Retreaders in the developed European and North American markets often perform a balancing act – production levels must be high enough to ensure acceptable profits, but at the same time logistics need to remain manageable. The greater the distance between a retreader and its customer base, the more demanding and expensive the delivery of casings and finished tyres becomes. And while retreaders in non-mature markets face other issues, these must also be kept in check in order for retreading to be worthwhile. VMI, a market leader in the development, manufacture and supply of production machinery for the tyre and retreading industries, wants to tip the balance in favour of retreaders both here and around the world. This summer it is introducing a new product programme that may just do that.
Leading tyre building machinery maker VMI Group is planning to “significantly expand” its operations. This means a new factory building will be constructed in Epe, The Netherlands and current buildings will be restructured to enhance lean production. A new R&D and engineering office will also be built. In China, VMI reports that it is working with authorities to expand its facilities there. According to the company, the expansions follow “strongly increased turnover” at VMI.
On June 23rd 2010, VMI Yantai achieved ISO9001:2008 certification from Lloyd Register Company. This successful certification of the company’s Chinese operation, says the VMI Group, was accomplished in close cooperation between VMI Yantai and the company’s Netherlands based organisation. “The ISO9001:2008 certificate demonstrates the high quality level of the VMI products that are being produced by VMI in Yantai as well as in the Netherlands,” announced a company statement.
In mid-June the VMI Group reported the introduction of its new system for body ply stock splice handling. The company claims its new system offers an advance on previous models in that it not only prevents interference between splices from two different piles – it does this in a manner that reduces scrap and should also facilitate a high level of uniformity.
Body ply stock splice detection is a standard feature on VMI tyre building machines. The system measures the position of all stock splices in the body ply. If a stock splice comes to close to one of the body ply’s ends, the system automatically slices off a piece of material to prevent the stock splice being located too close to its machine splice within the tyre.