Bandag Introduces New Equipment
(Australian Tyre Dealer) Bandag has just completed a 12 month testing program with new buffer and extruder machines that is reported to have led to improvements in processing, tyre preparation and tread adhesion, together with a reduction in manufacturing costs. Designed and built by Bandag Inc. in the United States, the key feature of the 8400 Buffer is that every tyre is buffed perfectly every time. Bandag National Marketing and Sales Manager, Greg Nielsen, said this was achieved by initially programming the exact buffing specifications into the 8400 for every tyre that is produced.
“When that same brand, size and series is buffed again it will be buffed to the exact same specs as the last tyre of that brand and series,” he said. “These features ensure that tyres in dual fitment or on the same axles are perfectly matched, which will ensure that the retreaded tyre wears longer and more evenly than ever before.”
Mr Nielsen said that the 6400 Extruder was installed at the same time as the Buffer and also added value by improving quality and productivity, and reducing cost. He said, “The 6400 Extruder, manufactured in Germany to Bandag’s specifications by VMI-AZ, applies a layer of bonding material to the case and fills all skives (holes, depressions and the like) in the tread area of the tyre, presenting a perfect face for bonding.”
As well as saving time, another big feature of the machine is the reduction of cement. Tyres no longer need to be cemented before bonding is applied, so the cement cost is eliminated. This is not only kinder to the environment, but significantly reduces the risk of fire.
The product finish of tyres is improved and, according to the National QTS Factory Manager, Mr Carlo Bonasia, the bond strength at the shoulder is dramatically improved.
A smaller and newer version of the 6400 Extruder, the 6300, will be introduced to several Australian and New Zealand franchises in 2006.
QTS Adelaide and Sydney factories will install the new Buffer and Extruder in January 2006 and Adelaide Independent Bandag will install a 6300 Extruder in the same month. Bandag’s Auckland Franchise, C.O. Tires and Retreading have placed an order for both the Buffer and Extruder and this is planned to be in operation by May 2006.