Continental has added a Pre-Cured Tread (PCT) manufacturing facility to its existing campus in Mount Vernon, IL, which will produce made-in-the-USA tread rubber for the ContiTread retread line. Continental expects the plant to reach full operation by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
According to the company, the new facility features a manufacturing process to maximize safety for plant personnel and quality of the pre-cured tread rubber. A specialized cooling tower helps to stabilize the tread compound more quickly, and robotic assistance on the tread press helps prevent distortion of the product for more consistent filling of the mold. In addition, the production line features a prototype technology to provide more consistent texture in large-lug tread patterns, the company added.
“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 first tread patterns being produced at the Mount Vernon PCT plant will be ContiTread HDL EcoPlus, ContiTread HDL, and ContiTread HDR1.
- The HDL EcoPlus, a long-haul drive pattern, features an advanced tread compound for low rolling resistance balanced with mileage. It also features a stone ejection system that helps reduce stone retention to protect the casing and maximize retreadability.
- The HDL, a long-haul drive pattern, features a mileage-focused tread compound for long-haul to regional applications. The closed-shoulder design, available in multiple tread depths, provides even wear and high mileage, the company pointed out.
- The HDR1, a regional drive pattern, features wet and dry traction with its open-shoulder design. Available in multiple tread depths, it is designed to resist irregular wear and reduce stone retention. With its lug angle and cut-and-tear resistant tread compound, the retread is ideal for regional and light on/off-road applications.
“Our PCT products use many of the same rubber compounds as our new tires. Having our rubber mixed only yards away at our Mount Vernon plant, one of the largest mixing facilities in North America, is a great advantage,” said Paul Williams, Continental’s executive vice president of Commercial Vehicle Tires in the Americas region.
“Producing ContiTread retread rubber in the heartland of the United States allows us to be closer to our customers and make products available even faster to our ContiLifeCycle retread partners,” Williams continued. “Combined with our new truck tire plant in Clinton, Mississippi, which is expected to start production next year, we are continuing to invest in U.S. production.”