"Retreading is a service we've wanted to bring to Mexico for some time because we know from experience with our other facilities that retreading extends tyre life and reduces the cost of ownership. Retreading also reduces the impact on the environment," said Pedro Pacheco, vice president operations, Latin America at Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group. "Our clients see this as an opportunity and look forward to seeing our retread tyres in operation."
The retread facility officially opened on October 18 and is strategically located as 30% of Mexico's mines are in the state of Sonora. This marks the sixth OTR retreading and repair facility for Kal Tire, with the other facilities located in Canada, the UK, West Africa and Chile.
"We are very much looking forward to demonstrating how a superior retreading technology and process will renew a tyre's strong performance and lengthen its lifespan," commented Pacheco.
He added that OTR retreads by Kal Tire often achieve 3,000 to 6,000 additional hours, and allow mines to reuse quality original casings, which is an additional environmental benefit.
Emissions produced in manufacturing a new tyre are significantly higher than in the retreading process. For example, producing a new 29.5R25 tyre uses 68L of oil and emits 4,192kg of carbon dioxide; retreading the same tyre uses 13.95L of oil and emits 2,464kg of carbon dioxide.
The Mexico plant will be Kal Tire's first retread facility to use a robot for skiving and tread grooving, improving access to custom tread designs to best suit each site's conditions. The robot technology - a pilot programme as Kal Tire begins automating retread operations around the world - can also help to ensure team members don't have to perform the most strenuous steps.
"The robot will allow us to switch tread patterns without having to switch tools," explained Pacheco. "The work is done efficiently and lets us make the most of the expertise of our people."
The 3,000m2 plant will be supported by a team of 120 during construction phase and employ 40 people on-site who have been in training for nearly a year to achieve their certification as retread technicians. All plant team members are local residents of Cananea, a town of 30,000 that has welcomed the new plant as it spurs economic activity such as food service vendors and other supports. The team aims to be retreading an average of 80 tyres per month and will increase capacity to meet demand.
"We have been proud to serve the mining industry in Mexico for 12 years and we are excited to bring this value-added service to this market to help customers keep tyres in production," commented Dan Allan, senior vice president at Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group. "Retreading reduces a tyre's operating cost per hour, it reduces new tyre purchases and it reduces the impact on the environment."
Every year, Kal Tire retreads more than 10,000 tyres and saves thousands of tyre casings from being prematurely sent to scrap piles.