Tyre manufacturer Continental Tyre South Africa (SA) has installed a new R109-million mixer at its Port Elizabeth tyre plant.
The ribbon on the mixer installation, which is about 30 metres, or 10 storeys high, was cut by Nikolai Setzer, member of the executive board, tyre division of the Continental group.
This unit was imported from Germany, and installed over five months.
It offers a range of benefits in the first stages of the rubber-compound mixing process, which is critical to tyre production. It is used to mix the rubber with fillers, such as carbon black, silica or mineral fillers, along with processing aids and elements of the curing and anti-ageing systems.
“The primary advantage of the new mixer is that it allows much better temperature control during the mixing cycle, which leads to more accurate reproducibility of compounds, as well as better dispersion of the fillers,” explains Continental Tyre SA corporate communications manager Gishma Johnson.
“This in turn, improves the quality of the rubber compounds used for our locally manufactured tyres and, ultimately, superior performance and durability for our entire product range, which spans the passenger car, 4x4, commercial and heavy-duty vehicle sectors.”
The new mixer, called Mixer 1, is dedicated to an employee, the late David John Laine, who was murdered earlier this year.
“He was a loyal employee and was respected by all his fellow workers,” notes Johnson.
The E30-billion Continental group is a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tyres and technical elastomers.
The tyre division achieved cumulative sales of more than €8.8-billion in 2011. The division has 22 production and development locations worldwide.