Tag Archives: tyre maintenance

Kal Tire gets into the groove with robot-aided Mexico tyre repair facility

Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group has opened an off-the-road (OTR) retreading plant in the heart of Sonora state’s mining industry, which will be the first of the company’s facilities to use a robot for skiving and tread grooving jobs.

The plant in Cananea, Mexico, officially opened on October 18 and is strategically located as 30% of Mexico’s mines are in the state of Sonora, it said.

This marks the sixth OTR retreading and repair facility for Kal Tire, with the other facilities being in Canada, United Kingdom, West Africa and Chile.

“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.”

Pacheco said the company is looking forward to demonstrating how a “superior retreading technology and process” will renew a tyre’s strong performance and lengthen its lifespan, adding that 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.

Kal Tire said: “Emissions produced in manufacturing a new tyre are significantly higher than in the retreading process. For example, producing a new 29.5R25 tyre uses 68 litres of oil and emits 4,192 kg of carbon dioxide; retreading the same tyre uses 13.95 litres of oil and emits 2,464 kg of carbon dioxide.

The addition of the robot for skiving and tread grooving will help improve access to custom tread designs to best suit each site’s conditions, according to Kal Tire. 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 company said

Pacheco explained: “The robot will allow us to switch tread patterns without having to switch tools. The work is done efficiently and lets us make the most of the expertise of our people.”

The 3,000 sq.m 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, according to Kal Tire. All plant team members are local residents of Cananea, a town of 30,000. The team aims to be retreading an average of 80 tyres/mth and will increase capacity to meet demand, the company said.

Dan Allan, Senior Vice President, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group, said: “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.

“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, it said.

Kal Tire’s Gravity Assist System lauded at Electra Mining

Kal Tire’s Gravity Assist System (GAS) has won more plaudits, this time receiving top honours among a host of products in the International Mechanical and Technology Innovation category at the Electra Mining Africa conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.

GAS was one of more than 60 products reviewed across three categories on day two of the show, with the technology’s simplicity and effectiveness marking it out as a winner.

This is the first year Electra Mining Africa has launched these awards to recognise new technology and innovations coming from both within South Africa and internationally.

As Kal Tire says, the average mining tyre has a lot of lug nuts and, until now, support for the hefty 36 kg torque gun has come through the sheer brawn of tyre technicians.

“Today, the GAS essentially renders the activity and the torque gun ‘weightless’, making the process much more safer, efficient and precise. The system reduces common risks associated with torque gun tasks, including pinched fingers, muscle strain and fatigue,” the company says.

Eric Bruggeman, CEO SA Capital Equipment Export Council and judge of all the products at Electra Mining, said: “When I reviewed the GAS, I was taken aback at not only the simplicity of the machine, but how robust and effective it will be for tyre technicians on mine sites.

“For decades, these technicians have been suffering injuries and strains related to managing very heavy tools, the GAS is one of those things that makes you say, ‘Why hasn’t this been invented before?’”

Dan Allan, Senior Vice President of Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group, said: “Investing in innovation at Kal Tire means we are developing practical solutions that not only improve the safety of how our teams work but also provide opportunities for vehicles to spend less time in tyre bays.

“Our intent is to continually invest in innovation that brings new products and solutions to our customers that help to increase efficiency, productivity and safety.”

Kal Tire’s Innovation Centre in Canada has created several exclusive and patented products that have been launched and field-tested in Canada, South America, Australia and Africa.