Bridgestone’s retreading factory in Lincolnshire is continuing to be recognised as an industry leading operation, thanks to new technologies, a significant investment and an ongoing commitment to its ‘Total Tyre Care’ concept.
Through Total Tyre Care, Bridgestone provides comprehensive tyre solutions, giving the lowest total cost of ownership. Service is provided by the Bridgestone Partner network and includes not only the fitting of tyres but auditing, reporting, full tyre husbandry and casing management.
A core aspect of this approach is Total Tyre Life. Bridgestone’s truck tyres feature retreading technology being built-into the original tyre design. To realise this potential, Bridgestone’s approach to market includes not only the sale of new and retreaded tyres but also a unique and comprehensive casing collection service.
This approach was reinforced in the UK in 2005 when Bridgestone purchased Bulldog retreads and on a global basis when a year later Bridgestone spent more than a billion dollars to buy Bandag’s worldwide operations. This propelled Bridgestone to be the to be the ‘number one’ fleet solution provider across the globe. In the UK, Bridgestone supplies fleets with retreads produced at seven independently owned Bandag franchises plus the Bulldog plant.
The operation has benefited from a huge sustained investment programme to make it one of the most efficient in the industry, with up to 300 tyres undergoing the impressive transformation each day.
The latest example of this investment is 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 this year and will be in full use later in 2017.
This replaces a paper based system and works off cloud based technology and offers additional reporting benefits for commercial fleets.
In 2016, the largest single investment at Bulldog saw the introduction of the latest generation Bandag extruder builder the 9110ES. This machine, at over £250,000 has the ability to produce more tyres with a greater level of accuracy than the previous equipment. This machine was a key strategic investment and came at the
perfect time to provide extra capacity for the Bandag range of precure retreads that are used by the expanding portfolio of Bridgestone fleet customers across the UK.
Bridgestone’s retread development manager Terry Salter said: “The retread factory, employing 50 staff, sits within Bridgestone’s Total Tyre Care ethos, where the life of every commercial tyre is maximised through audits, reports and tyre care husbandry.
“Each retreaded tyre undergoes multiple stages of inspection and progression before it is transformed from a tired, well-worn product to a gleaming, premium tyre with a new lease of life.
“Eventually, what was once an old tyre, at the end of its life, is transformed into a quality product with tens of thousands more miles to offer a commercial fleet operator.”
Bridgestone’s vision, commitment and sustained investment in retreading has secured a growing portfolio of truck and bus fleet customers and Bridgestone expects that more and more fleet customers will enjoy the benefits of using high performing retreads into the future.
For more information about Bridgestone’s commercial tyre offering, visit http://www.bridgestone.co.uk/truck-and-bus/