly to ensure the first treads out of our Mount Vernon PCT plant are exactly what our customers need and expect from the ContiTread brand.”
The first tread patterns produced out of the Mount Vernon facility include the ContiTread HDL EcoPlus, ContiTread HDL, and ContiTread HDR1. Scroll to the bottom of the article for tread descriptions.
ContiTread pre-cured tread rubber is only available to ContiLifeCycle retread partners. The company says many tread patterns are identical to Continental’s new tires.
- ContiTread HDL EcoPlus, a long haul drive pattern with an advanced tread compound for low rolling resistance balanced with mileage. It features a stone ejection system to protect the casing and maximize retreadability.
- ContiTread HDL, a long haul drive pattern with a mileage-focused tread compound. The closed-shoulder design, available in multiple tread depths, helps provide even wear and high mileage.
- ContiTread HDR1, a regional drive pattern has an open-shoulder design and is available in multiple tread depths. It is designed to resist irregular wear and reduce stone retention and has a cut-and-tear resistant tread compound. It is ideal for regional and light on/off-road applications.