DORAL, Fla. — A quartet of leading U.S. retreaders upgraded their manufacturing facilities recently with the purchase of automated buffers and other equipment from Brazilian retread systems supplier Vipal Rubber Corp.
The retread plant upgrades — at Pete’s Road Services in Corona, Calif.; Retread Solutions in Mebane, N.C.; Jewell Tire Center, in Oxford, Maine; and Purcell Tires & Service Center in Portland, Ore. — are among a growing portfolio of equipment sales by Vipal.
"Tire retreading in the United States is a reference for everyone in this sector, as it is the largest volume and where the biggest players are," said Leandro Rigon, director of international business at Vipal Rubber. "Our own manufactured machines entering North American soil symbolizes a new step that we are taking."
Pete's Road Services, which has 50 years of market experience, installed a VR01 Smart Duo buffer from the Vipal brand. The equipment removes the tread from a used tire in the buffing process "very quickly and precisely," Vipal said.
"We have already had a very good experience with Vipal in the supply of pre-cured treads and now we are also betting on their equipment, which should give us significant quality gains to be seen by what this machine we have acquired provides us", said Noe Lara, Pete's operational manager.
Retread Solutions also ordered the VR01 Smart Duo buffer as well as a VOC 760 Cargo, which is geared towards applying cushion gum in the cargo tire retreading process and "seeks to optimize the demands of retreaders at a low cost," Vipal said.
Jewell Tire and Purcell Tires and Service also ordered the VOC 760 Cargo. Vipal believes the sales are an indication that the U.S. retreading market is again showing signs of growth.
"This market went several years without any growth expectations, but after the increase in tax on Chinese tires and a healthy economy, the segment started to return to a path of growth", said Gabriel Fuma, commercial manager at Vipal NAFTA. "Retreaders in general are optimistic about the future of retreading and, with that, plans for investing in equipment and in the modernization of their factories have been renewed."
The COVID-19 has put some of those investment projects on hold, but Vipal expects that to end soon.
"Vipal Machinery employs all the technical and technological capacity in its engineering that Vipal Rubber has gathered throughout its over 47 years," Rigon said. "Thus, we will continue to invest in expanding our equipment and business portfolio in the global market."
Vipal Rubber is one of the largest tire retreading companies in the world, with a presence in 90 countries and all seven continents. It has 13 distribution centers, including three in the U.S.: Los Angeles, Miami and Norfolk, Va.