Bridgestone unwavering investment in its retread products is maintaining the company’s position as leaders in the sector, at a time when the market has rarely been more relevant.
Bridgestone’s North Region Truck & Bus Product Manager Terry Salter said that the company’s strategic decision to keep investing in retread technology during a lean period in 2017 could now be fully vindicated, with a significant investment in equipment being brought into the company’s UK franchised Bandag network and factories.
He added that commercial businesses were looking for sustainable solutions, with fleets placing a heavier emphasis on being ‘greener’, with their corporate and social policies evolving as a result.
He said: “Generally in the marketplace, there is a move towards the lowest total cost of ownership of product, combined with increasing awareness of the need for a more sustainable and circular economy where recycling is standard.
“Bridgestone is fully committed in this regard, and a sustainable future fits with our company ethos, where retread is a core environmental policy.
“Retread is economically good for the customer, it is environmentally good for society, so it makes economic and environmental sense.”
Throughout a difficult recent climate, Bridgestone has stayed fully committed to its retread proposition and franchised Bandag network of retread factories. Its retread products underline its commitment to a ‘Total Tyre Care’ range of services. Each truck tyre features retreading technology built-into the original tyre design, with the life of every tyre maximised through audits, reports and tyre care husbandry.
Bandag retreaded tyres are not only a safe and reliable alternative to a new set of tyres, but also a solution for reducing fleets’ tyre related costs per kilometre. This proposition applies also to retreads made from Bridgestone and Firestone tyre casings – for which the retreadability by Bandag is also 100% guaranteed.
The UK operation has benefited from a sustained investment programme to make it one of the most efficient in the industry, with new buffing, building and inspection equipment being ordered for rapid installation in the last six weeks alone.
At Bridgestone’s Bulldog factory in Lincolnshire, a new tyre pressure chamber, shearography machine, 10 bar pressure tester and envelope spreader have all been purchased.
Meanwhile, the Bandag network has also been investing in its machinery, courtesy of extruder builder, pressure tester, buffer upgrade and nail hole detection machines. Another example of Bridgestone investment has been seen in the introduction of the BASys casing and production control system. The BASys system is the result of a global project with Bridgestone’s European, American and Japanese strategic business units collaborating to upgrade a key aspect of Total Tyre Care. It provides the ability to track a tyre from the point it is removed from service at the fleet, through the return of the tyre to the production facility, and then through each stage of the production process and finally the return of the transformed product back to service. BASys was installed at Bulldog in February 2017.
This replaces a paper-based system and works off cloud-based technology and offers additional reporting benefits for commercial fleets.
Terry expects the good times to continue for the foreseeable future too, despite the retread market being notoriously difficult to predict.
“We predict a sustained investment into retreaded products across the industry. Our products will represent good value for money to the transport industry within the UK and Europe.
For more information about Bridgestone’s commercial tyre offering, visit http://www.bridgestone.co.uk/truck-and-bus/