Mine sites across Mexico will now have access to world-class retreading and repair services — and the chance to add thousands of hours to the life of a tire — as Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group opens an OTR (off-the-road) retreading plant in Cananea, Mexico, in the heart of Sonora state's mining industry.
"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 tire life and reduces the cost of ownership.Retreading also reduces the impact on the environment," says Pedro Pacheco, vice president operations,Latin America, Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group. "Our clients see this as an opportunity and look forward to seeing our retread tires in operation."
The retread facility officially opened October 18th and is strategically located as 30 per cent of Mexico's mines are in the state of Sonora. This marks the sixth OTR retreading and repair facility for Kal Tire, an international leader in mining tire management that began retreading in the 1970's, with the other facilities being in Canada, United Kingdom, West Africa and Chile.
"We are very much looking forward to demonstrating how a superior retreading technology and process will renew a tire's strong performance and lengthen its lifespan," says Pacheco, adding OTR retreads by Kal Tire often achieve 3,000 to 6,000 additional hours, and allow mines to reuse quality original casings,an additional environmental benefit. Emissions produced in manufacturing a new tire are significantly higher than in the retreading process. For example, producing a new 29.5R25 tire uses 68 litres of oil and emits 4,192 kilograms of carbon dioxide; retreading the same tire uses 13.95 litres 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 program as Kal Tire begins automating retread operations around the world—also helps 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," says Pacheco. "The work is done efficiently and lets us make the most of the expertise of our people."
The 3,000 square metre plant will be supported by a team of 120 during construction phase and employ40 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 tires 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 tires in production," says Dan Allan, senior vice president, Kal Tire's Mining Tire Group. "Retreading reduces a tire's operating cost per hour, it reduces new tire purchases and it reduces the impact on the environment." Every year, Kal Tire retreads more than 10,000 tires and saves thousands of tire casings from being prematurely sent to scrap piles.
Kal Tire has developed other innovative approaches to extending tire life, as well as a solution for managing end-of-life tires, including:
Ultra Tread: Rather than buffing a damaged tire back to the original casing, Ultra Tread builds smaller amounts of new rubber into the existing tread, extending the life of the casing and increasing the total life of the tire.
Ultra Repair: Kal Tire's proprietary technology to repair large injuries to the tread, shoulders and side walls keeps tires operating that would have otherwise been scrapped.
Thermal Conversion Recycling: Kal Tire will open its first thermal conversion recycling facility inChile later this year, converting scrap tires into their original materials of steel, diesel and carbon black so they can be recycled.