Recauchutagem Northena Installs Giant Machinery
2008 has seen Portuguese retreader, Recauchutagem Northena SA, make literally huge investments in new machinery designed to retread a wide range of giant OTR tyres. The company has already installed a new MGT One63 robotic buffer, groover and peeling machine, in order to retread 63-inch tyres. Recently a large autoclave smooth and groove system for 51-inch tyres was added and before the end of the year pre-cured retreading equipment for 57-inch sizes will also be brought in.
“We’ve developed a full new approach for manufacturing cold OTR retreads. Our pre-cured tyres (a few dozen of these) have been running for a year in Portugal and Spain, and a test phase will be complete in September,” Northena representatives explained.
In order to fend off the threat of posed by budget tyres, Northena executive Paulos Campos explains that the retread manufacturer has sought to push forward technologically. As a result, the company is also in the process of finishing new technology for mixing tread compounds incorporating over 10 per cent GTR (crumb rubber). The resultant passenger retreads are said to be greener than ever, and still fewer resources are used in production. There are also said to be performance benefits too – namely better wet grip, lower hear build-up and quiet noise levels.
As with the new generation of OTR tyres product trials are currently underway with cars driving over 100,000 km in Portuguese roads on V-rated tyres). At this stage the tyres are expected to find their way to market by September 2008. We have to have retreads that are as good as good new ones (mainly for our own network of shops), otherwise cheap imports will keep on getting our market share.
During the course of this month Recauchutagem Northena is upgrading all its OTR and Truck production to paperless system. From then on every tyre will have an individual e-id card with all the necessary information related to the product’s process – personnel involvement, machines and materials used.
Recauchutagem Northena has also launched a new website (www.nortenha.pt), which company representatives told Tyres & Accessories would be available in English soon.