The Stӧcken plant has become the very first truck tyre production unit in the world to not only provide ‘cutting edge’ retreading facilities for trucks and buses but also incorporate a ground-breaking proprietary industry scale rubber recycling unit. Continental’s technological skill in creating this twin-functioned factory has been officially recognised by the German Federal Ministry of Environment as an important environmental innovation.
The planning of the plant has taken virtually two years resulting in Continental achieving their challenging objective of taking the ContiLifeCycle solution as close as possible to the production of a new tyre and therefore pushing the boundaries of future truck tyre retreading and rubber recycling to a new level of excellence. Part of the plant has been devoted to the tyre recycling process which develops a special process for the tread powder created during truck tyre retreading and previously cured tread powder is subjected to a series of different processes to reverse the curing process so that the recycled material is of such a high and controlled quality it can effortlessly be used for tyre compounding.
At the same time tread buffings from the retreading facility will be used in the recycling facility to give a highly impressive reduction of waste of over 80 per cent and substantial CO2 savings.
Continental provides the option of both the ContiRe™ process for hot retreading and the ContiTread™ process for cold retreading and guarantees the same high quality of safety and performance that is found in its new tyres. Production at the plant has already commenced and once it reaches full production levels an annual capacity of 180,000 retreaded tyres will be produced with staff levels of 100 people.
Continental has also announced the launch of its own ContiLifeCycle Training Academy to provide on-site training courses covering all areas of the retreading process.