OSHAWA, Ontario (April 24, 2000)—When J&M Tire International Inc. decided about 15 months ago to upgrade its OTR tire retreading capabilities, company management wanted to be sure the new equipment could handle the 63-inch tires that were just starting to appear in the marketplace.
Trouble was, the buffer/builder the company was looking at wasn´t large enough to handle the new giants.
So J&M turned to Michelin North America Inc.—the company making the 63-inch radials—and retread equipment supplier, Marangoni Meccanica S.p.A., for help, said J&M Vice President Jim Michaud Jr.
Michelin, he noted, has become more cooperative about providing forecast information on what they´re doing. "They are starting to live up to the true partnership that you hear them talk about," he said.
Using specifications provided by Michelin, J&M was able to give Marangoni the tire information it needed to adapt equipment designed for building up to 57-inch tires to handle the new 63-inch size, Mr. Michaud said. The tires are used on the largest haul truck made: Caterpillar Inc.´s 360-ton 797.
Marangoni was able to make the adjustments, and J&M ordered two of the new machines as part of a $1.8 million investment in new equipment.
The equipment arrived the first week of April, Mr. Michaud said, and should be up and running by the end of May.
Initially, J&M will use the equipment to retread 40.00R57-size tires as well as the 57-inch tires for loaders, but it is capable of retreading tires up to 63 inches in size, when they start becoming available.
The new Marangoni buffer/ builder is fully computerized and takes the human element out of the process, Mr. Michaud said. He expects the machinery will result in improved product quality and better plant efficiency.
Along with the new buffer/ builders, J&M has acquired four autoclaves, which also should be up and running by the end of May.
Mr. Michaud said the investment will play a role in the company´s growing by about 10 to 15 percent this year. He did not disclose annual sales.
The company has experienced strong growth in recent years and saw its tread rubber use for OTR tires grow 19 percent to 3.39 million pounds last year. It´s looking to increasing that to as much as 4.5 million pounds in 2000.
J&M serves the OTR markets of eastern Canada and much of the eastern U.S. The company is a large Michelin dealer in its home country and also produces its own line of solid tires under the name Polar for skid steers, large loaders, haul trucks and fork lifts.
In Canada, the dealership operates four service outlets located in Ontario´s major cities, while in the U.S. it uses independent dealers to distribute and service its products.
The company also operates a Bandag plant producing 132 medium truck retreads per day.