Top Treads resilient and adaptable despite challenging lockdown environment
It has been a case of business – but not as usual – for Top Treads, one of Bridgestone’s largest European Bandag franchisees as the company has faced “the most challenging working conditions ever encountered in the company’s history”.
Europe’s newest retreader invests in a ‘particular service’
The tyre retreading business has stagnated in many European markets for years. Imports of new tyres from the Far East and the major tyre brands’ own, large-scale retreading plants place small and mid-sized retreaders across Europe under substantial competitive pressure. Although consolidation has become the rule in recent times, a remarkable exception to this rule – one characterised by entrepreneurship and persuasiveness – can be found in Germany’s retreading market: Owner-operated Reifen Quirmback in Zweibruchen, Rhineland-Palatinate has invested a seven-figure sum to develop its own truck tyre retreading, and by doing so enters a completely new business area. When we visited the site, we discovered a very good reason for entering this line of work.
Start-up aims to automate and qualify used PCR tyre testing
TireTech has presented an automated solution to grade used tyres for reuse or disposal. The new and already patented, modularly configurable TP1 with Tire Measurement Reporting System (TMRS) can examine up to 400 used car tyres per hour. According to customer specifications it can sort and dispatch these for further application, such as retreading. Brain and Staudinger claim they’ve finally “brought automation to arbitrary, manual car tyre testing.” Click here for more details.
Kraiburg Austria working to secure goods transport
The coronavirus crisis represents a challenge for almost all industries and markets in Europe and around the world. But tyres are system-relevant products that ensure, amongst other things, the uninterrupted transportation of goods and supply chain stability. In doing so, they contribute to securing the population’s basic requirements. Kraiburg Austria has adapted to the challenges associated with corona, aiming to guarantee all its partners receive the quality pre-cure and mould cure materials they require on time and with the expected high level of service.
The coronavirus crisis is global in its spread, but as generally known its affect so far has varied from country to country as well as from industry to industry. This is certainly the case within the retreading sector. While it’s been business as usual in Scandinavia and, to some extent, markets in the Baltic region, firms in Mediterranean countries, particularly Italy, were plunged into turmoil. Although the unanimous view amongst material suppliers in Europe – a lot can be read about the state of the market and its development from observing these companies’ business – is that Europe’s retreading market has slumped by around ten to 15 per cent up to and including May, forecasts for the remainder of the year vary. In doing so, they depend significantly upon the answer to one particular question: Are we experiencing a shortage of new tyres, as during Europe’s boom retreading years of 2010 and especially 2011? We asked how things look at two of Europe’s leading material suppliers – Kraiburg and Marangoni.
One-of-a-kind Karl Kurz celebrates 65th company anniversary
Unique? Grand Seigneur? Warhorse? Pioneer? Master of his Trade? Globetrotter? Man of Action? Tinkerer? Entrepreneur? Decision Maker? Visionary? - Somehow, all these names fit Karl Kurz. In his 87 years, the entrepreneur has combined more characteristics in his person than any other in the recycling and retreading industry. We look back on an extraordinary career.
The retreading industry has worked hard over the years to compete with the new tyre industry and to be heard on political, economic and product issues at European level. Since the industry is strongly shaped by medium-sized and smaller companies, active and influential advocacy thus plays an important role, as we witnessed during the formulation and successful implementation of UNECE regulations 108 and 109 in 2006, a regulation effectively giving retreads type approval equivalency with new tyres. BIPAVER has spearheaded the retreading industry’s lobbying in Europe for many years now, and in April its administration and technical representation was taken over by the German Tyre Retail and Vulcanisation Trade Association (BRV). The association’s two managing directors, general secretary Yorick M. Lowin and technical secretary Michael Schwämmlein, explain why this change took place, what tasks the future holds and what they both can leverage together with BIPAVER’s committees.
Fowler Welch has extended its long-running tyre fitment and management contract with Continental Tyres subsidiary and retread specialist Bandvulc. Continental and Bandvulc tyres will be specified across the entire Fowler Welch fleet of 450 Euro 6 trucks and 750 temperature-controlled trailer units for a further three years, continuing the relationship between the companies, who have worked together since 2011.
Vaculug celebrates 70 years of independent retreading
Vaculug, the UK’s last remaining largescale independently-owned retreader celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. And while the last edition of our bilingual Retreading Special supplement carried details of the family-focused summer fete-style party the company planned for its team in June, coronavirus and the resultant national lockdown has put paid to that. However, having started in straightened times of the post-war years, during the businesses’ seven decades of trading Vaculug is one of only a few retreaders that can say it has seen – and come through – it all: governmental changes, recessions, global financial crises and more. With all this in mind, you can see why company representatives recently tweeted: “70 years and no virus will stop us going for the next 70 and the next 70 after that!”
Two New Zealand retreaders (Tyre Retreaders and Power Retreads) have invested in retread manufacturing equipment produced by Vipal Machinery. In total, three machines were shipped from Brazil, Vipals headquarters, to Oceania.
Michelin Stoke up-and-running, looking forward to ‘steady market growth’
On 22 April Tyres & Accessories reported that Michelin was restarting production at its Stoke-on-Trent retread manufacturing facility. Roughly six weeks later, we caught up with factory manager Francois Levert in order to find out the latest.